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Redditor Forces Elderly Parents To Pick Between Moving Into Furnished Garage Or Nursing Home

Elderly man caressing elderly woman.
Image Source/Getty Images

As we grow older, and watch our parents age, it becomes natural to want to be there for them, like they were there for us, helping them out however we can.

In many cases, this might mean having one or more of your parents move back in with you.

No matter how strong a relationship you might have had with your parents, this is almost guaranteed to pose some challenges.

Redditor Old_Programmer_5669 was more than willing to have their parents move back in with them, believing they had just the right place to put them.

However, upon arriving at the original poster (OP)’s house, their parents were less than thrilled to discover where they would be staying.

Resulting in the OP giving them an ultimatum.

Wondering if they were being unfair, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA because I told my parents to choose between living in my garage or a nursing home.”

The OP explained why they didn’t take too kindly to their parent’s response to their designated area in their house.

“I don’t drive and live in my forever house with my dogs.”

“My kids are grown up and I’m a widow.”

“I converted my garage into a legal guest house with everything a person needs for when the kids visit.”

“Independent washroom, kitchen, everything.”

“My parents have recently asked me if they can move in with me.”

“I agreed and talked to my kids to let them know that if they came for a visit the garage was taken so they would have to stay in the house.”

“My parents showed up on the appointed day and the kids showed up with their families to help get them moved in.”

“And they actually had already arranged a hotel for one family so we would not be crowded.”

“My parents were confused as to why we were moving their stuff into the garage.”

“I told them that was where they were staying.”

“They said that they thought they could move into my house since I have five bedrooms.”

“I explained that I actually have two bedrooms since one room is my office where I see clients, one is my private office, and one is my hobby room.”

“The spare bedroom is mostly for my mutts.”

“They said that they wanted to live in the house not out in the garage like Fonzie.”

“I said it was a take it or leave it situation.”

“If they didn’t want the garage they could move into a nursing home or something.”

“They are upset that they are living RENT FREE in a private guest house that is fully up to code.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

If there were some differing opinions, the Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for telling their parents that if they didn’t want to live in their garage unit, they could move to a nursing home.

Almost everyone agreed that the OP’s parents were being incredibly ungrateful, and should have felt flattered and lucky to be living in their converted garage, and their ultimatum was more than fair.


“If it’s a converted guest house that’s completely up to code I don’t see a reason that they would want to go into the house as everything you have in the house you have in the guest house too.”

“My friend recently turned her shed into a beautiful guest house, kitchen appliances, private bathroom the works, her parents are currently living there and they don’t have a problem with it.”

“They like the privacy and they like being close to their child.”- Snoo-53572


“This is not the garage.”

“This is a converted living space.”

“A FREE converted living space.”

“And Fonzie didn’t live in the garage.”

“He lived in an apartment above the garage.”- FuzzyMom2005

“Wow, your parents are spoiled.”

“A rent free, up to code apartment t sounds pretty sweet.”

“If it isn’t good enough for them, then they can make other arrangements.”

“But if you let them into your main house-it will become their house.”

“And you won’t be able to get away from them.”

“NTA.”- YouthNAsia63

“They wanted into.the main house for you to be their cook, maid and carer.”

“In the guest house they have to fend for themselves.”- No_Noise_5733

“Tell them ‘It’s my roof and you’ll do as I say’.”


“But honestly, a rent free place of their own where they’re not in your way and you’re not in theirs seems like the best deal for everyone.”

“Obviously there will be times when they visit you in the main house, but I think you’re being fair.”

“NTA.”- ktatsanon


“I’d be totally fine with that.”

“Rent free?”

“Sign me up.”

“I’ll adopt you and everything.”- chaingun_samurai


“You might not have made it totally clear that they would be in the guest house, not moving in with you.”

“Maybe make it clear that you want them to ‘maintain their independence’ and the guest house is the best way for that.”- TsuDhoNimh2

“NTA at all.”

“Frankly, if I were your parents, I would prefer the free, up-to-code, private apartment that comes with their own kitchen!”

“Plus, there wouldn’t be the worry of interrupting your work.”

“Not sure why they can’t just be appreciative of the opportunity you’ve offered to them.”

“Sorry you’re dealing with this headache.”- iadorecolonelbrandon


“I can see older people assuming they would live in the primary residence with you.”

“But, if you wanted a roommate, you’d already have gotten one, wouldn’t you?”

“I don’t think you are selfish.”

“I just can appreciate that older folks might just assume you are giving up some comforts for their sake.”

“I love my mama dearly.”

“Thank all the gods. My home has two sets of stairs.”

“My mama is not into stairs.”

“She’s had three back surgeries in the last 30 years.”

“So, she will never actually want to live in this house with me.”

“I’d certainly make the offer and convert all of downstairs into a MIL’s suite.”

“It has a separate entrance even.”

“But, I’m fine with the fact that she wouldn’t want to live here.”- AndSoItGoes24

There were a few, however, who felt that the OP could have communicated better that their parents would be living in the garage, not the house, even if they still felt their reaction was unfair.

“Why would they not know this before they showed up with their stuff?”

“ESH.”- Narrow-Moose-2565

“Sounds like you didn’t explain it fully to them.”- MuddyBoots472

“ESH for not having a convo about living arrangements until the day they moved in.”

“Situations like this come up all the time in AITA.”

“Don’t make big life decisions with other people without talking about it – marriage, kids, roommates, etc.”

“N.T.A for offering the garage.”- Moons17

Others felt that the OP was the a**hole for their behavior, not only feeling that the OP didn’t seem to make it clear to their parents that they would be living in the garage. Many also thought that the OP should have let their parents stay wherever they wanted in the house if they were willing to let them move in in the first place.

“It’s feeling like YTA tbh.”

“As others have said, things aren’t adding up about this story.”

“I honestly don’t think being upset about living in a garage, even if it’s converted into a living space, is that unexpected.”

“It doesn’t necessarily make someone an a**hole, especially if they didn’t expect it.”

“I do also want to say that you lived RENT-FREE in your parent’s home until you went to college or something.”

“That’s everyone, and it doesn’t mean your parents get to just live with you just because (and honestly I’d hate for my own parents to live with me) but I feel like there’s something odd about the concept of RENT FREE when you weren’t renting the space out anyway – none of the spaces you mentioned are being rented out… and you have FIVE bedrooms… with one for… your dogs..?”

“You don’t have to let your parents live under the same roof as you, but maybe be a little sympathetic to their reasoning and feelings of being insulted about it, especially if you didn’t communicate it.”

“I don’t think you really have a solid reasoning with the dogs, the private office, AND a hobby room… that’s 3 bedrooms used for personal reasons that don’t 100% necessitate them.”

“You live in a big house by yourself, and to your parents, it seems like you put them in a garage.”

“It doesn’t come off well, frankly.”- kimbabs

True, considering the OP has room to spare in their home, one can’t help but wonder why it really needs to be garage or bust.

Even so, it’s hard to see why the OP’s parents would be so disappointed with a fully renovated, up-to-code unit that they could call their very own.

Leading one to agree with those who believed that the OP’s parents thought moving in with the OP would mean they were waiting on them hand and foot.

If that is, in fact, what they were looking for, perhaps moving into a nursing home or retirement community would indeed be a better idea.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.