Grandson embracing grandmother at home
Picture of TroveStreet® Wisdom

TroveStreet® Wisdom

TroveStreet® Wisdom: Living with family in an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

Moving in with family or friends is a common choice for older adults who no longer can or want to live on their own. And while these types of living arrangements may be convenient and affordable, they need to be given careful thought and consideration.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit, also referred to as an in-law suite or “granny flat,” is a popular option that helps you maintain independence, close to those who will care for you. It requires an additional living space with a kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom on the property of your family. ADUs can be inside the home (modify a basement), attached to the home (convert a garage), or detached (a separate unit in the yard). 

Before you choose this kind of living arrangement, contact the municipality where your family member lives to find out if their home is in a “single-family zone.” An ADU cannot be created without an ordinance or special exception from the municipality. Unfortunately, there is no consistent standard for ADUs across York County’s 72 municipalities and nearly half of the municipalities do not have ordinances in place to support ADUs. 

If your municipality does not have an ordinance in place, they may be willing to add one, but it will take time. If it does have an ordinance in place, it may have restrictions — such as needing to tear down the ADU after the older adult passes. 

Another tip when moving in with family is to proactively set boundaries before the move.  

It’s not uncommon for people — you and your family — to feel like they are being taken advantage of. Or that they have to conform to a particular way of living that negatively impacts their overall health.

But moving in with them doesn’t mean a loss of personal space, boundaries, or independence. 

Before you make the move, set clear boundaries. Talk about expectations, things that bother you, or things that need to change. Respect each other’s space, schedule, and needs. These things may seem insignificant now, but they will make a big difference later.

Share this post

Ready to Get Started?

Schedule a Call

The first call with us is FREE. Let us help you navigate with a 30 minute consult today.

View and Sign Up for upcoming seminars

Check our upcoming seminars calendar

Scroll to Top