My Aunt is 75 is single and never had children. She has always loved me very much. The issue now is that she wants to move to her country and rent her apartment she has in the US. She told me over the phone “ I'm renting my apartment and will stay in my friends house for a month and then go stay at your house for a few months. So her plan is to stay at different people’s houses when she comes to the United States. I don’t have a problem if she comes to visit but I don’t want her to stay for months in my house. I live with my husband and 6 year old daughter and love my privacy very much. How do I tell her without ruining our relationship or hurting her feelings? She keeps saying that she is worried about her future because she doesn’t have any children to take care of her when she is older.

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I suggest finding a place “close by” your home for her to stay during her visit. Twenty six years ago during a tearful phone call, my mother called and asked to move back to Pennsylvania from California to stay with us”. I said “sure we can find you a place close by”. She was shocked, you mean you won’t let me stay with you?” I said, “we will find you a place close by”. We found her a condo, five minutes from our home. She moved back and enjoyed twenty years of independent living. Four years of me providing in-home care. Going on the second year of memory care. I am so grateful that the first words out of my mouth were “sure, we will find you a place CLOSE BY”.
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Reply to GAinPA
Scarlet123 Apr 30, 2021
Thanks for your advice
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First, you do not need to worry about hurting the feelings of someone who thinks it is ok to invited themselves for an extended stay.

Simply tell her that it is not possible for her to come for an extended stay. Full stop, no additional explanation needed.

You could tell her you are happy to look into long stay accommodations nearby, but you do not owe her or anyone an explanation as to why you do not want them to stay with you.
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Reply to Tothill
Scarlet123 Apr 29, 2021
Thank you for giving me your advise
Unfortunately, auntie, having house guests just doesn't work for our busy lifestyle with my husband and young daughter. I'd be happy to help you find an extended stay hotel to stay at and we can have lunch a few times during your visit so we can catch up.

I would be very hesitant to have her stay with you at all, given her situation and desire to become a permanent fixture in your young family's life.

Make it known now, in no uncertain terms, that YOU are not going to be her future caregiver and that she needs to make arrangements in a senior living residence with a continuum of care. It's very presumptuous of her to expect to move in with you for months on end, uninvited, and to be taken care of by you in her declining years!

Good luck!
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Reply to lealonnie1
Scarlet123 Apr 29, 2021
Thank you for your advice
Sounds like there is some cultural traditions coming into play here, i.e., the older generation moving in with the younger to be cared for. Good or bad, that is not an American tradition. It's kind of every man for himself, with a little help from loved ones. That's how I see it for myself, anyway. I am about your aunt's age and would never in a million years expect any child or relative to take me in, though we all love each other. If your aunt is able to move to another country, manage the rental of her apartment and run a skin care company, she is certainly capable of figuring this out for herself. I am thinking she has carefully plotted this arrangement and how to get you to do what she wants. I agree with most other comments: If she gets a foot in the door of your house, she may never leave. You are allowed to protect your living situation and family life from what others want. I, frankly, would be wary of letting her stay even for a week or two.
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Reply to OldAlto
disgustedtoo May 2, 2021
"Sounds like there is some cultural traditions coming into play here, i.e., the older generation moving in with the younger to be cared for."
Absolutely. Dominican Republic was mentioned, as well as her sisters living with their daughters. She is likely imposing herself on OP because of their good relationship. That does NOT mean there is any obligation! If she can rent her place, she can pay for a place to stay. For the future, when she maybe needs more help (she sounds quite capable at the moment and isn't that old yet!), get brochures for IL places that also have AL associated with them and hand them to her. No words need to be said, just hand her the info.

"Good or bad, that is not an American tradition. It's kind of every man for himself, with a little help from loved ones."
It may be "tradition" now, but it wasn't until more recently. Times have changed, so it isn't quite as common as it was in the past. My parents and mom's sisters took turns having my grandmother live with them when it wasn't safe for her to remain on her own anymore. She didn't have dementia, but she needed oversight. It wasn't difficult having her there, and it was only for a few months at a time. A bed to sleep in, some good food and family. However she was NOT as capable as this woman sounds. Big NO.
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Your aunt is laying the groundwork to make you the designated caregiver. Don't let yourself get trapped if you have no intention of becoming the caregiver.
If she wants to move to another country at 75, then help her find a place there which is for senior citizens and who can also provide caregiving services should they become necessary.
Then speak to her kindly but plainly. Let her know that she will not be living with you and you cannot and will not become her caregiver should she need one. Does she have family in her country? It might be worth having a talk with them too about your refusal to take her in.
I know you don't want people to think you're harsh and very likely family in her country will think so, but they have no idea. Let them think it, but don't fall into the designated caregiver trap.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

The nerve of some people...

So Auntie is going to rent her place out and make money but expects to be fed and housed for free at other people's homes. And she expects you to be her chaffer and personal assistant. How nice!

You should risk ruining your relationship with Auntie Taker, or she'll ruin your life and your marriage. Definitely a risk worth taking.

Decide in your mind what you are willing to help with, and offer that and not more, but draw a hard line that she can't cross.

Perhaps, you can offer to pay for a few days at a local hotel so she can visit with you and spend part of the days, but she goes back to the hotel and you go back to your house. You can also offer to help find a place for her to live which she can pay with the rent she collects from her rental in the US.
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Reply to polarbear
princesssf May 3, 2021
Don't be too terribly hard on auntie. Find out her circumstances before condemning her. People at 75 who live alone often begin to change in a number of ways - some physically, some mentally, some emotionally. Perhaps this isn't her norm, but even if it is, it sounds like a cry for help and someone to talk to about plans for the future.
I posted earlier but I want to add that your aunt may love you dearly but it wasn’t fair of her to place you in this awkward position. Some people are very casual about inviting themselves over!

You care for your aunt but feel awful about having to tell her that she can’t stay.

I wouldn’t even invite her to stay for a short period of time because you know that she wishes to have an extended stay with you and she may be hard to get rid of. I am not even sure if I would have her over for dinner. Take her out to dinner.

My oldest brother could be a drifter at times in his life.

My mom never had an issue about having him return to our childhood home.

My brother took advantage of the situation.
In my opinion, he wore out his welcome. I felt that it wasn’t my place to interfere but all she did was enable him.

Once my brother asked me to live in my home for awhile. I already had my mom living here.

My brother was an addict. I didn’t have a choice but to grow up in that environment but there was no way that I was going to allow my daughters to be exposed to his lifestyle.

I loved him as my brother. I tried to help him. He refused going into rehab. I taught my children to love and care about others but to know that they are responsible for themselves.

How well do you know your aunt? People have secrets. She may be sick and not even telling you and she may expect you to be her caregiver.

I told my mom and my brother (deceased since 2013) that he could never live with me.

It can work the other way around too.

We have gone on vacation and friends or family insist that we stay with them, which I don’t like to do.

Occasionally, I have stayed in a person’s home for a night or two to appease others but I tell them in advance that I have a hotel booked for the remainder of the time.

I prefer a hotel experience to come and go as I like. I want room service. I want a vacation!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
disgustedtoo May 2, 2021
"I wouldn’t even invite her to stay for a short period of time because you know that she wishes to have an extended stay with you and she may be hard to get rid of."
I would go with this advice too. She's already made her intentions known. You open the door a crack and wham! It's fully open. Not even one night... One night becomes two, three and so on.

It is difficult for two reasons: past relationship and country of upbringing. However, these are HER expectations, not yours. You are NOT obligated to take her in.
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This sounds so cruel but once a person moves in it will be almost virtually impossible to have them move out and you’ll also be more responsible for their care.
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Reply to Betsysue2002

When finding out our holiday plans, my SIL would casually mention Oh I'll drop in for a new nights. We tried being subtle & saying it was a smaller place, no extra bedroom etc but she was happy to have a couch. In the end we used honesty. We would like our family holiday to just be our immediate family, but she considered herself in that circle too.

Flat out honesty finally worked. We are going on our family holiday. Just us 4.

The Aunt may be just putting out feelers in order to plan.

Use kind words but leave no wiggle room. "Love to see you but staying here is not possible". Or maybe "staying 2 nights would be great, but I cannot offer longer". Whatever will work for your family.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Beatty

You say that ‘three of her sisters already live with their daughters’ in the US’. It might be a good idea to contact these daughters now, tell them what aunt is suggesting, tell them that you can’t and won’t do it, and ask for their advice. If you don’t, you have no input into the rest of the family dynamics. If you get them on side, you have some understanding from the rest of her family, and with luck a whole lot of back-up. Without it, your aunt may have told them that this is what she is going to do, and they may have no idea that you haven't agreed.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to MargaretMcKen

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