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Moving in With Family: Issues to
By Helen Hunter, ACSW, CMSW
What is expected of the relative? What responsibilities
will they have for care of the home? If there is a
separate apartment, will everyone dine together? What
about family outings – will the relative always be
Avoid the feeling that the situation is permanent.
Start with a limited “trial period,” then review the
Once the move has been made to live together, it is very
important for all family members to have continual open
and honest communication with each other on all matters.
Don’t hold in your feelings – both positive and negative
feelings need to be shared.
If the health condition of the relative changes, and
additional care is needed, it is crucial for the family
to review the daily plan. If the situation requires help
outside the family, there are a number of alternatives
that the family and the relative can explore together.
Make sure that the relative is included in decision
making, if they are able. Some other options for care
include: daily home health aide or homemaker care, which
would also provide respite relief for family caregivers,
home based community care programs, friends and
neighbors, church outreach programs and dividing the
care responsibilities among the family by rotating care,
with the relative going to others’ homes, or by allowing
other relatives to come into the home to provide the
Families who maintain open and honest communication and
are willing to share in the financial and caregiver
responsibilities for a needy relative can successfully
reside together in the same home. Support can and should
be a two-way street. Where better to get the daily
support that we all need than from our family!