27 March, 2023

You’ve accomplished so much in your life already! It’s perfectly okay that you find yourself thinking about moving in with your children.

Seniors choose to move in with their child for many reasons such as the rising cost of living, changing health and care needs, or to be closer together.

Moving into your child’s home may strengthen your relationship and can be mutually beneficial. It’s important to prepare for potential problems and to maintain a healthy, happy dynamic between you and your child when making the decision about moving in with them.


The level of care that you need

You’ve likely spent a lot of your time looking after yourself and for those around you. As you age, your health and abilities naturally change. There is no shame in seeking help where you need it and letting someone help care for you.

If you are considering moving in with your child because you need some extra help in looking after yourself, first make sure that your child will be willing and able to assist.

Sometimes we may downplay our needs because we feel we need to be convenient, but it’s better to be honest and direct when communicating to your needs to your child.

If you are not confident you will receive the care that you need, other options such as an in-home support worker may be better for your health and for your relationship with your child.


The impact on your mental and physical health

Your mental health is greatly persuaded by your surrounding environment. Living in close quarters with your child can challenge your relationship, especially if grandchildren are living in the home, too.

Steps to mitigate your mental health when moving in with your adult child can include:

  • disclosing expectations of caretaking roles, both for yourself and for any childcare.
  • discussing expectations regarding visitors, noise, cleaning, privacy, and downtime.
  • informing them about any triggers.
  • attending counselling
  • setting boundaries.

Consider what potential health and safety hazards may be around your child’s home, such as:

  • if the home is disability friendly or not.
  • the local weather and climate.
  • if there is enough space.
  • young children.
  • pets.

You and your child can plan out ways that you can make the home a place where everyone can feel safe and comfortable.


Peers and community

Socialising with peers your own age can significantly help the adjustment of moving in with your child.

You can find local socialisation opportunities through:

  • local groups and events for seniors,
  • a local religious affiliation,
  • and more.

The Senior Social Connection Program helps older people in the Sunshine Coast connect with others through free events, courses, and catchups. The Australian Government offers a huge list of social opportunities for older people across Queensland.

If you will be leaving behind nearby friends and neighbours, plan to keep in touch. Chances are that your child will be able to help you learn to use your smartphone to stay connected.



Pets are our best friends; they’re a source of love and comfort.

Only 18% of aged care facilities in Australia allow pets, while just 9% of in-home care providers claim to offer a pet-friendly service. Moving into your child’s home may be the better option to keep your four-legged friend with you.

Ensure that your child’s home will be a suitable environment for your pet. If you are not entirely able to look after the pet yourself, discuss any care-taking responsibilities with your child.


Money and assets

Finances are a leading reason why older adults downsize or move out of their homes, especially with the recent cost of living increase. Though finances may be a touchy subject, an amicable conversation in the beginning can prevent a relationship breakdown in the end. We offer some tips for having difficult conversations here.

To guide this conversation, consider:

  • Will you pay rent, and if so, how much?
  • How will utility and grocery bills be split?

Financial agreements should always be made in writing; we advise using a general tenancy agreement.

Make sure you’re taking advantage of senior benefits, such as age pension.

Living together may make you more vulnerable to financial abuse. Learn more about financial elder abuse and how you can protect yourself here.



Your home should always be a safe place for you.

While many older Australians consider their child to be their most important person, older Australians are most likely to feel unsafe disagreeing with said person. Older people are vulnerable to elder abuse; adult children are the most common perpetrators.

There is no excuse for abuse, but before moving in with your child, consider factors that may make your child an unintentional perpetrator, such as:

  • any negative history in your relationship.
  • the financial situation.
  • their mental health.

It’s okay to ask for help. Learn more about elder abuse and how to reach out for help here.


If you are an older person who is having trouble navigating a relationship with a family member, our experienced counsellors are here to help. We can help you explore your concerns and possible solutions in a safe and supportive environment.

If your parent is moving in with you, our blog post 10 Tips for Moving Your Elderly Parents In offers more advice.

You can learn more about our Elder Mediation Support Service here, or call 1300 063 232.