Really, a reverse mortgage is similar to an annuity with the principle source being the equity in the home. The pros are this:
(1) It provides a steady source of income in your twighlight years, (2) Generally you do not give up your home until you pass on, when you don't need it anyway. (3) The reverse mortgage payments you get aren't taxed, since they're loan proceeds, not income. Cons: (1) Closing costs (this is a loan to you) and other fees can easily run thousands of dollars (2) you or your heirs do have to repay the loan, plus interest and fees, but that usually doesn't happen until you die, sell your home or stop living there permanently, perhaps to live in a nursing home.
You should have your family member look at the Reverse Mortgage section of the AARP Web site. There, you'll find tons of useful info, including a 52-page downloadable booklet that describes in detail how reverse mortgages work. Good Luck.