Follow
Share

Okay, so my dad lives with me for the last 15 months since breaking his neck and subsequent 9 months of sepsis issues and rehab. The PLAN is that he divorces my step mom (came to realize she stole loads of money while he was in hospital, plus his treatment before that), then we sell his house which is not conducive to his current physical needs then go to assisted living. this has been the plan for many months.

The problem - he joined an online dating site and met this woman who is so "boy crazy" like a 12 year old. they talk on the phone and message all day. the problem is that he plans on going to visit her. He is not allowed to drive and is about to get a hip replaced. He wants to take a bus to get there - it is 300 miles from our house!! or have her son drive here to get him.

This just has so many red flags to me. I wouldn't even feel comfortable with my capable 22 year old doing this! I have explained the concerns he won't listen. you would think he would have learned from before. as it is i can't even let him have his debit card. I have POA. I am sure this is bizarre but i don't know what to do and he is going next Monday.

Thanks!

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
It's pretty common for elders going through physical and emotional hardships as your Dad has been, to become irrational, start acting as if demented.
It may or not be permanent condition.
It may or not get better or worse.
At this time, though, you need to handle it as though he's demented--since that's what he's doing right now.

DO keep control of Dad's finances.
DO inform his Docs of his potentially dangerous behaviors and ask about evaluation for dementia--even if it's not a permanent condition, even if it's related to his on-going medical and emotional troubles-----tell the Docs you need their help to prevent Dad causing harm to himself or others---
---you need a Doc to declare Dad incompetent--even if it's just temporary right now--tell the Docs that--that you hope it's temporary due to his medical and emotional stresses. If the current Doc refuses to face that, find a new Doc, or talk with Social Services and tell them what's happening, and ask them how to get Dad declared incompetent for his safety.

You currently have POA,
BUT----if he hooks up with some weirdo, he could legally assign POA to anyone else, UNLESS he's already been declared incompetent----Including the wife he's not yet finished divorcing. If he's still legally married, hooking up with the new gal is pointless in some ways, but not if "she" gets his POA!

That he's having a hip replaced, oughta slow him down---he's not thinking clearly.
That could be related to dementia, or it could be all the other health issues he's had work on, with meds lingering in his system.
It could be his macho-ness, or OTHER health/mental health/ impulsivity issues going on.

In any case, he has no business sitting on a bus, confined spaces, at length---the Doc should be telling him this...
YOU can talk with the Doc doing his hip surgery, and get the Doc to tell Dad "You MUST avoid sitting for any length of time, and cannot travel for [make up a long time--a year?] "
--let the Doc know Dad has been trying to make some unsafe choices reguarding travel.

DO look up how singles sites and social media sites are dangerous
---people too often are NOT who they say they are.
Dad may also have lied online.

IF you can get into his singles account you might look for help doing that]---
---you could try emailing that "girlfriend", preferably from Dad's computer,
to let "her" know how broke you [Dad] are-- terrible sob-story in Dad's words---my soon-to-be ex wife stole everything; I'm permanently broke...and my health issues just keep going..."...that might be the fastest way to get the online honey to disappear.

When someone has made poor choices in partnerships/relationships, as it sounds like your Dad has----and at this age, especially----they are not gonna listen to anyone telling them "I researched your girlfriend, and she's bad" .
===That approach will most likely make him try harder to pursue that online honey, or to find another mate online.

Right now, he's trying to maintain who he imagines he's always been...
...still able to do everything same as always....trying to prove a point to himself, mostly.
Plenty elders do that....no matter that they had terrible track record with partners----it's all about Dad trying to make believe he's the same strong, active, macho guy as ever---cover up that his last marriage caved, etc..
==It's really about fear of losing ground----he's struggling with self image, losses of relationship, loss of autonomy, aging, illness--
---he's the last person who will recognize those feelings/fears, though---but his behaviors give it away.

If you do get some agency to sleuth "her",
it's more for your information, and might be useful if need to deal with police.
It would be good information, in case Dad does leave by trains, planes or bus, to call 911 to report a wandering elder in fragile medical condition---at that point, tell them he said he planned to take a bus to meet a woman he met online----and that you suspect an online predator----then give them a copy of the investigators report on "her", with as much other data as you could gleen from the online dating service & his computer.

Limits Dad needs:
Just like a teen, he needs to tell who he's with, where, and when to expect him home. That's just polite, responsible to those he lives with.
But it's also a potential life-saver for him.
Dad might have a small allowance, but not access to all assets, since he's making strange decisions and choices that could endanger his health and welfare....he's not thinking rationally [has he ever been rational?]
IF/When he can demonstrate his ability to be rational and accountable, then, only, he might regain priveleges, commensurate to his capabilities.

Please keep us posted how things go!
We're all waiting with baited breath to learn what happend!


.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It could be he is just lonely and so is she. And it could be she is a con artist. My MIL was involved with a man from church. He was her friend and had been for two years. He started getting serious and talking marriage. He also told her all sorts of crazy things like, he worked with the CIA, he had been to Afghanistan (now he was 78 at the time) and, best of all, he had a guardian angel. He really played on her religious beliefs.

So the red flags went up and the kids got involved. But according to the Miami police department, there wasn't much they could do if she decided to marry him. Fortunately, she loved her kids more than this goofy man. And it fell apart.

Good thing, he had been in jail and was living at the time he was conning my MIL with another woman. His brother, who is a judge in Ohio, told my BIL that this individual had been a con man his entire life.

I would talk to your dad and see what he tells you about the woman. If she seems normal or is she telling him crazy stuff. And most of all, is he giving her any money. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think we're all glad to hear from you! Whew, it sounds like you've dodged a bullet so far with your dad. Hang in there, he's lucky to have you watching out for him like you're doing!! Sorry about your uncle's passing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hey all sorry for the delay in getting you an update, my uncle passed away and i had to handle getting his arrangements completed for this week.

Here is what went down - no help from my sibs. my sister has young kids and is busy and brother is 3000 miles away was waiting for my dad to bring up this woman in a conversation. My dad - is not that dumb lol - .

Went to a therapy session (both dad and I). I FREAKED. and the therapist supported me. outlined what a terrible idea this is. I dont know how much he believed it but it did sink in cause he cancelled. By the end of the week and it was a long one, he had also lost his drivers license (i insisted early in his recovery that if he wanted to drive, he had to be tested. wasnt a great driver before the injury!).

so, he STILL is talking to this woman like mad. She is so odd. Did background check, nothing exciting. now he acts like he doesn't want anything to do with her but yet he texts and emails and calls all the time. I had to put a block on his phone so he doesn't call during all hours of night. He ends up talking so loud he wakes the house. I told him, just don't talk to her and she will get the idea.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Send the lady a picture of your Dad walking down the street with his rollator - that may slow her down. I bet he sent her one from when he was 40 and buff just like she did to him.
Stop fighting him and show an interest he may be flattered into boasting. I agree "she" may not exist and the son who lives across town not 300 miles away plans on taking dad to a few ATMs then disappearing or worse. Did you say dad had lots of debts? Keep us undated
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can you call this lady and talk to her? Tell her that your dad is in no shape to be going anywhere and if she would like to meet him she can do the driving and, as someone said, meet him for coffee. Or she can have her son drive her and you'll ALL go for coffee (so you don't leave your dad alone with this gal and he son). If this lady is a decent person she'll understand your concern and accept your desire to protect your dad.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

First of all, he needs to file divorce first. Then, call this woman and have HER come visit HIM, based upon his medical needs. Do a background check.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Dear HelpMe: Were you able to prevent your Dad from leaving on Monday? We would love to hear an update as to whether or not you were able to resolve this situation.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

No way should you allow this to happen! Do whatever is in your power to keep him from making a huge mistake. My father called me names when my brother and I stepped in. We tried to give him his space for a relationship, but once we found out he had quit claimed his house to her (Adult protective services did a title search on a hunch), we went into overdrive! He has dementia, and she took full advantage. Don't let it go that far, because it can. I agree about a background check, but this woman had no priors, so it didn't help us. It took lots of work, stress, battling, etc...but after 3 years of hell for our family, she is now in state prison, convicted by a jury of 3 counts of felony elder abuse. And it's not over yet. Now we have to pursue her in civil court to get the house, his life savings, etc...back. I'm telling you our story, so you know how bad it can get if you don't step in NOW! Good luck!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I think it's wierd the dr would prescribe aricept without a thorough work up as well. Get a new doctor.

Dad is still pretty young and probably trying to feel young and "still got it" at 68.

Continue to control the finances and keep a close eye on the accounts by monitoring online if you have to. I would tell him that the son and mom should consider making the trip down and staying in a hotel while they meet for a first acquaintance. She might not be aware of his health issues depending on how up front HE IS with her on line.

Put your foot down since he lives with you and tell him you don't feel comfortable with this and feel he is putting himself and your family at risk so as long as he is living under your roof, he will have to meet someone locally. If he refuses, then tell him he will have to move out and hire in home care.

If she continues to pursue dad, then maybe you fill her in on his health and circumstances and if she is legit, she will a take this relationship slowly.

Good luck. Protect yours and dads assets.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Another thought or possible red flag......Catfish typically do not agree to web cam calls.....much easier than travel
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

"She" is sending her son? She does not exist. Ever heard of a Catfish?

Dad sounds gullible, based on the fact his soon to be ex wife took him. Dad also sounds vulnerable based on the fact he has a soon to be ex. "She" picked this up.

Look up the term catfish on the Internet. Go on the Dr Phil site, he had a few episodes on the subject, including the football player Manti Teo. Get dad to watch these, even if you need to buy them. Also there is a HBO Documentary and a MTV series by the same name of Catfish. Get dad to watch these, even if he persists in visiting he will be forewarned. Dad is not mentally impaired and he is fairly young. You cannot prevent adults from doing stupid things, you can only warn him.

I do not think he will be kidnapped. I do think the "son", IF he does show up, may hit dad up for money. Some of these catfish simply create lives online without intent to further defraud, others are con artist.

If you have the guts you can go with dad. Make sure he does NOT bring his checkbook. Keep in close touch with him. Have him photograph and email you a pic as soon as whoever shows up.....my daughter is looking forwards to seeing you. The more I think about it the more I know you will not dissuade him from going and that he should not go alone. Reminds me of a blind date a friend dragged me along on in college.

Most likely this is a lonely person, living a make-believe life online...one give away for catfish is they are often model good looks (someone else's picture). After all if you are creating a fairy tale would you cast yourself a princess or a toad?


Best of luck
L
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Blannie! that was my thought exactly! my uncle lost his wife after 40yrs of marraige he was very lonely hooked up with a young THAI woman and she took EVERYTHING then he had a stroke and died spent the last 7 years of his life fighting her in court SAD very sad so you are right to be worried but how do you stop a stubborn old person from doing what they want? Suggest she comes to your house and watch her like a hawk! After everything that happened to my uncle my brother has married same type and she was stealing from my mum i had a bad feeling about her from day one and kicked her out my brother HATES me since but I was protecting my mum.
Good luck and let us know what happens gosh I just imagine my mum telling me shes met someone id be stir crazy with worry I dont know if you said your dad has dementia?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Since you are seeing the surgeon on Thursday, it might be a good idea to make a list of the odd behaviours and rationalizations your Dad has been exhibiting - this would be more geared to sharing with his primary doctor however. This what I used to do (give the doctor an envelope to read the notes before he came in to examiner her). That was the only way I could give the doctor a clear picture of her mental status without embarassing her. 68 is so young, but that does not mean dementia is not setting in early. It hardly seems logical that anyone would have to be controlling Dad's activities at this age, but not knowing the circumstances, I can't comment, except that from what you say, he is making a pretty risky decision. I can imagine how a 68 year-old would balk at being controlled by his daughter - my Mom is 86 and still views me as around 16 ( I'm about to turn 64), and counters me at every turn even though she is well into dementia - but totally in denial about her health and physical limitations. It's amazing how men still think with the head that is not centered between their shoulders-no matter how old they are! At 68, however, he is probably still pretty capable, so it's not so odd that he would try the online dating scene. I guess you have to focus on the negative events that occured with his present wife and encourage him to be very cautious with this new lady. I definitely would be suspicious that she wants to send only her son (I assumed he lived here since you said he would drive your Dad to her) as there doesn't seem to be a logical reason she couldn't take the ride with her son to meet your Dad. I think leveraging the doctor's concerns migh be your best bet at either changing your Dad's mind, or insisting that the lady come here to meet him, rather than him risking travelling.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

As a skeptic from way back (from years in corporate Human Resources and dealing with all kinds of stories people would make up), I'd pay $39 or so to have a background check done on her (and maybe even her son). See if she has any shady dealings in her past (arrests for fraud, assaults,check kiting, etc) and any kind of criminal history.

As they say, there's no fool like an old fool...you dad sounds like he's had major issues most of his adult life. It's too bad that his children (you) have more sense than he does. Good luck and keep us posted!!
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

If you have PoA, I'm certain you can have all his accounts suspended/frozen until all this gets sorted out. Contact the bank and credit card company - they should have a process for dealing with situations like this, which are common. Your father won't like this one bit but tough! Give him some info on online romance scams and tell him you are looking out for his interests.

Let this woman visit him, paying her costs out of her own pocket. She probably won't, which would pretty much solve the problem. On the off chance she does, she and your dad can meet for coffee someplace, with you on the other side of the restaurant to keep an eye on things (in case they try to slip away). A coffee meeting is the standard online-to-real-life fist step, so if whatsherface doesn't like it, that's a big red flag.

I think you should also call the police for their advice, in case the son tries to come around when you aren't at home and takes your dad someplace. Also, do some online snooping, maybe even hire someone who "checks people out", to see what you can find out about this woman and her son.

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The only other thing I can add is to make sure they know he has no money whether true not. I feel for you because I went through trying to get my mother out of the clutches of predators she had living with her while I was out of action with a knee replacement. One of the things predators do is to try to pit the victim against the family.In my case and it may be like this in yours. Our parents make it easy for the predators because they already have issues with us because we are their children. Hopefully the upcoming hip replacement and you being POA can stop this before it begins. According to my mother's lawyer who I went to see over her situation was no help at all because "she has her mind" Fortunately for us she got pneumonia and was hospitalized then put in a nursing home for rehab. It was only then that I was able to evict them out of her house which it turned out they were in the process of trying to steal.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

thanks we are all trying to convince him. was hoping my brother would have an impact. nope. i will however try his lawyer....also trying to have his sister help me out. I did pose the question to him to ask 10 people and see how many think it is safe. he doesnt care. he is just pushing his limits
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I agree, don't let him have any money. If he is still married to step mom, then legally he couldn't marry unknown woman. I would get the doctor involved. Do you have sibs who could talk to dad and talk him out of it? How about dad's sibs or his pastor or lawyer. Maybe they could visit with him about scams etc.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

gr8fulnurse - thanks, aren't we all pretty much doing this right? lol.
orangeblossom - i agree, i need to put my foot down and when you get down to it, he is a bully. we barely had a relationship before he fell, myself and my sibs thought this was his second chance and he would be the guy we grew up with. In the 80's he became dependent on then addicted to opioids. He wasnt doing illicit forms, but would typically fall short each month. We attributed a lot of his behavior to these medications. When he fell, it was instant and easy detox. He didnt have to choose to do it, the docs just did it. when he goes for surgery i am hoping he will go to the SNF he was at before. They loved him there (he can be darn charming and adorable lol) and i am hoping they will help me keep him there for the max medicare days. he only has plain medicare a/b, no supplemental! he has so many bills. yikes, i joined this site months ago, should have started talking sooner! thanks for all of your help
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The hip surgery should keep him at home a while or to a SNF to recover. Let HER come to see him. That way they could meet, and you could find out if she's looking for someone to take care of her financially. You sound like you are intelligent and would be able to see through her if that were the case. And, God bless you for taking care of him. You are an angel. Susan
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This is an odd one. You don't say how old your Dad is, his mental capacity, or his degree of mobility since the neck injury. It is good that you are controlling his finances and not giving him the card - hang onto it! Have you tried talking to him about the physical risks of taking such a long trip alone? Can you go with him (to watch him and check out the lady)? I personally would have a chat with the lady's son and tell him your Dad is not a well man and you absolutely forbid him to drive your Dad anywhere, and that he should tell his Mom to either come here or postpone their meeting until after his hip surgery("this is not a good time to visit" story"). Perhaps put in an emergency call to his doctor and explain the situation - he may be willing to talk to your Dad and tell him he disapproves of his traveling at this point (i.e. "Doctor's orders"). I don't know how much you can control your Dad's decisions if he is still mentally competent, but if he is making really bad judgements I think you woud be justified in putting your foot down as POA. Tell him you are not giving him a dime of travelling money. Let him stew over that. Just do whatever you can to make it really difficult for him to follow through with this venture. All these comments are really shots in the dark - maybe one of them will be helpful. Whatever you do, stand up to him. You are his only lifeline at this stage of his life - make sure he knows it.. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Sorry, should have let you know. He is only 68. uses a "rollator" walker. although his MD started him on aricept it was at his request and no testing. he was fixating on not being able to remember stuff. He has not purchased the ticket yet. and now she is saying she will send her son. Why would she not travel with the son? I am afraid he will be scammed or even kidnapped or something weird. He won't listen. I think his big plan is to just marry someone to get out of the house and if this woman is totally legit than that is not fair to her. He lies to me a lot. even when we catch him he just wont admit it. Thing is, this behavior is typical of his personality more so than any dementia. We are seeing the surgeon on thurs. i will be bringing it up but he is so damned determined. I literally feel like i am dealing with a teenager, only my teenagers didnt pull this stuff! He is obsessed and tells me you know she isn't even good looking... OK.like what does that mean?? that she wont rob you? Thanks for your help. I will finish my background too
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Neither your background nor your question give info on 'dad'. How old is he? How is his mental state? It almost sounds like some dementia going on. That can bring other issues and they can be addressed medically. Call the doc and ask for a quick appointment to assess if he can travel. How did he purchase a bus ticket?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.