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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.

I would just explain to her that you don't have the room and/or time to have her spend time with you. And she better make sure that she can rent out her apartment as a sub-let, some places if you rent, you can not leave and then re-rent to someone else. what about damages, she would be responsible for that. Why not just find another place to rent back in her country and get off the lease in the US? There are lots of people that don't have children to help take care of the,. this is when you suggest that maybe she find an assisted living place that has a "transition" style so that as she ages, she can just move into the next phase. most of those places also have stuff for the seniors to do and she would have more people around her. Explain politely that you don't have the room and that you don't want to ruin your relationship by having her stay there too long. And even though she says it would only be temporary........it won't be. I wish you luck.
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Reply to wolflover451
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If you cave in to "her plans" it would be wise to have a legal contract that she signs to agreement of when she arrives & leaves. The 28th day would make her a legal house resident. You being stuck to go to civil court & serve an eviction on her if she was adamant to stay or take advantage. It costs several hundred dollars to serve an unwanted guest. I know because i went as far as gathering papers for a senior citizen before who was unfortunate enough not to find his honesty. He was "delivered" an unwanted situation from another family member whoknocked one day & left a young adult son to share his new apartment. The son never looked for a job or helped his father like he said he would. I stayed out of the drama but it was not easy to hear all the suffering. Be aware!
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Reply to DoWright
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Here's the thing about the about American/western caretaking, aging, family dynamics, culture, or financial and social safety nets (politics), that I learned the hard way: There's NO guarantee of a 'burning bush' that your aunt might or might not start rapidly fading while she's in your home. There is no either/or. I had to move back into my childhood home with my widowed, 70+ y/o mom. You must be prepared for end of life and your house and family, and that life-changing experience for you all; life ain't for sissies. I sure wasn't prepared, familially, emotionally, financially or physically, so I got slammed in every way. I hope my story might help raise awareness for personally challenging, responsible, financial, spiritual, and emotional planning.
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Reply to Davenport
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Please let us know how you followed up!
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Reply to Julis007
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First of all do you have an extra room?
I know you love your life but pay it forward. Can you put her up for a month? Work out on advance the next place(s) she is going. Be absolutely rigid about
Leaving day.
Its her destiny that she had no kids, but if she lives in any western foreign country besides the usa(of course), they will take care of her as she gets more dependent. That's not your job. Think of it as her coming to visit before she dies. Also, be sure she doesnt rent her house for more than 2-3 months so she can go back there. There is a great rental scheme for teachers (I forgot the name) but often visiting professors need a place for a month or 2. My mom is 99 and I'm stuck caring for her (avg life span inmy moms family is 104). Your daughter is going to be in the same unenviable position. So, a little mercy on your part might be nice. The main thing is set the parameters and have enough money for ticket home if she balks. Who knows, you might enjoy it and enjoy the babysitting you get out of it.
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Reply to Julis007
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If your aunt is healthy i would suggest she rent an elderly apartment near yiu. They have income limits and are more affordable but have activities and ways to meet people and have fun. Thus is a good opportunity really! Rather than waiting until she needs more support. I wish my cousin agreed to thus 5 years ago
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Reply to Peggy52
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Davenport May 3, 2021
I like your thoughts. But for perspective, my father's dad moved from Small Town Ohio to San Diego to be close to his son and his granddaughters. My dad scouted the closest, nicest apartment; but he'd lived in large houses most of his life and had collected a lot of nice (large, of course) antique furniture. He moved every scrap of it into that apartment; the granddaughters (young adults) were thrilled to furnish their own new apartments with his furniture! However, it just wasn't possible for him to be comfortable there--WAY too much of a culture change for a 70+ y/o man. Within a year or so, he moved into his son's (and his wife's/our mom's and 3 girls' home) for about 5 years. It sure wasn't ideal, but we all lived through it. There are no ideal choices, and every situation is unique. Dad went to work every day, and mom (a partial empty-nester and enjoying herself), was the full-time caretaker, and wasn't thrilled. That's informed me about my own caretaking of my now 90+ y/o mom, who didn't herself like being the caretaker, but is now dependent on 2 60+ y/o daughters; and I had to sever relations with both my sisters and my mom after the first 5 years me being full-time caretaker due to disagreements about difficult medical and quality-of-life care and lack of any emotional or physical support. It's tough times. Exposes ALL of our emotional 'weaknesses' and forces tough life choices about family.
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It is good that you know upfront that this will not work for you. Tell your Aunt now that you are only willing to host her for short visits and discuss how long and often short visits will be. Also, if and when she visits, you will need to know ahead of time when she is coming and for how long. She has other options so she needs to hit up those other people for longer stays. Tell her you are a private person and long stays won't work for your family dynamic. Tell her you fear that it will negatively affect the positive and loving relationship that you share now with her. I am very familiar with this type of situation. About 8 years ago, when my parents sold their house in PA, they had a small condo in Florida. My sister who lived near them in PA agreed to have them move their bedroom and living room furniture into her basement and live there for long stays (3 months or longer at a time). So they live in Florida and drive up to PA to stay with my sister's family when they want to visit their 4 children and 12 grandchildren. Well, they brought a lot of stuff that they did not want to part with. They over-filled her basement, kitchen, garage, attic, shed, etc. It is intrusive and they eat every meal together. My parents come and don't tell them when they plan to leave. My brother-in-law really hates it. My sister is completely stressed out by it. Their kids notice everything. My sister's relationship to her parents is very strained. And my parents have become stressed by it too. It has become worse over time. Once, my sister lashed out saying, "This is not your home! Your home is in Florida!" My brother-in-law had a nervous breakdown it got so bad. It obviously does not work for anyone. They sat down together and had a tough love talk but my parents got hurt feelings and continued to visit. They don't find different solutions. They could visit with other daughters that welcome them but they prefer the daughter that doesn't want them. They have all their things there and the family is calm and well-mannered (the best hosts). It's a mess. Don't let this happen to you. Nip it in the bud, please!
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Reply to Chrismci
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Davenport May 3, 2021
Oy, if I had been able to be so brave and do the same thing with my family. I wasn't, because of the family emotional dynamics. Shoving/denying emotions is SO unhealthy, but that was the family I was born into.
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Your aunt is not homeless. She owns a house, which she plans to rent out in order to finance spending a portion of the year living abroad based on the presumption that she can stay at your house during the months when she'd like to be in the United States. Caring for an aging relative who needs help/support is one thing. Subsidizing an unaffordable lifestyle choice is another. I'd be honest with her and explain that what she proposing won't work for you and your family.
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Reply to mamadak
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Gently tell her the truth.

Be specific, so she understands the boundaries...

For example,

”Auntie, we would love to host you for a long weekend three or four times a year, but I feel like a longer stretch might strain our close friendship and also change my immediate. family dynamic. There are some lovely all-inclusive corporate apartments just ten minutes away and they currently cost $—— per month. If you stay there, we will still be able to get together often and spend quality time.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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Davenport May 4, 2021
If only I'd had that luxurious relationship with my two sisters [who are now the sole makeup of our mom's caretaking system, less 4 hrs. in the morning/5 times a week.] We were never modeled how or learned to express emotions in the nuclear family, so now at 66, we're all estranged. I had to leave. I was the first and only full-time caretaker for 5 years, going through mom's rapid and many successions of multiple strokes, falls/surgeries, countless 911 calls ["don't take a chance, if you suspect, call/minutes matter", with mom 'don't call, don't call, the neighbors will know/I'm embarrassed'; v. "she can't live/should never be left alone"], the 'can't drive anymore' phase, and all of the equivalent emotional upheavals for my mom; plus I'd very recently separated from a 30+ year relationship (and home) and a 35+ year career due do becoming teched out, and MAJOR financial trauma. I've come to understand that as I/we age, I really believe we each should step up fearlessly and plan for our own phase of this life, and not burden future generations. I didn't have kids, but my entire life now has been mostly living with old, dependent folks. I'm one of them now, worried about my own financial and emotional survival. Time to get political and cultural about this, in my opinion. We are old people taking care of even older people and 'old people' taking care of grandchildren. Because we're living longer and many of us members here are in the 'sandwich generation' of science/longer lives and simultaneously caring for grandchildren and/or parents. We've never known the concept of contented retirement, and never will. Oops, this IMHO just became political. I'd say, either have a healthy family emotionally (or don't have one), and/or change our cultural, social, and financial safety nets in the form of public government support. Tough questions.
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Absolutely set a limit in a straightforward way and follow up in writing. Be loving and clear. If your aunt does not like the reality, it does not make the reality incorrect. Your family shouldn't have to pay for it.

My mom is from Puerto Rico, similar culture. She and her sisters and nieces of similar age, spent their 60's and 70's staying in each other's houses for months on end, sometimes to care for each other when they were ill but mostly just to be with each other.

All of that to say, set your limits now. And find out what her plan is for when she can't take care of herself. You might be in for a surprise. But it will be better to talk about it now.
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Reply to Peggyloo
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I’ve been thinking about this some more, and I am wondering about your aunt’s current mental health.

Perhaps this isn’t just unreasonable. Perhaps in the old non-PC language, it literally is crazy. Yes, she might be checking you out as an heir to her fortune. However she might also be on the way to sending herself broke in your house with no local income and serious debt and health issues.

I’m 73, and not stupid, but I would cringe from the problems of owning a mortgaged apartment in another country, planning to start up a business with no knowledge of the legal requirements where it would operate, and inviting myself to live for months with a niece.

Auntie is 75. You are not suggesting that she has ‘money to burn’ (to quote another poster), or a backup of legal, accounting and financial management staff behind her, so this would all be on her own. At least I have a capable husband, and she doesn’t appear to have even that!

I really do suggest that you talk this through with her sisters’ daughters – presumably your cousins. Try to get a handle on what is going on here. It doesn’t make sense, the way that auntie has put it to you. Use all the family resources to check.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Davenport May 4, 2021
Yeah, it's not 'politically correct'. But I think that 'politically correct' is a LOT like the emotionally immature, Victorian 'this is awkward and difficult, so let's sweep it under the rug/bury it/be lazy' that SO damaged me in my own lifetime.
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forward what you just wrote --to HER.
Then suggest that you talk about it BEFORE any plans are made.
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Reply to Bethanycares
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She may be doing a test drive on both you as her future caregiver and you as her future heir.
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Reply to BikerBob
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Hmm...I'm facing 71, so not far behind....and I think this is a big ask. I don't understand those that don't make arrangements for when they age. We all know it will happen, and for those that think our children are responsible for our care in later years needs a reality check. It is our responsibility. You have your life and your immediate family to consider first and foremost, and you can certainly love someone and also maintain boundaries. Kindly explain you would love to have her visit for the short term, but anything longer would put a strain on your family. Then possibly discuss her plans for the future......house hopping is not exactly a viable option.
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Reply to Abby2018
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Sounds like she really needs live-in help. She's lucky that she has a house to share. Maybe you could help her located/interview roommates. And clearly define the role and what it entails. Write up a preliminary contract and read it to her. Even make her sign/initialize it. Give her a few days to read it. Tell her "these are your options." You could add an option of a limited-time visit with you per year, so that she understands your position. Both of you need to face reality. And 75 is still young! In time, she can get to know her care-giver, and feel comfortable with her. My aunt was very unhappy with nursing home care, and did not live very long after her son forced her into one. She should have been allowed to die in her own home.
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Reply to marte48
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You need to know your own position and state it plainly. Your aunt may be shocked and disappointed, but you will have established your boundaries and remained in control.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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I suspect she is afraid of being alone as she ages further. I had a similar situation with my mother who was 2 hours away. I set very firm boundaries in a loving way and then discussed how we could make her feel safe while in her own home (refused assisted living). She found a handyman and a caregiver who were willing to stop by and check on her every few days in the beginning. Towards the end, the caregiver came daily and finally, stayed most of the time in her last few weeks. She can either develop a community around her to help or go to an assisted living situation with short visits with you.
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Reply to Ethicist1949
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Sounds like a manipulative free loader to me. This will be big trouble.

May I suggest you inform her there are really good hostels ( if there are any in your home town ) where she can stay at and meet folks from all over the world ( they are usually very safe and you meet very interesting men and women there).
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Reply to Christservant
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Beatty May 2, 2021
I loved my the hosteling I did in my 20's! People of all ages. Great for extraverted, maybe not so much for quieter types.. I introduced my daughter to the concept, but alas, Covid hit & grounded us all. Great future idea though, especially if the Aunt is an adventurous type.

Re your freeloading warning.. my single SIL now lineups holidays with her newphews & nieces. A real win/win as they outgrow parents & she has company. But there has been a little hint here & there about her future care.. 🤔
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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
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Oh dear. You must be blunt with her or you will have a permanent resident in your home. Tell her unequivocally “no way!” You will be sorry your weren’t firmer with her when months turn into years. And suppose she lives a long time and has health problems? Somewhere and sometime you will have to do something, so better now before you have to ask her to leave. Take my word for it! It never turns out good for the one who takes in a relative. That’s why they have assisted living. Plenty of company and companionship there and she can still be independent.
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Reply to nymima
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I also have an aunt who is good hearted, but does not like to be told "no." She is 85 and the youngest of all her siblings, and was always a bit spoiled and bossy. I have a lot of empathy for her, because I am bossy myself (smile). She thinks it is acceptable to just insert herself into situations where she has not been invited. The last time I set a limit on her visit, she had a melt down and slammed the phone down in my ear. However, she later accommodated my request regarding the length of her stay. What I am saying is, expect blow back and stand firm.

Also, if your aunt is afraid of not having anyone to take care of her then have a frank discussion with her about her end-of-life plans, will, long term care plans, etc. That's something I am planning to do with my own aunt, but I'm expecting blowback there as well. Again, stand firm, set limits, give as much love as you can.
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Reply to horticulturist
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Just tell her that you would love for her to come for a visit for _______ weeks. Let her know that longer than that is a problem for your family life with a young child in the home. End on a note that you love her very much, wish her the best in her plans, and to call to make arrangements for her visit with you.
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Reply to Taarna
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Are you her POA? If not, has she made arrangements for herself if she is not able to care for herself? She needs to think about how to manage her life as a single person. She should make sure she has all of her paperwork in place: living will, will, POA for financial and medical matters, and financial institutions also have their own POA forms. Medicare and Social Security also need to have the POAs name on file as someone who can speak on her behalf. Has she looked into senior residences? Some have independent and assisted living facilities. This may be the best option for someone who does not have a strong support structure. If you are her POA and she needs help caring for herself at some point, it will be easiest for you if she is in a senior facility near you.
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Reply to NancyIS
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You need to be clear on your needs and set clear boundaries. "IF" you make decisions based on fear of hurting her feelings or ruining the relationship, you will NOT get your needs met. How she handles her feelings and situations (moving here and there) are HER choices.
* Tell her or assist her in locating local Air B n B's. Many lovely ones.

* Tell her how much you care and love her, then tell her that you'll make your home available for A VISIT (for a specific length of time). If you think she might move in for a visit and 'not leave,' do not allow her to stay for even a visit.
* If you do what you DO NOT want to do, you will ruin / upset the relationships you have now - with yourself, your family / husband, and the aunt.
* Privacy and boundaries are critically important.
* The most respectful communication is clearly expressed. Confidently express your needs and boundaries, sharing in a kind, loving, although straight-forward way. She certainly didn't have ANY difficulty telling YOU what she is doing.

* And . . . AFTER ALL, she didn't even ask you ! She told you she was moving in. This is inappropriate, and disrespectful of YOU, and your family. She is responsible for how her decisions pan out. You are taking on 'her' feelings and this is not your place nor responsibility.

* She apparently has the energy, ability, and contacts/friends who will take her in. Your aunt is way way out of line to invite herself for a month or longer without asking you. This behavior shows absolutely NO RESPECT AND NO CONCERN for you, your family, children, husband. Gena
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Reply to TouchMatters
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RedVanAnnie May 2, 2021
I certainly agree that aunt is way out of line to invite herself to visit or to move in. I like your point about not making decisions based on fear of hurting her (or anyone's) feelings. Scarlet123 needs to know where she stands and be able to say so.
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Two letter make a complete sentence: NO.

You don't need to justify anything. It's your life, your home. Just NO.

Get brochures for IL and AL places, senior apartments, care-giving agencies, etc., and hand them to her. She already has a place or two to live in, so paying for another isn't on her radar. She's relying on your "good" relationship to step in and be her future insurance. Not one day, because today is fleeting - at midnight it becomes a new day and she will just keep staying. Nope.
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Reply to disgustedtoo
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Ma'am! You say no. It's not an option. Then offer to help her sell her house and give her brochures for independent senior living facilities. Then stick to your NO.
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Reply to ML4444
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As Nancy Regan once said, "Just say NO". She may love you dearly but she is not showing it by casually assuming that you put your life and family aside while she moves in for a while (who knows how long that really will be). And her statements about her future ...... look out .... I think she has you on her radar. As another poster said those of us without children or family will have to make our own arrangements before we hit the threshold of needing care (and having children doesn't guarantee that they will or should be burdened with your care!)

Tell her nicely but firmly that living with your and your family will not be possible (yeah.... I know she doesn't think she will disrupt your life but a guest (even one your have welcomed) in the house is a disruption) while she is renting her apartment is not possible. You have sent patterns and plans as a family (even if you have the room for a guest) Before she has a chance to begin to protest and look sorrowful.... pull out the nice brochures on all the extended stay hotels and AnB locations that you've researched.

Your home .... your rules and you owe your primary allegiance to the man you chose to marry and to the daughter to whom you gave birth.

Good luck and remember you are going to have to stay strong on this and not cave in on tears, whimpers and protestations of how shocked and hurt she is feeling. She will get over it although she may hold a grudge for a bit.
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Reply to geddyupgo
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Here is what I would say: Aunt, I understand your concerns. I want to help you plan for your aging needs. I believe that should be moving into assisted living. But It doesn't include living with me and my family
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Reply to MsRandall
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No one should invite themselves to even visit, let alone live for an extended period, someone else's home. It is selfish and presumptuous of your aunt to expect friends or relatives to take care of her as she ages. You need to let your aunt know from the beginning, that your home is not an option. She may very well be worried about her future, but arranging for her own care is her responsibility , not yours.
Your refusal to take your aunt in might affect your relationship with her, but so would letting her live in your home when you don't want her to be there.
As a single widow in my late 70's with neither children nor nieces and nephews, I am not unsympathetic to your aunt's concerns, but expecting others to take over one's care is irresponsible. Those of us on our own have to pay for care or appeal to charity if we have no resources.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie
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disgustedtoo May 2, 2021
"...arranging for her own care is her responsibility , not yours."
Yes. Old cultural (DR) ways may be at play, but that doesn't mean one has to take on that role.

As for having kids or not, or other relatives to rely on, nope. I have two adult kids and have already told them NO WAY should they be taking me in.

This woman has TWO apartments and plans to start a business. She should be quite capable of figuring out where she will live.

When the topic comes up, have brochures for any ILs, senior apartments, etc and hand them to her. No discussion, just hand them over!
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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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Reply to LonelyOnlyChild
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