Extended families in Australia often contain many generations living in the same house, although some extended families also include living cousins, uncles, and aunts. Although certain cultures have historically practiced this form of communal living, more everyday Australian families are now doing so for a number of different reasons. One of the key benefits and reasons for families moving in together is that it is typically a less expensive option and can lessen the financial strain on the family. Adult children commonly move back in with their parents as they start their careers or to help them save money to purchase their own property. If grandparents are willing and in excellent health, they may also help with daycare duties for small grandchildren, saving the family a significant amount on daycare costs. Multi-parenting by different adult family members not only reduces the cost of childcare and lessens the pressure on working parents, but also encourages grandparents and grandchildren to interact and enrich each other’s lives. Children gain from growing up in a large family and learning how to care for their elders, while grandparents continue to work and stay active while keeping up with the children’s activities and academic work. Many families find it to be much simpler to assist and care for adult family members who are ill, elderly, or disabled when they live together. By adopting this strategy, the household may divide up the caregiving responsibilities, establish better routines with the members of the family who need care, and be much more conscious of any changes in their condition or health.
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