Looking forward to seeing you soon

HRF Chairman’s message

Dear Friends,

I hope that you and your families are well. Without assuming that we are completely out of the woods, let’s hope that little by little our lives are returning to a semblance of normality, and we can truly look forward to face to face academic meetings soon.

In the past three months, we have celebrated with you, although at a distance, several relevant projects for Home Renaissance Foundation. After several years working together, we finally closed a research partnership with the International Centre for Work and Family (ICWF) at IESE Business School. The ICWF, led by its director, Professor Mireia Las Heras, has as its focus the interrelated benefits and challenges of work and family life. HRF’s unique and pioneering perspective on the life and work of the home both complements and enhances this work.

As you probably know, in May our latest book The Home in the Digital Age came out on sale in libraries. Published by Routledge as a part of their Advances in Sociology series, ‘The home in the Digital Age’ is a set of multidisciplinary studies exploring the impact of digital technologies on the home with a shift of emphasis from the technology itself to the people living and using them in their homes. Here you can read one of our latest blog posts talking about the ethics of these technologies.

Moreover, we continued our series of Communication Projects by launching in April ‘Caring At Home for those with extra needs.’ It is a project that has had a real impact on social networks, allowing us to reach great associations that work daily with families caring for those with special needs.  It has served to remind us that the home provides that safe, nurturing place for everyone, thanks to the dedicated care of others.

Let’s hope that by the Autumn we will be able to enjoy seeing each other in person. We will continue to keep you informed by email and social networks of forthcoming book presentations being carried out in various countries. So please, stay tuned!

All the best,

Bryan K. Sanderson, CBE

Advertisement

The ‘smart’ approach to intergenerational living

Welcome to this month’s Behome Blog,

August! How did it get to be “high summer” already? As I write this I am picturing many of you on holiday either away or at home. Whether you are reading this on the beach or sitting in your garden or local park I hope that you are able to make the most of this special time of year.

I wonder how much screen-time your holidays have involved so far? Apart from catching up on your favourite blogs, how much of your time is spent with a mobile or tablet in your hand, or TV or computer on in your home? And how much is too much? Navigating the Digital Revolution in the home is the timely and important focus of our main article this month. Enjoy reading Rosemary Roscoe’s thoughts on this and let us know what you think.

On the same theme have a look here at some helpful guidelines from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. This is a topic that affects us all and it’s good to be informed about how to enjoy the benefits and recognize the dangers of the digital home.

Whatever the rest of your summer brings I hope there are plenty of opportunities to “switch off” and enjoy the company of friends and family this month.

Angela

“Driving up and down the motorway or flying overseas can be stressful and expensive for families wanting to visit loved ones after moving away to follow career paths. So it’s hardly surprising that families are increasingly opting for multi-generational living, where pooling resources can mean a higher standard of living for all with two or more generations of a family able to afford a bigger and more attractive home. A recent study indicated that the number of multigenerational households in the UK will increase to 2.2 million by 2025, a rise of more than 30%.

While the boomerang generation accounts for the biggest increase,  with adult children returning to live with their parents to save up for a deposit for their own home, many elderly couples are more than happy to house share with their children and grandchildren while still maintaining a high degree of independence.  The benefit for working parents is having live-in childcare at hand, while the grandparents have the advantage of emotional and practical support if needed and closeness to their grandchildren.
The logistics of shared living spaces and the design of the inter-generational home is the focus for architects, who are coming up with ‘smart’ solutions to accommodate the needs of several generations living in one home. At an experts meeting organised by the Home Renaissance Foundation addressing ‘The Home in the Digital Age’, Professor Mohamed Gamal Abdelmonem confirmed that over 27% of the population in the EU will be above the age of 65 by 2025, leading to “care becoming an essential domestic activity, with intergenerational dependence and mobility informing the socio-spatial systems of modern homes.”

Prof Abdelmonem, who is Chair in Architecture at Nottingham Trent University, told the meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in London “that to be sustainable and central to family living, homes need to revisit their roles as private spaces, and integrate technologies that are family-friendly with clear ethical and moral principles.“ He cautioned on the need to retain privacy and “design homes with a network of spaces (indoor and outdoor) that a person uses routinely as a haven with a high degree of comfort and intimacy. Attempts to interact with people at their home territories without following the settled code of action, such as knocking on the door, is considered an unjustifiable intrusion,” he said. Prof. Abdelmonem acknowledged the usefulness of technology with “eMedicine applications, working from home, digital media for studying at home and assisted living for older people.”

Research has shown that children need four to six involved, caring adults in their lives to fully develop emotionally and socially. With the problem of children spending too much time with friends on social media and not enough one-on-one time with adults, what better way to redress the balance than having live-in, doting grandparents!”

Rosemary Roscoe