Life Advice



Assisted Living Homes: Proceed With Caution

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I have a wedding invitation etiquette question.

My niece is getting married and has only invited five of her six cousins. The one cousin not invited happens to be one of my sons. I am very upset that she has chosen not to invite him. We have not had many family gatherings since the pandemic. My mother passed last year, and the funeral was our last gathering.

This niece no longer has any grandparents alive -- only cousins, aunts and uncles -- and this could be the only family celebration for quite some time.

I know this is her big day, but to exclude only one cousin is very upsetting to me. I have expressed my concerns to her, yet she still chooses not to invite him. Is it proper etiquette to exclude a family member from this event? Any advice would be appreciated. -- Concerned Aunt

Dear Concerned Aunt: Did she give a reason why she didn't invite your son? It is understandable that you are upset. It is not proper etiquette to exclude your son. However, your niece might have had a bad experience with your son, and she thinks his presence would be toxic or somehow ruin her big day. She might also be cutting back on costs.

It is great that you expressed your concern, but I would talk to her again to find out the reason, and if she refuses to say anything and insists on excluding your son, you have to decide whether it is worth it to you to go to the wedding under those circumstances.


Dear Annie: When my husband died, my son and daughter-in-law put me in what was supposed to be one of the best homes for the aged. My husband of 45 years died unexpectedly. I was 68 at the time, and I was in shock. I did need some guidance.

The first year I was there, I just did as I was told. However, anyone who knew me would know that was not the place for me. My mind was not damaged.

I am writing to offer advice to people who are thinking about sending their relatives to a nursing home. Make sure the place has a reputation for honesty. I am in a home where too many of my belongings have gone missing.

First, my husband's coffee cups disappeared. Then clothes, food, money and books -- things you could fit in a hand -- went missing. When I reported the losses to the head of the place, she told me I was the only one having these problems. But that same day, I said something about it to a fellow resident and was told that this happened almost every day.


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