Who says dating someone from an entire generation has to be weird? Recently, more and more Americans are becoming intergenerational roommates, changing the way people think they should live.
Explained as those living apart by at least one generation, there has been a proliferation of intergenerational roommate arrangements in the United States since 1971. In fact, statistics show that this number has actually quadrupled since then.
There are a lot of factors that come into play for these types of arrangements. For some, it’s because of the increasing average life expectancy, the increasing isolation of the elderly, a declining birth rate, a rise in college tuition, ever-increasing rents in almost every single coastal town, and more. But if anything, many claim that a major reason for the increase is that older people have rented accommodation and that having younger people around just makes them happier.
In a Pew Research Center article, it said that as of March 2021, there were at least 59.7 million U.S. citizens living under one roof for several generations.
25-year-old robotics student Nadia Abdullah from Massachusetts, who moved in with her 64-year-old roommate Judith in 2019, said, “It was perfect — Judith has become like my family.”
Her arrangement was $700 a month from Nadia, plus a promise that she would help around the house. This also allowed Nadia to live just 6 miles from Boston and 30 minutes from her robotics job in Beverly Mass.
The website that brought Nadia and Judith together is called Nesterly. It is a rental center created specifically to find cross-generational roommates.
Another young Nesterly reviewer, Kaplan, also gave an insight into the service and why it is so special, saying, “Through Nesterly, I lived with Sarah while I was an undergraduate at Harvard. She provided the kind of knowledge bank you just can’t google—she showed me how to garden, gut a fish, and bring French romance to life.”
Meanwhile, The Washington Post also wrote about an opera singer and other types of musicians in training and how they managed to live rent-free in a senior citizens’ community on the condition that they would continue to perform concerts for community residents frequently .
However, Nesterly is not the only site where people can find this type of agreement. Canada HomeShare is another similar type of service that helped Michael Wortis, an 85-year-old retired physics professor from Burnaby, BC, connect with 27-year-old Siobhan Ennis, a health sciences graduate student. Because of their so-called agreement, Ennis was able to get out of a shared apartment that would have given him 3 additional roommates. Furthermore, biologically speaking, this type of agreement between Ennis and Wortis is considered to be the nature of humanity’s natural state.
Unlike animals, which tend to die quickly once they reach an age too old to reproduce, humans can survive for decades and well past the point of infertility. Many scholars believe this is because humans possess intelligence and a wealth of life experiences that they pass on to the next generation. Secondarily, these things ensure that human genetics are also passed on, e.g. B. which foods are edible, which animals are dangerous, etc. This also ensures that their offspring also have a better chance of surviving, especially compared to those who lose their parents early.
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