When I first started selling real estate I did not know how much of what I would do could fall into the mediation area outside of what one would expect from a Realtor, which is between sellers and buyers. I have found that in many cases I have to mediate between parents and children; no matter which one is the buyer.
One of the things I have run into more often than one would think is when parents retire and move to where their children live so they can be close to them and grandchildren. While they think it is just a fantastic idea, that sentiment is not always shared by the children or more often than not their children's spouse.
What I have noticed is when it is the child that is not happy, they tend to be more verbal about not wanting the parents to live "too close" to them. However, it is very painful to watch a child try to explain to a parent why they should not move so close when they are taken between a spouse and parents.
When the parents just bull headedly go ahead and move right around the corner anyway it can become a huge problem. The reason I know is that most of the time either the child or the parents are moving again within a couple of years and this time it is obvious there has been issues.
So what do you do when you want to be close to your children and grandchildren? Well, I have also seen some extremely amicable cases where parents have moved to town with fantastic results! What I notice that is very different is the mindset of the parents; they want to be close and they consult with their children to see how the child's family feels about them moving to town.
Once everyone is in agreement, they start looking within the parameters of the agreement and stick to it out of respect for everyone involved. The other thing I have noticed is that most of the parents who have an open relationship with the kids are not relying on them to entertain them. In other words, they want to establish their own life outside of the children and grandchildren.
I have also taken note of the children that want the parents to live next door so they will take care of the grandkids! Most of the mothers are willing (and I certainly understand that) but the dads are not always sure they want to be that close. After all, they feel they have raised the kids and now that they are retired would like to just relax. If all this comes out and is dealing with prior to the purchase then, most of the time, it all works out for the good. If not, it can be a sad situation for both parties involved in the move.
I believe the bottom line is respect for all implied and good clear communication between the couples and the family members involved. Of course, health and age do play a part in it as well and have to be considered. If you talk it through and take your time, I believe it will work to the advantage of everyone involved.