Man lying on couch watching TVQ: My husband and I are in our seventies and we may need to sell out home and go into sheltered housing. The problem is that our 45-year-old son still lives with us. He’s been unemployed for over seven years and most days are spent lying on the sofa watching TV. We support him, which we can ill afford. Would he qualify for some housing benefits?

Anne, Suffolk

A: I realise you are worried about what will happen to your son if you move, but his behaviour suggests to me he is seriously depressed and urgently needs to see a doctor. Without some support for his fragile mental state, he may not get off the sofa and find work or claim benefits.

If he’s on antidepressants, then he needs different ones and some talking therapy such as CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) that will help him to make some changes.

There is support for the long-term unemployed – your son need to make an appointment at the Jobcentre Plus (0845 606 0234) to discuss his situation.

Emma Marlin, Counsellor


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