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My mother lives with me and her and her sister used to talk about living with each other when they were old. Mind you, this was over 30 years ago when they would have these talks. A few years ago my aunt came to visit and made a joke about if her husband dies, she'd come live with us. We kind of laughed it off and didn't respond. My mom does not want her to live with us and I don't either.



My aunt's husband just died and she asked if she could have an extended visit at our home because she doesn't know where to go. She does have health problems and probably shouldn't live alone, however she also has four children. She has her own home and one of her children lives nearby. I called one of her kids and explained why she can't come for a long visit but that my mom could visit her for a short time so she isn't alone but I'm afraid she's going to try and come to my home at the end of my mother's visit. Her and my mother will probably get into a fight if they spend too much time together, as well. They were close when they were young but have had several fights through the years and gone long periods without speaking.



She can't live here, I work fulltime and am barely keeping my head above water managing my mom and her needs, doctor appointments, 'behavior'. My aunt has complex health needs and I imagine a lot of doctor appointments, etc. How do I nicely explain to my cousins that she is their responsibility ?

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This is an old post which covers a long and changing complex situation. It's probably not a good idea to bring it back up - better for OP to start a new thread, from the current situation onwards.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Dear cousins, I am struggling to take care of my own mother while working. You are going to have to make arrangements for your own mother as I cannot take on that responsibility. Whether you take her in or you place her somewhere is your call. Do let me know what you decide so that we can make sure the sisters are able to keep in touch. Zoom, facetime, cards and letters, etc.

Once you are knee deep into it, call me and we can commiserate with one another.

Simple as that. What come back could they possibly have...it's their mother!
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JoAnn29 Jan 27, 2023
Yes, this post started April of 2022. OP has stepped back from this Aunt. OP has a f/t job and caring for her own mother. Has no idea why this Aunt feels OP should do for her. She has her own children and siblings. OP has handled the situation.
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OMG just looked at the original date of your post, April! Where did that time go? And why now, because of the holidays, she wants an invite? Really, you know you cannot do these type of people any favors. It opens the door. Or they think so. Such a shame people do not see that what they say and do or don't do drives people away.

I do feel guilty about not inviting a friend to Christmas dinner. There was enough food and room. But she was such a downer at times. And took the littlest kindness from someone and thought they wanted to be her forever friend. It was sad. She made her problems. She was her own worst enemy. Yep, she would have expected it every Christmas. I am not sure if she was invited anywhere, she was estranged from her kids. So, I know how you feel with this Aunt.
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Just say no.
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Reply to Hothouseflower
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See if quiet resumes or the little requests start up again.

Don't be tempted to get 1% involved.

If Aunt A starts again with requests for Aunt B in any way it may be time for a blunt chat again. "I don't help at all with Aunt B anymore".

Suggest a taxi.
Let them decide to use or not.
Consequences are theirs.
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Reply to Beatty
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So that was 30 years ago. Things change.
You cannot take care of 2 people, one is more than enough.
Tell them politely or not, it is not feasible.
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Reply to Evamar
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Leave a voicemail on your phone letting them know you MOVED AWAY and left no forwarding address.

The nerve of some people is mind-boggling; to be calling you multiple times a day and expecting you to drop what you're doing and be their delivery/drop off service is beyond absurd.
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EmotionallyNumb Dec 14, 2022
And it wasn't even for anything important! Furthermore, Aunt still hasn't unpacked the boxes from when she moved in to the apartment six months ago, what could be so urgent that she suddenly needs more boxes? They said that we packed the boxes too heavy for her to lift but we just told them to take one thing off the top of the box at a time and eventually they will get through the boxes.
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Emotionally, just say no. You found out that B Aunt is capable of getting herself transportation. Why could not A Aunt take the boxes over? Or is she the one close to B Aunt in age.

The next time A Aunt calls, tell her you do not want to be involved with A Aunts problems. You don't have the time. Tell A Aunt if B Aunt is overwhelming her, she needs to tell her sister she needs to do it herself or enter an AL where she can be cared for. You have your Mom and a job, enough on your plate. Time for cousins and Aunts children to get involved.
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EmotionallyNumb Dec 14, 2022
No, she's actually like 15 years younger, she's just an uber hermit. She can drive and has a car but has neglected renew her license for about a year. As far as I am aware, the cousins still aren't speaking to their mom.
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So A was recruited as B's 'flying monkey'? But then a taxi ride sorted it out easily instead? Hmm. Something smells fishy..
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Some weird things happened with my aunt over the last week. One of my other aunts (A) called me last weekend, 8 days ago, and asked me take some boxes over to this aunt's (B) house, Aunt B is the one the whole thread is about. The boxes were at A's house and needed to go to B's house. I said maybe in a couple of days I could drop them off but that I was busy for the next couple of days. Then Aunt A tells me that she wants me to call her before going over B's house so that she can call and let B know that I am on the way. I asked why and A said so that B can put some stuff on the patio that she wants me to take back over to A's house. I also said why don't I just call B when I am on the way instead of using A as the middle man? A didn't have an answer for this. So then as the weekend goes on, A calls at least five times to check on when we are going to drop the boxes off.
So as time passes, I started to get annoyed and I realized the reason that B wants us to call A when we are on the way over is so she can avoid us and not answer the door or see us when we are running her errand. While I don't want to see B, I find it very offensive that she is trying to use another person to get me to run an errand for her, then wants me to call this person when I am almost to her house so she can have a warning to hide from me. And she can't answer the phone when I am taking time out of my busy day to do her a favor?
So while I am taking some time figuring out how I want to proceed in this situation, Aunt A keeps calling 3-4 times per day probably Aunt B's behest. This is not an emergency, it's just some boxes and I never committed to a day or time when A called last weekend. I finally answered one of A's calls on Wednesday and she said that B had decided to take a cab over and get the boxes herself. I thought, perfect, problem solved! All was quiet for 3 days, now A has started calling again. What little game has B come up with now?
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CTTN55 Dec 12, 2022
Aunt A is similar to when your mother was trying to get you to do things for Aunt B. Aunt A has probably become overwhelmed with Aunt B's demands. I suggest you do the same as you had to do with your mother, which is refuse to participate in doing things for Aunt A that pertain to Aunt B.
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EN, so proud of your successful extraction from elder demands!

I did have one question, though (which you may not know the answer to) -- do your mother and your aunt regularly communicate? Or has your aunt cut down on that, too, since your mother isn't going to get you to do things for her sister.
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EmotionallyNumb Oct 3, 2022
They haven't talked at all since about the end of June. I actually don't have caller ID hooked up to the house phone so it's possible aunt has called and we don't know it. She hasn't called my cellphone or sent any messages on facebook, though. I know she has been active on facebook because that's how she sent my cousin a message. I have another aunt that has been spending time with her who has been very quiet lately, I'm guessing this aunt doesn't want her giving us any information so that's why she's been quiet.
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EN, I'm glad that this part of the "not-your-family-drama" is behind you!
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Nothing new to report, I haven't seen or talked to her since my last post. I have heard that she messaged one of my cousins one facebook and asked that the cousin have her mom call her. She apparently wanted a ride somewhere, I'm guessing probably a long distance. What struck me as funny about this is that she has this family member's phone number. She was able to call her from the psych ward so she knows how to find their number. Her asking this family member to call her instead of just calling seems a bit gamey, like shes trying have the upper hand by them being the ones to call, but whatever. I also heard that her son assumed the mortgage on her house and gave her some money for it but I dont know how much. I haven't talked to any of her kids in several months either. Everything seems pretty good in my world right now.
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Just say it. Simple.
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What's the latest on this drama?
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Reply to XenaJada
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She wanted someone to call her to ask if she wanted a ride. They didn't so now she is sulking.

Had a friend that felt this way, people should come to her not her ask. It was always, poor me.
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lkdrymom Aug 30, 2022
I think you are right. She wanted someone to 'beg' her to come and make the gathering about her. My father had no interest in going to birthday parties that were not for him.
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We had a get together for one of my uncles bday over the weekend at a local park. Aunt was invited and told to call one of my other aunts if she wanted a ride. Apparently the aunt that told her about said she was excited and going to come but then the day of the event she never answered her phone or called any one for a ride. My mentally ill aunt has been the one most in contact with her and was very insistent on trying to have the get together in her yard but everyone else wanted to go to the park so that's what we did.

I am glad aunt was invited so that she had a chance to be around the other siblings if she wanted. It was her choice to come or not and ultimately she chose not to, so if she's lonely or trying to feel sorry for herself she has to realize that the ball was in her court.
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Beatty Aug 30, 2022
There was a poster who's MIL would constantly be a no-show, even when offered a ride. Later dx with vascular dementia.. could not remember when event was, spent days choosing an outfit, but lack of mobility to wear it. But mostly embarrassment over worsening incontinence.

You may or may not ever find out why Aunt didn't attend.

Your boundaries are holding up so well!
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I have not heard anything from aunt since my last post. I did get a text from one of her kids asking for the number to her apartment manager so I just sent that and didn't ask any questions. I assume she's not answering the phone or responding to their emails or facebook messages. My mom is planning to over to aunt's with one of her sisters next week and drop off some food. She says she just wants to check on her if she has her other sister with she doesn't think aunt will be too clingy.

I am a bit curious about a few things but I am learning not to ask questions because it can just draw you in more. My mom has been more moody than usual the last few days, I really think her moods make her medical issues worse. And if she feels guilty about that makes her feel physically worse. I just keep my mouth shut about most of my opinions but she knows I won't be anything to help with aunt.
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CTTN55 Aug 14, 2022
I was just thinking about you the other day. You and erzoolie are real success stories here! If you find anything good out after your mother's upcoming visit to her sister with another sister next week, let us know.

And good for you for continuing to maintain the boundary of not doing anything to help out with aunt! I wouldn't be surprised if the other sister can't go for one reason or another, and then your mother will try to get you to take her. I know you will stand strong if this happens.
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Almost 2 weeks and nothing from your Aunt?

No, she is not embarrassed, she is hoping you come to the rescue.
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She hasn't tried to get a hold of us since my mom talked to her last Sunday. One thing I did find interesting was that we were talking to my Ml aunt on friday and on this list that I gave my aunt, the very first thing I put on it was to call the county and set up an appointment to see if she qualified to have a personal care attendant paid for. My MI aunt said that this aunt had talked about it with the crisis worker and decided not to do that right now. Why not? It makes no sense to be why she wouldn't pursue that. She doesn't drive, she claims she cant work her internet or grocery shop, she doesnt want to unpack, clean or cook. These are all things a home home worker could assist with. She also went around to three of her neighbors to see if they could fix her internet. My MI aunt was concerned she hadn't paid her rent yet so she called the office to check and my aunt told her not to call the office anymore. Could this aunt possibly be embarrassed? I don't recall her having any feelings of embarrassment when she was crawling across one the busiest streets in town so she could drag herself into my workplace thinking to try to get me to take her six hours away to see a daughter who doesnt want to see her and had no idea she was going to try and come there.
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PeggySue2020 Jul 18, 2022
EN, I suggest detaching yourself from all that other family members tell you about Aunt. It serves no purpose other than gossip.
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Posting to bring it back to top. I need to know where this all ends up leading. Its like a soap opera. 😊

So today is the 14th and Aunts been good for 4 days? I so hope so EM.
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Bookmarketinf
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When I got up today, my mom said that she no longer wanted to go over to my aunt's. She said she got caught up in worrying about and feeling like she needed to take care of her. So we decided to just slip the list under her door and then called her and told her we weren't coming. Aunt sounded depressed and sad on the phone but like she was trying to do some things on her own. I do feel sorry for her, that she's lonely and overwhelmed but I get a feeling of panic in the pit of my stomach when I think of seeing her. It's just not a halfway situation with her, either she cries and tells you all her problems, wants to see you all the time and will call every time she has an issue or you have to have almost have no contact with her. One of her daughters said she will order groceries for her and help her with paying bills and her son apparently said he would help with selling her house but she needs to be the one to reach out to them. We told her to just keep the conversation to these things and not talk about any of their other issues right now. I gave her the number to call and schedule an appointment for an assessment to see if she qualifies for PCA services. I gave her the number for the bus for elderly and handicapped services. I gave her daughter the info she needs to pay her rent online.
This situation kind of ruined my weekend so I'm heading into a long week feeling tired and stressed out. I work nine hour days M-T so that I can have a shorter day on Fridays during the summer. Then I schedule appointments for my second job on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I fit in my homework around this stuff. If I am not at work, I take my mom and my dog pretty much everywhere with me. I need one day on the weekend to sleep in and kind of take it easy most of the day. In the summer, I try to do something fun one day per weekend, I'll include my mom if I can but somethings she just can't participate in. I love my day job, I could make more money somewhere else but I would rather like my job and the people that I work with than make a couple more dollars an hour. I left an awful work environment to come here and I don't regret it all. So that is pretty much my life, the time I have free is basically on the weekend and a couple evenings a week but my mom usually keeps me somewhat busy those times and I have to take off work sometimes for her appointments so not always a lot of time there either. My dog also has some health issues and is kind of needy so she takes a fair amount of time, too. I don't think I can do anymore than we've done.
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To quote my very wise late mom: "some people are their own worst enemies."
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EmotionallyNumb Jul 10, 2022
I completely agree! I am definitely my own worst enemy too.
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Yes, I thought that Aunt already got a list. I think I may call the crisis worker. Tell her what you were told. Get her side.

You don't buy an AL apartment but you do "buy into" a Community, usually IL, then an AL and then finally a NH. Actually 90k is cheap if this is what crisis worker is talking about. And get mad because Aunt doesn't have the money? Doesn't Aunt own her house? What is being done with that?

I agree, if Mom wants to help, let her but without you. Make it plain that anything Mom agrees to is all on her. You ARE NOT getting involved. That means Mom will need to find her own rides to Aunts. Mom is not to figure you into any plans she and Aunt make. Your answer will always be no. If Mom can't do it, her answer needs to be no. Aunt has children of her own who should be doing for her. You are not using your free time to fetch and carry for her. Stick by your guns because once you let ur guard down, it will be hard to say no.
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Isthisrealyreal Jul 10, 2022
I think that Auntie has disconnected from her children because they won't let her live with them.

So, Auntie doesn't have her children's help, by her choice.
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Not like we didn’t see this coming and we all knew mom was the weakest link. Make the list and make 10 copies. Next time she loses it you can mail her one. How did mom take the news that she was going alone without a chauffeur?
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EmotionallyNumb Jul 10, 2022
She ended up changing her mind on her own about seeing aunt in person so I just slid the list under aunt's door and had my mom call her to tell her we weren't coming.
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"She said aunt was very *contrite* and wants us to come over tomorrow..."

Contrite? How so? What did aunt say? What reasons did she give for wanting you and your mom to go see her? Seems like ner usual bait and trap tactics.

Does your mom know you won't be driving her to aunt's place? If not, what are you going to tell mom when she puts pressure on you?
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EmotionallyNumb Jul 10, 2022
Well her initial reason was that she wanted help unpacking but my mom told her we wouldn't be doing that. She has a bunch of boxes in her apartment still but most of it is kitchen stuff she didn't want to get rid of. The problem is that she is trying to fit stuff from a kitchen from a 4 bedroom house into a one bedroom apartment.
She seemed contrite by saying she realized she needed to do more and ask less of people and she apologized for some things. Mom actually changed her mind on her own so that was good.
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The crisis worker is upset with your aunt? She's even running off the social services people...wow!

Good for you for refusing to participate in any informational meeting with your two aunts. Shame on your mother for STILL trying to help by getting you involved.

Haven't you already given your aunt the list of places and phone numbers to access help? But, yes, giving them a list is a good act on your part. Will your mother actually make her own arrangements to get to aunt's apartment?

BTW, my mother was the same way about accessing my area's ride service. One time we were at the coumadin clinic, and she mused, "What do people do who don't have daughters?" There was no way that SHE would ever take a handi-ride van. I was "forced" to become her driver, and she was not happy when I set strict limits on my chauffering her around.
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EmotionallyNumb Jul 10, 2022
My mom will take the bus sometimes and the I will meet her or pick her after the appointment. It's just not always possible to get the time off work. My aunt will have to adjust or she will burn $50 in taxi rides for something that could have been free. She probably overwhelmed or burned out the crisis worker. She thinks that there is money available for free for every need a person has and it's just not how it works.
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The crisis worker story is your aunt's say-so, right?

I'll bet the truth is something different.

It sounds like you've taken the first step towards getting out of your somewhat enmeshed relationship with your mom. Well done.
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EmotionallyNumb Jul 10, 2022
I told my mom this is part of her pattern with my aunt. She feels sorry for her and worries she's being taken advantage of so she tries to 'rescue' and ends up feeling angry and resentful. I said when she agrees to do something she is in effect obligating me to do something because she needs to help to accomplish it. I said I am not part of her and aunt's pattern and I do not want to drug into it.
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So my mom answered the phone when aunt called today. She said aunt was very contrite and wants us to come over tomorrow along with my mentally ill aunt. My mom wants me to make a list of phone numbers for my aunt to call for help and services. Apparently the crisis worker has started to avoid her and is upset with her for not going to an assisted living apartment where she would have to buy a 90k apartment. Aunt doesnt even have 90k.

Mom said she told aunt that we aren't going to do things for her but did agree that she (and I, who was not home at the time) would come over tomorrow. I told my mom all the reasons I dont think that is a good idea and she counters with aunt is all alone, this is her sister, she is not going to get involved to the same level as before, yadda yadda yadda.

Ive been upset about this all evening and have come to the conclusion that my mom may feel she needs to be involved and there is nothing I can do to change that. However, that doesnt mean I need to be involved. I decided I will write out the list she wants but I'm not going over to her apartment. I also won't be driving my mom over there, she can figure out how to get back and forth. This is exactly how we got involved in this circus to begin with. Aunt would ask my mom a question, mom would try to get me to figure out and plan aunt's life. Her whole life is a logistical nightmare. I dont wish bad things for her but I am not willing to spend my little free time on her.
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Beatty Jul 10, 2022
I think your stance is good.

Say Mom, you can do/say/act as you need to. I will do same.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to say "I don't agree, therefore I will not participate".

(I have had to do this. Hard but necessary).

Writing out lists, phone numbers etc can be your last input. Mom can take (not you).
Agree not to even drive there.
I think if you are literally in sight - you will be roped in.
A fall, chest pain - any other 'attention seeking' behaviours to get her way/lure in 'the help'.

I was told once (by a mental health nurse) siblings of a severely mentally ill person often become over-involved & enmeshed, supporting the ill one or have to go to the other extreme, to 'grey rock' & keeping very strong boundaries, as the ill one needs can be all encompassing. I feel your mentally ill Aunt is a sitting duck for enmeshment! It is she who will be roped in & eaten alive next. But this is past your area of involvement.

I feel this pressure will only end once Aunt has burnt through all her relatives & crises forces her into care.

Strength to you today.
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