February 15, 2016
Drawing on new public polling as well as long-run data, this study charts how the shape of the extended family has evolved over time, before going on to explore how the support given across the intergenerational family has changed historically and how it may alter in the future.
Despite the positive stories that emerge of people’s readiness to support older and younger relatives, the paper identifies a number of potential challenges ahead associated with societal and demographic shifts. These include: how we can help families provide care for each other as the generations no-longer necessarily live together, ensuring we have the right guidance and advice in place to aid good financial decision-making and assessing what strains older people may come under as they balance later retirement ages, frail living relatives and demands on them as grandparental carers. The report concludes that in these instances and also more broadly, policies need to be designed around the wider needs of families rather than treating individuals and their choices in isolation.