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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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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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Scarlet123 Apr 29, 2021
Thank you for giving me your advise
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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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Scarlet123 Apr 29, 2021
Thank you for your advice
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I think past generations were more casual in their attitudes about ‘dropping in’ on people. I remember one of my dad’s old service buddies showed up at our door out of the blue! Daddy let him stay with us for a while. But it’s a new day! It isn’t acceptable these days.

Tell your aunt just what you told us.

Say, you don’t wish to hurt her feelings, that you value her love and your relationship but you need your privacy so and are raising a child, so it won’t work out.

Ask if she would like you to help her look at independent living facilities if she is planning on staying a long time. Tell her that they also have assisted living in the same building, should she need it at a later date.

If she isn’t staying too long, she can do an extended stay hotel, or perhaps a six month lease apartment to lease.

Tell her that there are many options to choose from and stress the amenities that they offer.

I know that this is awkward and I am quite sure that her love is genuine for you but you have already decided that you would never take her in. So, the only thing left to do is tell her.

One last thing, how would you feel about blaming your husband and say that he isn’t keen on having guests in your home? Some people do that, they blame their spouse.

Maybe then, she wouldn’t take it personally, or she would feel that is isn’t coming from you.
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Scarlet123 Apr 29, 2021
Thank you so much for reading and giving me your advise
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If your aunt intends to rent out her apartment in the US, she should have the dollars to get her own accommodation. Perhaps you could ask her if she would like you to do a little checking on where she can stay for the same price. Say that the independence will work better for both of you. It may be a nicer way to say ‘no’.
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I am an aunt with no kids but do not expect anyone to take care of me when I am old. I will hopefully organize all of that in good time.
I would tell her that you would love for her to come and spend a couple of weeks with you for a holiday but unfortunately, you are unable to have her stay for a few months, you wish you could but you can't. Tell her you don't want to hurt her feelings but you feel it is best to be honest (because it is) offer to help her find an apartment to rent of her own. I would guess that part of her knows she is asking too much but hopes you will not say anything.
As an aunt who loves her nephews very much, my hope is that they will have time for me and want me in their lives but I do not want ever to make them feel suffocated by me or that I am in the way, I would hope she feels the same.
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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.
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Tell her what you have told us, and discuss with her perhaps getting a short term rental in your area. The last thing you want is her coming to stay and never leaving without this having been planned for - but MAY happen if she has no one else to look after her. Having her in the area but not under your feet will allow all of you to discuss what she wants to do in the future. Wisely she is renting her property not selling which leave options open, but you cannot avoid a conversation on this, just be honest and let her know she is loved but you cannot have someone with you for a long period.
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Simply and honestly and gently tell her that you are sorry, but you cannot accomodate her. That she will have to have plans other than you or be able to afford to rent somewhere. Do not discuss reasons. Do not negotiate. A simple no is sufficient. There are times when it is simply impossible to live without risking hurting someone. You must be protective of your own family. Don't expect it to be pretty.
Write a nice note saying it has become clear to you she expects to be able to stay with you, and that this is not possible. Wish her good luck.
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ShirleyB May 1, 2021
Great response. None of these situations are "easy", but we can make them a little less traumatic. I've been through a similar situation and I found that whenever this discussion came up, the least bit of hesitation on my part to state my position firmly left the other person still hoping I would cave and give in if they just cried and whined a little more. There is obviously some cultural history in this family and if you plan to overcome that, you must be firm, but also sensitive in your responses.
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What I see here is that you will end up with her permanently. She is looking for someone to care for her and she has picked you. Has she lived in a different country for years, if so u really don't "know" her. She is just Auntie who visits from ______. She may be failing in health and not telling u.

Can your house accommodate another person for a long period of time? Maybe just say what you did here. You wouldn't mind a short visit, like a week or two, but you value your privacy and any longer would be too long. Where are your parents in this?
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Scarlet123 Apr 30, 2021
Thank you so much for the advise. My father, her brother past away, she has a brother in her country and the rest live in the US but they all have their life and their own children, and 3 of her sisters already live with their daughters. I understand she sees me as the daughter she never had and now that she is getting old she would like to stay with me but I really feel guilty but at the same time I don’t think she should just decide to rent her place and make me responsible for her. She is still capable of continuing babysitting from her own home and with her social security money she can still make a living. But her intentions are to rent her place so the mortgage pays by itself while she travels to her country where she has another apartment and than come to the united states every six months and have a place to stay for free. I really think is not fair plus she doesn’t drive and will rely on me to drive her everywhere, plus she is the type of person that constantly asks for favors and every month is whining about money. I have to add That I have also helped her financially not too much because I have a family but on several occasions I’ve given her 250.00 when i can. But it never stops next month she has the same issue.
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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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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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Scarlet123 Apr 30, 2021
Thanks for your advice
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It won't be an easy conversation, but it needs to go something like: dearest auntie, I love you very much but having a guest living here is not going to work for us. How do you see your dual domicile plan being practical over the next five to ten years?"

And DON'T say "living here for a few months" because you'll hand her a loophole - she'll say oh no, it'll only be a couple of weeks, and then before you know it the weeks will be getting longer and longer...

The key thing, I don't know if you agree, is to get her focused on forward planning. How long has the mortgage got left to run? What's she planning to do with her second apartment? And how will all this tie in with potential travel/migration restrictions?

Seems to me she's getting to the age where it's wise to decide which country you want to be in, at least. What is the other country, if you don't mind my asking?
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Scarlet123 Apr 30, 2021
Dominican Republic, she wants to go there make a special face cream and come and do business here in the united states so that’s another issue I see. Im assuming her clients will have to come to my house to buy the creams. Or I will have to be driving her around
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First of all, good that aunt is trying to make plans for her approaching old age.

One of the first considerations in anyone’s plans should be to make sure that any plan devised works for everyone involved and this clearly doesn’t work for you.
”I couldn’t possibly do that aunt” would be a good line to practice.

Tell aunt that you are really glad she is looking towards the future and how and where she will live out her life. That’s important and you have given a lot of thought as to how you might help her but you need to clearly understand her intentions and to share with her your position.
Perhaps she wants to see if she would like to live in your area.
Since she wouldn’t be actually living with you in the future, a 6 month apartment rental might give her a more realistic opportunity to check the area out.
That rental may or may not be feasible at this tome. You could scout out the locations and then give aunt phone numbers to make the calls so you aren’t caught in the middle.

It will most likely be very easy for her to rent her apartment out as there is a housing shortage but not so easy to find a home depending on where you and she live.

During Covid many people have moved house to live lives that are better suited to their personal situation. So aunt could be influenced by that. She may simply be lonely for family. Regardless, help her advance her search by letting her know your house isn’t the answer. You would not want to mislead her. You have already chosen a life of wife and mother.

Are you part of her financial plan? Do you have an idea of where she stands and who is appointed her power of attorney for finances and medical? Fixed income. Increasing property taxes and insurance etc. could have her concerned. So what she may need is a consult with a certified elder attorney or other professional. Again you might offer to do a zoom or conference call with her and the advisor just to listen in and help her understand her options.
This is foundational and needs to be done before she starts moving about internationally or even across the US.

What about her health insurance? Does she share what doctors she sees, medications she takes, etc. Has she had her vaccines? Have you and your family? Perhaps she would need to quarantine or get tested before even coming for a visit.

If she is in good health, she will need her savings to care for herself over what may be another 25 or 30 years and that’s a long time.

Make it possible for aunt to share her concerns and fears and hopes for her future so she has someone who loves her to listen and help her see pitfalls but position yourself not as THE SOLUTION but more as the ADVISOR or the one to help her find a trusted advisor. Perhaps she needs a therapist to help her sort out where and how she wants to live.

Set some boundaries for yourself on how much time you are willing to volunteer.
A book called “Boundaries” by Townsend and Cloud might be helpful.

This forum has a poster who oversees her aunts care from a distance. The aunt is in California. The niece is in Montana. It’s difficult for her at times because she has a local mother who takes a good deal of her energy. She has health issues of her own and she has a husband. Not easy. But the aunt was there for her and she wanted to help by managing her aunts care. The aunt made it possible by getting her paperwork in order. So perhaps use this conversation as a time to let aunt know you’ve been listening, you share her concern and you feel the best way you can help her is to let her know what you can and can’t offer.
At this time, perhaps just a friendly ear from time to time to see how she is doing on getting her affairs in order. Let us know how it goes. We learn from one another.
Edit: I see you added more info since I posted. The I am all alone to business woman puts a different slant on it but I think she should really be cautioned about large investments unless she has money to burn. Good luck.
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Scarlet123 Apr 30, 2021
Thank you so much for this very important advise
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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.
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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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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.
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oy vey! yours is the story that I take a deep sigh after reading and come away feeling relief and knowing how much worse things could be....You obviously care about each other....but then reality enters....I'd probably feel guilty and incapable of following this advice, but from the distance would say, sorry, but I can only have you stay ONE month. During that time I'd be happy to help you check out some places in the area for when you are older and possibly less able to be so active, but near by so that we can see and assist you as we are able. She sounds quite calculating and capable, so let her just speed up her visitation schedule so the person after you will see her sooner. Actually, i recall my father's mother rotating amongst her 4 children and damn if it didn't work... a month here, a month there, and nobody bearing the burden for huge periods of time....but his was a capable bubbie who helped and enjoyed doing so with household tasks, meal prep and went to bed early allowing for some private time. I as a kid found her often meddling with no regard for privacy. A closed door meant absolutely nothing to her. She at the end resided with a daughter (what a surprise) out of state and didn't recuperate well following a broken hip.
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"I understand she sees me as the daughter she never had"

Scarlet, that line in one of your repies jumped out at me.

Yup. You got it. You see her game plan. The ball in is your court now.

Have a think about what you think will work for your side - her want of a daughter, her need of a companion, driver & future carer does not outweigh your needs & wants.
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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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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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Scarlet123, one more suggestion, if you don't mind. Have a talk with Aunt about long-term planning, both for her business and her health. A proverb says "Frustration of plans comes by not going into conference, but by plenty of advisers they will go through."

Help her realize she needs a written plan of action instead of making assumptions. It may not be the cultural thing, but it - actually should be... There are many long-term planning advisors, free webinars to help.

No SUCCESSFUL person goes into business or advanced age without good planning and teamwork.
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I agree with the others. Let her know you love her and treasure your relationship with her. If she is welcome for a short stay of 'X' days let her know how many days you and your family can host her. Ask if she'd like assistance of finding other accommodations while in the city and you can make plans for occasional get togethers.
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Do not move her close unless u plan on being her chauffer.

This is what I think she should do. First, surprised she has a Mortgage. Who will she expect to manage the house while she is out of the Country? As said, she will have to choose sooner or later where she is going to live out her days. If she collects SS then she worked in the US and gets Medicare. Does the US have better resources for their seniors than the Dominican republic? She has to weigh the pros and cons without assuming u will be there for her.

I had to laugh concerning making a cream and selling it. I would think it would have to be tested here and approved by the FDA and I don't think that will be cheap. I laughed because I sold my Moms house to a man from the Dominican Republic. I don't think he understood that he needed a permit to do anything to the outside of the house. Our Township shut down the work until he supplied them the proper paperwork. Think he thought he owned the property so he could do what he wanted.
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How much in/out of the country traveling do you think she's going to do? Does she still have family in that country? You might be able to address the issue with traveling in/out of another country and exposure to covid that could be a problem coming and going.

When she calls to come stay with you, have plans for your family by the end of, say, 3-4 weeks and let her know you can't handle 2 mos at this time, but can let her visit for X number of weeks.

If her apartment is more than one bedroom, I think I would tell her to find a person to share the apartment expense with her and an understanding that she will be coming and going. She could move all valuables out of the house and just leave her bedroom furniture. Bring food for the period of time she is there. It's a win-win for her and a person who wouldn't have to pay full rent. She probably also needs to check to see if she can legally sublet her apartment. If she does away with her apartment altogether, maybe her friend would rent her a room ongoing to use as home base when in the US. If she left clothing and other articles in the room, it would make lighter traveling bags.

You could approach this with - if you are planning to live in the US when you can no longer travel, you might want to hang on to the apartment to have a place to return to.

As long as she is able to get around and come for visits on her own, I think you should open your door to her as often as you can manage it. It creates strong family ties for your child to know the extended family, It doesn't mean you have to physically take care of her when she no longer can manage for herself, but I'm sure it would be a tremendous relief for her to know you are nearby the facility she ends up living in. People without kids or relatives to check on them in a facility do not all get good care - and no one is watching to report it. You have a good relationship with her - try to be there for her until the end.
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She may be both doing a test drive for the future when she may need a caregiver and also affirming who her heir will be. It is not uncommon for the person who is the caregiver at the end to be the one who gets it all.
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PeeWee57 May 2, 2021
Your response reminds me of my great-aunt. She had no children of her own (just a stepdaughter). She dangled the inheritance in front of everyone she approached (including my mother), and eventually she ran through the entire family after staying only months at a time with each one. In the end, a skilled nursing facility got the money. They were the only ones who would put up with her.
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I like Tothill's statement which is exactly I would do: "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."

If you can afford it, offer to pay some of the rent for her.
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Imho, that certainly is a rich plan of her's. Best to say that your shingle is not hanging.
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You need to let her know asap that relatives are welcome to visit a few days but you and husband need your privacy.

Let her know moving place to place is not a way to live and will make her feel like she belongs no where.

It's hard enough keeping things running smoothly with ones own family.

Let her know there are low cost Senior Apartments she can rent to live in and when she isn't able to live by herself, her Insurance will pay for her to live at a Senior Home.

I'm sure she will be disappointed but
If she loves you so much, she will understand and ya'lls relationship will remain in tact.

Prayers
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disgustedtoo May 2, 2021
"...her Insurance will pay for her to live at a Senior Home."

I have seen other people (not often) post a comment like this. Exactly what insurance is this?

Regular medical insurance does NOT pay for any residence. LTC policies do, but if she doesn't have one already, it would be much too expensive, if she could even find one, given her age.

Medicaid will sometimes cover the cost of a NH, depending on income AND need. A few states sometimes pay for AL as well, but not many states have this and there are very few beds available.
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I’d have to sit down and have a talk with her.Number one, If she rents her home out...who is going to be responsible for fixing things, and all that? If anything, she should talk to places that will let her live there. It’s like retirement homes/ apartments for elderly.
Sitting her down and talking to her and telling her that she can’t live with you may hurt her feelings, but better to be honest.
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How does the saying go?
The road is paved with good intentions.

My father fell in Sep 2019 and went to rehab.He was discharged on Oct 1,2019 ,and the plan was for him to stay with me ,because he wasn't ready nor safe to go back home while continuing at home rehab.

It is now May 2021.Covid not withstanding and he's still here.He can't live alone anymore,having a live in is too costly but so is a facility.

I felt it was my duty to care for him ,but it has changed the dynamic of our relationship.

The only option ,and I don't even know if it is would be to ask my brother who lives out of state to take him in.

You already know your not wanting your aunt to stay for long periods.Just tell her you love her but that won't work for you.Good luck
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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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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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YOUR HOUSE YOUR RULES. Just say "NO". Do not let someone else dictate to you that you should let them live in YOUR house !! This situation will only end badly.
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