Should your family member move in with you?

If you are concerned about your older family member living in their own home, you may consider suggesting they move in with you.

Don't rush this important decision

It's natural to want to provide this extra care, particularly if you have had a close relationship in the past. Take time to consider this carefully - try to resist rushing in before you have thought through the options. Weigh up the impact this move might have on you, those you live with and other members of your family. It's important that you do not feel as though the move has been imposed upon you - rather that everyone involved feels it is the right decision. Be sure that those in your household support this.

Things to think about before making a decision:

Your existing commitments 

Consider how flexible your existing commitments are. This may include work, study, parenting or other caring responsibilities. It may also include financial commitments like a mortgage.

The impact on you

Living with the person you care for can make it harder to find time for yourself. Caring can begin to feel as though it involves 24-hour care or being 'on call' at all hours. How would this be managed?

The impact on others in the household

How might this impact on your family life? Will your children now need to share a bedroom? Will your family be expected to help out with caring? How do they feel about this? Do your partner or children have commitments of their own?

The 'inter-generational' issues

Three generations living together in the one house can be a challenge. Make sure that the benefits of the move outweigh the challenges and that your commitment is shared. That way, your family member and your family can all feel positive about the plan.

Consider the alternatives

Families who wish to have their family member nearby often consider a range of options which might include:

Moveable units (granny flats)

Moveable units are self-contained units with one or two bedrooms, a small kitchen and living area. They may be purchased and positioned in the backyard of your home. People on low incomes can rent moveable units - to find out if your family member is eligible contact the Department of Human Services on 1300 655 049.

Other accommodation options:

Self-contained units, serviced apartments, retirement villages and supported residential services are all options worth considering. The information sheet 'Other accommodation options' will provide more details.


Read the fact sheets titled, Should you move in with your family member? and Other accommodation options - supported living