SRES March 19, 2024

Essential Conversations When Moving Near Family

Considering a relocation to be closer to family?

The prospect of moving near loved ones can be both exciting and daunting, especially when it comes to navigating shifts in family dynamics. Research indicates that for older adults, this transition can be particularly challenging due to three key stressors:

  • Loss of established social networks: Moving to a new location often means leaving behind cherished friendships and community ties built over the years. This loss can leave individuals feeling disconnected and isolated.
  • Managing expectations within the family: Proximity to family members can sometimes come with heightened expectations and obligations. Balancing these expectations while maintaining personal autonomy can be a source of tension and stress.
  • Coping with increased caregiving responsibilities: Moving closer to family may also mean assuming a greater role in caregiving for aging relatives. This added responsibility can lead to feelings of dependency and overwhelm.

If you find yourself grappling with any of these challenges, initiating conversations about boundaries with your family members can be immensely beneficial in easing the transition. But what exactly are boundaries?

Boundaries are the guidelines you establish within your relationships, delineating how you allocate your time, energy, and resources. Contrary to shutting others out, boundaries empower you to determine the terms under which you engage with others, ensuring a healthy balance between connection and personal space within your life and home.

Setting and discussing boundaries is crucial for building and maintaining strong family relationships, especially when considering a move closer to family. By establishing clear guidelines and fostering mutual understanding and cooperation, you can address different expectations and facilitate a smoother transition for everyone involved.

Remember, you have the autonomy to decide how you use your time and resources, while your family members have the freedom to determine what they can offer in return. By respecting each other’s boundaries and needs, you can create a harmonious environment where everyone feels valued and supported.


Topics to address to respect family boundaries:

Here are topics you may want to think through by yourself or address with your family members when moving closer together: 1. Do you want your family to help you make new social connections?

2. Do you need someone to help with an infirm spouse to give you breaks?

3. How often would you like to see each other?

4. What kind of support do you want or need?

5. How do you feel about family members staying the night?

6. Are you open to family members dropping by unannounced?

7. Do you plan on sharing keys or garage codes?

8. How long is the ideal visit?

9. Do you want to help with household tasks, including cooking, cleaning, or babysitting?

10. Are you okay with young children visiting your home, or are you worried about noise or breakables?

11. Do you have any house rules you need to communicate to family members? (no shoes, no smoking, no pets etc).

12. What are your concerns about moving closer?


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