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I have a neighbor who lives two doors away. She is in her early 80's or so and has always been a little odd. We have 'known' each other for ten years and her reputation is that of having always been difficult. Lately, though, she seems to have singled me out and approaches me or stops her car to talk to me if I am outside in my yard talking with another neighbor. She will act peeved that I don't drop what I'm doing and engage with her, although I really do barely know her. The other day when I was walking my dogs, she ran out of her house and asked me "are we ok?" "are you ok?" "where do you go to breakfast?" "we need to go out together", etc. I suggested we go, the three of us, for something to eat with another neighbor whom I thought was sort of a friend and who is a good friend of mine. She began saying this other person owed her money (I talked to the other woman who is a good friend who explained how 'crazy' this lady is and this is not so and I do believe her), rolled her eyes about her and clearly didn't want to do that. She also recently got married to an elderly man who had been living with her for a while. I suggested then that maybe 'the four of us' (my husband, her husband and we) go out to eat together. She said she just wants to 'leave them at home and we can call them later'. I said, well, we'll see and then another neighbor drove up and it broke up her ability to engage me. I told her I had to go inside. As I said, I barely know her but she clearly has dementia and at the same time, seems very manipulative and smart enough to 'triangulate' situations. I am feeling stalked in a way. She will drive down the street, see me, and stop and roll down her windows and just kind of stare at me, waiting for me to say something. I keep it short and polite and keep walking most of the time. I do not want to be cruel or rude to her but I also do not want to encourage her. She seems hell bent on us being friends and I have never given out the signal that I want that. Not sure how to handle this. I have been thinking about talking her her husband but I don't know him either and just by virtue of the fact that they recently married, I doubt he thinks she's mentally not 'there'. Other than hiding in my house I don't know what to do with this. I really do not want to go 'out' with her and will have to just tell her that, I guess.

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Just wondering if she has Dementia, why she is still driving. Where is the family? I don't think you need to put yourself in a situation where you are having breakfast with her if you don't want to. There are plenty of ways to be friendly without going to breakfast and eating together. This will only bond her closer to you and she will expect more. If she indeed has dementia you might want to give someone a call to come evaluate her before she puts herself or others in danger in a automobile.
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high everyone, I live next door with a lady with dementia and sorry to say they can be very difficult. last year I had 3 months of h*ll. only wanted to be my friend nobody else could speak to me. threatened me was aggressive. know she has started again. it is very difficult to advise anyone in that situation unless you have personal knowledge.
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I believe she may have some dementia or cognitive impairment and may still be driving and out and about. She obviously is lonely and maybe has alienated everyone else and for some reason feels like you are friends --obviously you are kind and maybe the only one left who has given her the time of day so she feels compelled to latch on to you.

If you don't want to go out to lunch or socialize, then don't. You don't have to be mean, just keep it short when you run into her and go back in your house to attend to something. If you want to, then offer to come over for a short visit with her AND her new husband. Then do coffee and cake or whatever at her house so you can conveniently leave. MY advice however is to just give a neighborly hi or wave and stay away from getting involved. You can always keep your eye out and report anything if you suspect they need help, etc.

This could be my mom at times. Hates all neighbors but then when I visit talks about a neighbor across the street like they are friends and wants me to go over with her but doesn't know his name or anything about him.
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Not mad. If it helps someone else to discuss this topic, it's ok with me. I feel kind of like I left a lengthy voicemail that I wish I could erase and can't! What has become clear to me here is that there really is nothing to do. So, I guess that's my answer.
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frustrated, you would be doing the world a favor if you turned her in to the Florida DMV for a driving test. On the other hand, then she will be home all the time and bugging you if she can't drive. Tough decision.
It might help you to talk to your RN about how to draw boundaries. NEVER make the offer to go out with her. Make excuses, say you have other plans, tell her you have something on the stove, you're expecting a call, whatever it takes.
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frustrated - what Jeanne wrote. I have followed this post and taken what you say seriously. I agree this lady is obsessive. Your neighbourhood should feel like a safe place, and now, due to the inappropriate intrusion of your neighbour, who you have not encouraged at all, it does not feel as safe emotionally/socially.

I have taught mentally and emotionally challenged and "normal" young people and adults. You fairly quickly get a sense of who feels "safe" though may be uncomfortable to relate to at times, and who feels not safe and is difficult to deal with. This lady is difficult to deal with and gives inappropriate questions and answers. I understand why you suggested lunch with your husbands as a way of "saving the moment." Having her drive by and stare at you must be quite unnerving.

You have various options in terms of your responses to her. You could ignore her completely or give a cursory "Hi" and/or a wave. Conversations can be cut short by saying you have to go, you are busy etc. I would try to leave out anything that would encourage her - like "Nice chatting with you." In terms of any requests one neutral answer which can be useful is "I'll have to think about that." Or you could be more blunt and say that you don't have time for lunch dates or some such comment. If she says "We need to go out for lunch I honestly think after the number of encounters you have had with her, I would say "No, we don't." It is a matter of drawing and maintaining boundaries, with someone who does not understand boundaries. There are articles online and also books on boundaries that you might find helpful.

Bottom line - look after you. "Soft" answers may not get your message across. I am not suggesting being rude, but perhaps being firmer if you are comfortable with that. Think about how you will respond to her next time - have a plan. ((((((hugs)))))
A call to your local Agency for Aging or similar agency may be useful for you and for her, especially if you have a concern about her driving skills. Her behaviour is not in the normal range and may indicate dementia.



This lady has a husband who is the first person responsible for her should she need help. To me it sounds like she does need help and he may be in denial.
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frustrated2, if everyone thought the same and lived the same identical life, we wouldn't need these forums.
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frustrated2, You can contact the administrator and ask if the thread can be removed. Since there is no malice in it, I don't know if they'll do it, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Dealing with someone that "odd" makes me uncomfortable. I can relate to your discomfort in talking to her. (When I encounter someone like that in my mother's nursing home, no problem.) I think most of us don't want to be rude or unkind to people who are retarded or autistic or cognitively impaired. (I'm probably using obsolete terms, but I think you know what I mean.) Being the object of this person's attention, though, or obsession as Jessie describes it, would be very uncomfortable for me. How do you be kind, polite, not condescending, but not sending signals of encouragement? I sure don't have that mastered!

I think this is a valid topic for discussion. There are many people around who just don't "fit in." How do we judge when they might be dangerous? If we suspect they are, what do we do about it. It is scary to think of this woman driving. Who can you tell?

There are probably responses in this thread that are unhelpful to you personally. Complicated issues often take lots of back-and-forth to discuss. But this is still a very valid topic.

Please don't go away mad. Disregard the responses that don't fit your situation, consider the other responses and see if there is anything you can use in them.

And do keep us informed how this unfolds. We learn from each other.
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Jeez! When will this end! How do I get rid of this question? What would it take here to be succinct enough! freqflyer, we - this person and I - have never been friends. AT ALL. Her behavior his beyond strange. She behaves as if we talk all the time, on the phone, visiting etc and we don't. When I say that I mean in front of other people, out of the blue. The person who told me she can't remember her name is a person whose name she should know. Who she also believes owes her money for an imagined reason. I know weird behavior when I am around it! I was in sales for years and couldn't recall names a lot of the time. Clearly, that's not all I am saying here. I think it is probably best that I removed my account. This seems to have become a nitpicking contest for a lot of people here which seems at odds with actually contributing something helpful. But, hey, thanks for your unhelpful two cents!
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frustrated2, you wrote that your neighbor "not being able to remember names".... oh good heavens, I and my significant other have never been good at remembering names :P
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Hi frustrated, whether or not this neighbor is correctly assessed/diagnosed as having dementia or simply "odd", you don't have to do anything you don't feel comfortable with. I get that you reflexively suggested including others, but really want no social interaction at all. No need to beat yourself up over that. You've done nothing rude or wrong, so just tell yourself that you'll get a "do-over" the next time your paths cross. If you are across the street, wave and keep moving. Don't offer any verbal greetings, but if she does, then just say "hi" or "have a good one." There's a really good chance her attention will move to something else, and this will resolve on it's own.
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I don't think there's a way to delete the question. But to directly answer something you might be able to do? If you're so inclined, call your local Council on Aging and ask who you might speak with to express your concerns.** They may possibly send over a case worker to speak with them -- which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing because they might find they are eligible for some very inexpensive (or even totally) free services that might enhance their lives.

If I might make a suggestion, it would be to keep your report basic and simple, answering their questions after a brief synopsis of what you see that calls her behavior into question. Maybe ending with something like, "I thought maybe there's a system in place to check in on seniors to see if they're safe. And to see if there's anything they need help with."

Can't hurt. Might help.

**If you can't find a number for that, call your local police department and ask them for a referral number.
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I should have not gone into so much detail about what actually happened as much as what my actual concern and question is. I believe, based on a lot more than just this post, that this woman is somewhat at risk or putting others at danger with her driving independently and what appears to be a spouse who may be in enough denial that he doesn't see she needs help. My own mother, who my family ALL has admitted almost jokingly for years (except for my father) definitely has some mental issues, now forgets names and events, gets frequently lost, is very easily angered, can switch moods on a dime, etc. Everyone BUT me thinks she has Alzheimers; I think she is mean and spacey. But I don't live around her either. However, that being said, with my sister who recently told me what she thought was a funny story about my mother's 'antics' told me in the same breath that she definitely has dementia. I asked her why, then, did my dad just buy her a new car and why is she out on the road alone? I see her as a possible danger to herself and to others and I see some similar behavior with this neighbor. I can handle her sort of glomming on to me. I probably should not have suggested that we go to breakfast with our husbands, but my thought at the time was rather than shoot her down and just hurt her feelings I would not want to go with her alone and I do have empathy for elderly, lonely people. When she pressed that we need to go without anyone else, I became uncomfortable. But, she will probably forget it soon anyway. BTW, my sister, the one who told me the story about my mother, has a MASTERS in nursing and manages people, as well as having clinical experience with some folks with mental disorders. Dysfunction is dysfunction. Some times people can be up so close to a situation they cannot see the forest for the trees. While a lot of family and friends can acknowledge that someone is 'losing it' they seem often at a loss as how to stop them from getting into a situation that could be harmful to themselves or to someone else. They prefer to see their loved one as they want to see them. I am going back to leaving this alone. As I said, I would delete my post if I could. Anyone know how to do that? I can't find a place to delete a question.
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frustrated, your post made sense to me. We had someone on the group a few months ago that even had it worse. The next-door neighbor was calling and bothering her all the time, charting her comings and goings. I felt so bad for her, because I know people can get obsessed. My mother was obsessed with her friend across the street, although the friend didn't know it. She noted if her car was there and speculated where she was and who she was with. Fortunately, Mom didn't call her or chase after her, so her friend didn't know how much she was in her mind. It is getting better now, but I used to dread hearing about the friend so much. I never let her friend know anything, because I know it would have driven her away.
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She could be just an oddball.
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Point well taken, daughterlinda. I wish I could retract this whole thing since it has come off all wrong. This woman is NOT ok. She clearly has something wrong, including not being able to remember names, accusing people of doing things like owing her money that they do not, and behaving in a way that indicates she thinks we have had some kind of ongoing friendship/intimacy, which we have NOT. She has said, in front of someone else, "I'll call you later", intimating that we do talk on the phone and she doesn't know my last name or phone number. I was caught off guard when she wanted to 'go to breakfast' with me and guess I couldn't just shoot her down on the spot and tell her no. Maybe I should have. No plans to 'talk to her husband' but I was simply saying I don't know what else to do. She drives around alone in her car; I am worried that she is not all there and don't know where to take this as I barely know her. As for the comment above about 'humoring her' that is what I was trying to do with my suggestion that ok, perhaps we could go out to eat with the four of us. I am willing to be nice to her but I do not want to be alone with her. She badmouths other good people. I can't tell if she is just mentally ill or actually has some form of dementia. That is the dilemma.
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frustrated2, sounds like your neighbor really wants to find herself a good friend as it sounds like she doesn't have a BFF. She could be merely eccentric. The fact that she sits in her car to talk to you tells me she has some shyness.

I know you don't want to be peeking through the blinds to see if she is out and about.... just give her a kindly smile and wave. There shouldn't be any harm with just chatting for a few minutes. Maybe your neighbor will tell you about some interest that she has, and if you know of a nearby group with the same interest, you could direct her to that group. Problem solved :)
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Btw, Maggie answered my email abruptly too, and I listened. Nobody charges for their replies and nobody is intruding if I haven't opened a door. But Maggie really seems to get to the core in a heart beat. I can choose for her answer not to apply to me, but that's my choice. Just sayin....
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I would just say "hey!" and when she says "we need to go to lunch" say "you know, we should" but then tell her how hectic things have been for you. Tell her you'd love to talk but you are working from home and just needed to run the dogs out. I sure wouldn't say "get lost, I have no intention of dining with you" She a little ole lady... humor her like you do your loved ones.
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By the way, just as information, boundary setting on discussion forums is about our own behavior, not the behavior of others. It is perfectly OK to establish that you won't read the comments of certain people. But once we post something it is up for grabs for anyone to reply. We don't get to set rules about who is allowed to respond to us.
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I don't see any particular evidence that this woman has dementia, especially if she has been this "weird" forever. She lacks social awareness. She is apparently seeking friendship but has no clue how to go about it. Be polite. Be friendly but distant (as Maggie describes). If you want to socialize with her a bit, that is up to you, but realize she is not likely to change, and it may be you she complains about to others (whether you socialize or not).

I like to see the non-dangerous mentally ill "main-streamed" into our neighborhoods, but it can be a bit of a challenge figuring out how to relate to them. I sometimes wonder, "If this were my sister, how would I want her treated?"

In urban areas I think it is a good idea to know who your neighbors are, and a little about them. If it turns out you have something in common developing a friendship is OK.

Twenty years ago my husband fell off a ladder in our open garage. I wasn't home. One neighbor immediately called 911 and another administered CPR until they arrived. It doesn't hurt to have at least polite relationships with neighbors! More than that is optional.
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If you don't want honest input, don't post on a public forum. We don't get to choose who responds to our questions. I had what I thought was helpful input that might cause some introspection on your part. If you don't think it was, I understand.
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Maggie Marshall, you are judgmental and clearly don't get the point I was making as the other two people who gave helpful input did. I have no problems with boundaries. Here's one. Please do not respond to my post anymore. Thanks.
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It does appear that your neighbor has honed in on you as a friend. If she can see your house, chances are she watches when your car is at home and knows you better than you know her. Usually it is not harmful. It is just a person who has too much time on her hands and is lonely, but not sociable with everyone. If you don't want a relationship with her, the best thing to do is what you've been doing -- be polite but distant. Talk about how the week is such a busy one when she asks you to go out with her. When she realizes how busy you are, she may leave you alone. Being busy doesn't mean you have to be gone. You can be busy cooking and sewing inside your house, as far as she knows.

My mother has one neighbor on the block she is dear friends with. However, she knows how busy her friend is, so she doesn't press her for time. The neighbor will spend an hour or two of time with her every 2 or 3 weeks. That makes my mother happy, so I appreciate the neighbor taking time from her busy schedule. I know that my mother is hard to be with now, since her mind is not working right anymore. There are many ways to handle this without creating dread of being in the same neighborhood. I hope you can find the right way.
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I can understand how this would be an awkward situation for you.

Occasionally we're going to run into situations when we're faced with someone who is very needy, as this lady seems to be. Her inability to pick up on social cues may be related to dementia or could just be how she is. And after reading your post I can definitely see how this old gal could be very manipulative.

And of course you can't hide out in your house so you're going to have to come up with a game plan on how to shake this lady until she gets the message. I would be polite but brief. A quick "hi" or just a wave as you're on your way out. Don't break down and go out to eat with her if you don't want her as a friend. You may just have to keep telling her no and hope she gets the message.

What an uncomfortable situation! Hopefully time will take care of it. Stay firm.
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What would you talk to her husband about? Just be thankful she doesn't come knocking on your door.

This is a weird post.

Sorry. You don't want to be friends with her, yet you engage with her. You don't want to encourage her, yet you're suggesting you and others go out to breakfast together. What?

I'd say both of you have your social cues askew.

I've always had a policy with neighbors. "Hi!! How are ya' today? How're the kids? I know!!! Hasn't this been a strange summer? Sooo much rain! Blah blah blah. Well, gotta' get inside. Cake baking and all that... See ya' later! Say hi to Mike."

Big friendly waves when I see them outside...maybe a big call "Hi!!!! How're ya' doin'??"

I keep my neighbors at a polite, friendly distance. I didn't choose them, don'tcha' know. I have enough friends. And, frankly, I don't want them in my business. (If I sound unfriendly, I'm not. I just know how to set boundaries.)

Now, having said all that? There wouldn't be a time in the WORLD when I wouldn't have ten minutes to devote to an elderly neighbor who found me enchanting. Once a day...twice a day...senile or not. But I wouldn't be trying to arrange breakfast dates. And I wouldn't strike up a conversation with her husband to fish around to see if she were in her right mind.

Strange post it is..
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