Ask Bob: What to Do When Your Kids Want You to Move

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“I am perfectly happy at home, and my kids want me to move. I told them I don’t want to talk about it. I am torn.” 



Dear Dorothy,

I understand your problem; it reflects my own a few years ago. I presume your kids want you to move into an assisted living or other such community because you are unable to care for yourself at home. You believe otherwise.

Before either of you come to a conclusion, Dorothy, I recommend that you ask yourself, and ask yourself sincerely, “Am I really capable of living by myself? Am I mobile enough to get along on my own, and what are the chances of my falling? And if I do fall, can I pick myself up without assistance? Can I go grocery shopping on my own, or elsewhere for that matter?”

Be honest, now. Search your conscience. Can you really do these things? Do not equivocate. Be truthful and sincere. I can tell that you are proud person, and you have every right to be. But in your own mind, and very importantly, in consideration of your family, can you live on your own, without any assistance?  Please believe that others can’t be there 24-7; they have their own lives and families. It’s a tough decision, a heartbreaking one, but a decision only you can make.

Dorothy, I totally disagree with your statement that you don’t want to talk about it. I would hope that you call your family together to discuss the matter. Be honest with one another. If you think you can manage living by yourself, provide evidence and assurance. Then allow them their own input into the matter. Both your responses must be honest and reflective. Then, and only then, come to an honest conclusion. This is what I mean by talking things out. Please, keep in mind that your future and that of your family depend on it.

As I stated at the beginning of this letter, I had the same problem. I didn’t want to move, but after I had fallen I couldn’t walk any longer, much less get up and down stairs or go shopping.  Yes, I’m stubborn and I hated to admit it, but for my own sake and more important for the sake of my family, I simply had to move into an assisted living community. It’s one of the best decisions I ever made.

It is no crime, no sin, Dorothy, to admit you need assistance. It is, in fact, your duty as a mother, as a loving family member to do so. Search your own conscience and work it out with your children. You and your loved ones will be the better for it.



If you or someone you know would like to submit a question about assisted living to Bob, email it to or mail it to Attn: Bloggers at Birches, 215 55th St, Clarendon Hills, IL 60514. To follow The Birches’ blog and see Bob’s blog posts as they’re published, click “follow” at the top of this post.