How old is this woman? Does she have children of her own? Is she on Medicare and Social Security? Any kind of pension?

You need to first look at her finances. If 55 and up, there is low income apts. In my area HUD has apartment buildings. They charge 30% of the persons monthly income. So if she has $1000 a month, she pays a little more than $300. Heat is included. She would be responsible for cable and electric. Electric she could get help with. Cable, basic is like $25 a month. She can sign up for food stamps. There are all kinds of food programs for seniors.

Call your County Office of Aging to see what resources they have. County Social Services too. Make it clear to both that living with you is not an option. I know that sounds harsh, but the woman is not really related to you. You don't want to be stuck with her care trying to get thru all the red tape to get her help. I believe in giving a hand up. Show them the way, help get them resources. But, this country makes it hard trying to get someone out of your home once they have stayed there for a period of time. Especially now with COVID. If worst comes to worse, call Adult Protection services.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to JoAnn29

Was your husband's step mother actually homeless? If she was only planning on staying with you temporarily, she had some kind of plan in place. What was it? That needs to be talked about with her.
More likely was that she had no plan and her staying with you was never going to be temporary but she figured you'd just let her stay.
Make yourselves very clear that she is not going to be living with you and your husband. Then help her find appropriate housing. If she still possesses some level independence then she can live in a senior community. If not, then it will have to be an AL or nursing home.
Either way, if you don't want her staying don't let her.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to BurntCaregiver

Then you sit her down and discuss her options with her. If she's older she may need your help to navigate researching facilities and options. She may benefit from being in a community with a peer group.
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Reply to ElizabethY


What does it mean "was to stay with us"?

Who agreed to this and under what written/nonwritten agreement?

Does she receive mail at your address?

I would consult a lawyer asap; evictions are very difficult to do right now.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

Great responses. Thank you.
Some background. My husband’s elderly ex-step mother has been more of a mother to him while growing up than his own biological mother.
Unfortunately, since her late husband passed away years ago, she hasn’t had much stability with her finances, living arrangements or relationships with her biological adult children.
We brought her into our home after she fell and sustained fractures at a friend’s home, where she also was living on a temporary basis.
Over a month with us, she was better. Doctor confirmed.
All along stating she did not want to stay permanently with us and had options to live elsewhere. Those options did not pan out. Meanwhile, more weeks had passed.
Husband was content for her to stay as long as she needed. Red flag for me.
Where do we go from here discussions turned argumentative between my husband and I. Then no discussions were had just to keep the peace. The elephant in the room was getting bigger by the day.
Years ago, my mother stayed with us on a temporary basis that lasted almost a year. It was an unpleasant experience for all involved.
Since original post, husband’s mom has moved in with with another relative. Sadly, I suspect this will not be a permanent solution either. The move was a last minute disorganized mess.
What did I learn from this?
The definition of a family includes more than blood bonds. Will I ever agree to do this again? - No.
Love from a distance. Offer financial assistance if you can afford it.

P.S. Husband is ticked at me
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Gotplayed
CTTN55 Nov 15, 2021
Wow, THAT was a quick resolution -- she's moved on! I suspect this last-minute disorganized move won't last, either.

How long had stepMIL been living with you?

There's a good chance that you H will want her to move back in with you when this current place for his stepmother doesn't work out. Does he think the two of you owe her a place to stay for as least as long as your mother lived with you (which you state was almost a year)?

Is your H going to insist that the two of you at least financially support her, even if she doesn't live with you? Does your H accept that she could be living in a facility?
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Well, you sit down with her and go over her options. JoAnn mentioned a lot.

Keeping an EX MIL in your home out of misplaced kindness will end up being a real nightmare for you, almost certainly. She's playing on your kindness.

My own mom has lived with my YB for 23 years. Had he known the drama and incredible difficulty having an elderly parent live so long with you--he NEVER would have done it.

For several years my mom pled with me to allow her to live with us. I told her umpteen times that our house was NOT a good fit for someone who cannot climb stairs and that we needed all the space we have. We are now planning to move to a home that has fewer stairs and a different 'footprint' and she's suggesting we let her move in. She's not really happy at YB's (I could have told her that 23 years ago!) but it is not my dog and not my fight.

I have told her MANY times I will happily find a good ALF for her, but, no, she wants to live with family. Ironically, would not let her own mother live with HER when she needed some temporary care.

A poor decision made 25 years ago against the 'will' of the family has really taken its toll on YB's family. My YB is angry and depressed and even though all of us sibs are giving him any inheritance we receive (very small) it cannot make him 'whole'.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58
JoAnn29 Nov 15, 2021
Not just an ex MIL but an ex step-mother. No blood there.
Maybe "I have nowhere else to go" really means "I'm lonely" and/or "I can't manage by myself anymore". If this is your husband's ex-step-mom, does she have any of her own family that you can contact, even if they aren't local? I would see if you can get her on their radar first. But, maybe it turns out they aren't a viable option. Then I would offer to help her find a "better' solution than staying in your home: an IL or AL care community will provide so many more social benefits. She also needs to assign someone as her DPoA so that "whoever" is helping her has the legal authority to do so. This DPoA will need to help her figure out her financial condition and future pathway (she may need Medicaid at some point). You and your husband don't need to do any of this for her, but bless you if you choose to help her.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Geaton777

So ex-MIL has landed like a bird with a broken wing on your doorstep.

You could feed & house her, take on all her responsibilities, bills, healthcare... But what will this achieve? She will probably become even more dependant on you - leading to ever growing resentment plus - will that REALLY even help her?

That's how I'd put this to your husband anyway.

Now if you could help start ex-MIL to take HER first step's towards setting up a NEW life plan for herself - that would be way better!

If she is lonely or a dependant sort of woe-is-me type, a place with company may suit well - eg senior group living,

She may well be down on her luck & need some confidence. A professional counselling or social worker service may be beneficial.

Or she may be playing *victim* here & pushing you into being her *rescuer*. I have a SIL like this but my DH offers her coaching so she can save herself, he doesn't rescue her.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Beatty

This is such a shame. Not saying that means she needs to live with you, though. Maybe take this time to look into some Senior apts.
My GF lived in a regular apt complex for years. She refused to move to a new Senior complex where she would not have to deal with the steps in and out of her apt. When she finally needed to use a wheelchair, she relented and moved to the Senior apts. Which were lots cheaper than her old apt. She had easy excess in an out. An elevator to get her up to her apt. There was a common area where she could socialize. She loved it. They had parties and activities. A van to take you to the store and shopping.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to JoAnn29

Well, asked and answered, a pretty rare occurrence on this site.

(I LOVED your PS. My DH is ticked off at me all the time. I mean, ALL THE TIME. He's getting ready to leave town this am and is in a foul, foul mood. I will not miss him and hope to have some quality sleep while he's gone.)

I have appreciated this board and the ability to have a place to vent about things that need to be talked out, but my DH does NOT do 'drama' and so he just gets mad, and takes it out on me. Grrrrr....

Glad you got some closure. Sorry DH is mad. Yesterday my DH told me my thinking was screwed up, b/c I am a woman and 'we' can't think logically. I almost slapped him. Kinda glad this dinosaur generation is fading away.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Midkid58
Beatty Nov 17, 2021
May peacefulness decend shortly. Then do what you feel like! Invite some gals over & party.
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