Multigenerational Households Mean a Changing Family Picture

The Hubkas are a more typical multigenerational household. According to a USA TODAY analysis of 2005 data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, multigenerational households tend to have bigger quarters and more income than households overall: 48 percent of multigenerational households had an income of $60,000 or more, and 37 percent are in housing with four or more bedrooms.

The Hubkas' 22-year-old son, also Robert, works full time for a biomedical company and goes to community college. He says his grandmother doesn't interfere with his family's inner workings.

"She's really good with the fact that she doesn't jump into situations or put her two cents in when it's not really her place," he says.

Drinan says she doesn't want to alter the family routine. "They work hard. I want them to go to a movie or go out to eat or just be together."

Drinan savors her independence. She insists on paying her way at the grocery store, for instance. Because the Hubkas are gone during the day, she wears a medical pendant in case of emergency. She has her own phone line and a cell phone, and she keeps the dog company.

Says Dianna Hubka, "She needed people in her life to give her a reason to keep going."

Contributing: Anthony DeBarros

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