Why Most Adult Children Would Rather Live With Mom Than Dad

If you were allowed to choose, who would you rather care for in your home: your mother or your father?

Realistically, the typical family caregiver won’t have the opportunity to select one parent over the other—after all, whoever needs care, needs care. But, the results of a recent survey have shed some intriguing light on which parent the average American adult would prefer to move in with them, and why.

Two-thirds of the people who responded to the survey, which was conducted by Visiting Angels, an in-home senior care company, confessed to preferring their mother’s presence in their home, over their father’s.

The reasons they cited for choosing mom: she is more likely to be helpful (86%), cleaner (73%) and easier to connect with (64%) than dad. Many adult children also expressed fears that bringing dad into their own house could potentially expose their families to inappropriate comments and unhealthy hygiene practices.

Of course, there is some question as to whether or not these stereotypes would hold true in the face of certain diagnoses, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.

As any caregiver can attest to, gender notwithstanding, elders in the advanced stages of these ailments often have trouble keeping up with general hygiene practices and are prone to uncontrollable and inappropriate outbursts.

What do mom and dad think?

What do mom and dad have to say about moving in with their children’s families?

In her column, “Do Aging Parents Really Want to Live with Their Adult Children?” caregiver and AgingCare.com expert, Carol Bradley Bursack, points to research that shows many seniors do not wish to move in with their adult children. “Most of us want to be independent,” Bursack says. “The idea of living with one’s own children, no matter how well you get along, can be disconcerting. The intimacy of shared living space can simply mean too much of a good thing.”

Unsurprisingly; “not enough room,” and “lack of privacy,” were also the two most common fears voiced by the men and women who were asked to consider what it would be like to move their aging parents in with them.

Mom or dad: Who would you choose?

The Visiting Angels survey was conducted on adults over 40 who had two living parents, and was geared towards getting respondents to put themselves in the hypothetical situation of being a family caregiver.

Their findings are intriguing, and make us wonder: Who would you choose?

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Mom or Dad: Who Would You Rather Live With? originally appeared on AgingCare.com.

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com Editor

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Ernie Miller
william Miller2 years ago

I am sorry grown children should not be living with parents unless they are caring for them. Children need to grow up and take care of them selves. I have taken care of myself since I was 16 and can not imagine living with my parents

Robynne W.
Robynne W.2 years ago

I would give anything to have the opportunity to care for either of my parents - as they have both passed on already. I am only 47. :(
But I would prefer my mom...

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen2 years ago

Thank you :)

Peter A.
Past Member 2 years ago


Mac C.
mac C.2 years ago

I live far away from my parents, but would take both. Thank you.

Genoveva M.
Genoveva M G.2 years ago

I wouldn't choose one more over the other, I love them both the same.

Ryan Yehling
Ryan Yehling2 years ago

Thanks for sharing!

Les M.
Les M.2 years ago

i would pick my mom without a doubt, even though we don't get along. as the article states, my mom does not want to live with me but wants to be independent. if needed, we'll try to get her to move to an assisted living home near us.....i repeat, TRY.

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson2 years ago


Suzanne Serio
Suzanne Serio2 years ago

Interesting aspect....