Aging Parents and Adult Children Living Together? Talk Before You Pack

Posted by on Feb 24, 2021 in Housing Options, Living Arrangements | 0 comments

Are you considering moving in with your adult children? Are you thinking about having your aging parent(s) move into your home? Whatever your reason, you can expect that some intergenerational households will work well, but others are filled with tension.

Moving in together can work, but success is greater when everyone pays attention is paid to each others’ autonomy and where certain things are negotiated beforehand:


Respect Autonomy

Seniors have been making their own decisions for a long time. Asking them to give up this independence can create feelings of tension and disrespect – even when the adult child is trying, out of love, to help the parent stay safe and healthy. To the senior, it can feel like the adult child is dictating to them how to live their lives.


Negotiate Important Matters

If you are considering living together, ask these questions of yourself and discuss them with each other.

Why do you want to live together? Is this the best choice for all concerned?

Have you evaluated other options: home care, assisted living or a personal care home?

Do family relationships allow you to communicate openly and discuss mutual concerns?

Have you enjoyed extended periods of time together before? Can you have a “trial” period?

Where grandchildren are present, who will be responsible for discipline? 

How will you provide privacy for each generation?

How will household chores be divided?

What are the financial issues involved?

How long might this living arrangement last?

What will you do if the arrangement is not working?

Are the parent’s health concerns escalating? Will more care be required?

Do adult children have career commitments, health problems or other issues that may affect their ability to cope?

How will the adult child have respite and holidays?

Who else will help?


Whatever reasons may prompt you to decide to share a home, your family can enjoy the mutual respect, support and contributions of each generation. But please: Talk before you pack!


Vol.2, No.10; © ElderWise Inc. 2006

You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc. We provide clear, concise and practical directions for Canadians with aging parents. Visit us at and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>