Hi all, have not posted in a long time. This past January my 89 year old Aunt found herself broke (she used her credit cards and social security payments to pay for her daughter and 2 grandsons.
My cousin (my Aunt's daughter) moved my Aunt to another state where rent was cheaper. My cousin also got married to a man who didn't have money. My Aunt (who I was always close to) had a difficult time using the stairs to get to her bedroom and does not get along with her new son-in-law.
My Aunt called me up and asked if she could live with my Mom (who has vascular dementia) and myself. Being I had a spare bedroom (which I used as my office) I thought about it and finally said yes, she could live rent free so she could pay off her credit cards. (Yes, it was a pain moving my office into my bedroom).
It didn't occur to me to make it clear that my Aunt would have to pay for her own food. I "assumed" that was a given. If I lived with a relative rent-free I would naturally pay for my own food.
I'm not good at confrontation but my anger has been building up. I finally talked to my Aunt yesterday and said that my Mom and I are on a limited income and can not afford to pay for her food. I asked her to contribute money every month (I asked her what she thought would be fair) and she became defensive which surprised me.
She first said she needs to do her own shopping. I replied that I go shopping 3 times a week in the morning and she sleeps until noon. During the winter months there is snow (and ice) outside and I don't want her falling down.
Then she said that this was never discussed when we talked about her moving in with us. Then I became nasty and said to her if I were living rent-free I would naturally pay for my own food "it's a given"....
I texted her "normal" grandson (her other grandson is a special needs person) as I am close with him and explained to him what transpired and he texted me that we will talk.
Now there is unwanted tension and I don't know what to do next.
On the bright side of the coin my Aunt helps with my Mom by getting her to play cards, watch tennis matches, chat about their childhood, gets my Mom to laugh which is a huge help to me. I also have more freedom as I can go out for the afternoon and not have to worry about my Mom.
What do you think?
Thanks in advance, Jenna