The concept of multi-generational living is not new. For much of human history, old and young have lived together – three or four generations in the same home (or at least nearby) – to the benefit of the entire family.

With the advent of globalisation and the realities of the modern working world, intergenerational involvement has been declining – with a number of consequences.

As our population grows old, there is a level of vulnerability that develops because of physiological changes, unemployment, poor health, financial challenges and neglect by society.

Old age homes in South Africa arose as a response to several social problems including loneliness, economic and housing problems, and lack of family and other support systems for older adults.

A prominent question centres on different modes of care for the elderly: community living or institutional care?

A topical study reported that older adults who live in traditional old age homes, or similar institutions, are more prone to depression and social isolation than those living with family or in an active multi-generational community.

A South African research team recently set out to study the quality of life among the elderly who are living in an institutional system compared to living in a multi-generational community setup.

The research results were clear: older adults who live in an active multi-generational community not only enjoy a significantly higher level of quality of life, but also a much higher level of physical activity compared to those living in old age homes. In addition,  the research results suggest that older adults are better motivated to be physically active when they live in such a community, compared to old age homes.

Yet another research project, focussing on home-based end of life care, has shown that living in a multi-generational community may reduce the chance of premature death and ensure overall improved quality of life. The same study also suggests that living in a community is related to longevity of cognitive abilities, such as mental alertness.

Garlington Village is a vibrant, active, multi-generational community. Breaking away from the institutional, one-size-fits-all approach to ageing and healthcare, Garlington Village offers a highly personalised experience, ensuring your unique and changing needs are taken care of. If you, a family member or a loved one would like more information or would like to come visit us at Garlington Village, please get in touch today.