It’s time for my aunt to move out of her house but she refuses

Your Life
Dr. Gelasia Marquez
June, 2014

My aunt really shouldn’t be living alone anymore. She can get by with her nieces and nephews helping, but it’s wearing us out. She refuses to move – what can we do?  

As we age, our abilities and capacities become more limited, slower and somehow unpredictable. This is difficult for many seniors to accept because it leads to feelings of insecurity and fears about losing independence and autonomy. 

In addition, throughout our lives, we accumulate memories, photos and details that help us to remain connected with our past and, in one way or another, give meaning to our present. Your aunt’s home may hold special significance for her.

It is important to be sensitive to these issues when you and your cousins begin to discuss your aunt’s current situation and plan for her future well-being. Investigate the possibility of bringing care-givers into her home. This type of decision will be influenced by her needs and financial situation.

If the best option is to remove your aunt from her home, make sure she is part of the decision-making process. Engage her in the search for a good location where she can bring her memories and photo albums, and where she can enjoy a similar level of autonomy that she enjoyed in her home. Remember the words of Psalm 71:9, “Do not cast me aside in my old age; as my strength fails, do not forsake me.” 


Dr. Gelasia Marquez is a psychologist and family counselor.