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Too Close for Comfort?

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Estimate the financial costs of living together compared to maintaining separate residences with our Too Close for Comfort?® calculator.

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The Home Instead® network is committed to helping boomers and their families embrace the rewards and face the challenges of living together.

Making the Right Choice

While adjusting to his new Washington, D.C., residence, President Barack Obama clearly had a lot on his mind - including ensuring that his mother-in-law was also settling in comfortably. Like 3.6 million older parents, First Lady Michelle Obama's mother, Marion Robinson, is living with her adult children. Extended families living under one roof is a sign of the times.

But how do you decide whether living together or maintaining separate residences is the best option? The growing trend of children caring for their elderly parents has prompted Home Instead to launch Too Close for Comfort?®, a public education campaign to guide families to the right choices for them.

These pages and the resources they contain will help adult children and their senior loved ones answer the question: Should we or shouldn't we live together?

Living together can come with plenty of challenges, such as emotional stress, caregiving dilemmas, space and privacy issues and financial worries. But there are also rewards, including the closeness that can develop from having a loved one nearby. Whether you've already decided to merge households or if you're just thinking about it, now is the time to start discussing the issues.

Why Families Are Living Together

The reasons different generations decide to live together are as varied as the families themselves, but three factors often come into play:

  • Shared Caregiving: Families are coming together to share caregiving duties -- either an elderly loved one needs care or an older adult is providing care to his or her grandchildren.
  • Physical or Emotional Support: Seniors may feel the need for the physical or emotional support of extended family after losing a spouse, dealing with health issues, or having problems maintaining their property.
  • Finances: The economy is affecting everyone, especially seniors living on fixed incomes. Moving in with family can sometimes save money on food, utilities, and other essentials.

Estimate the financial costs of living together compared to maintaining separate residences with our Too Close for Comfort?® calculator.

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Last revised: December 13, 2010

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