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My step-dad bought his privately hired caregiver a used car, (because she has to take him to doctors out of town every few months and her vehicle was failing) and gave her $5,000. We have discussed this. I have spoken to her and she yelled at me saying that it was his idea, and the money is going towards her little girls education. At first he was going to be 10,000! Now, every time he discusses what he wants her to do, she blames it on me.
We now have a few other people coming in and she is not coming in 7 days a week. It started out to be just weekends, then went to 5 days a week, then she was dropping in every day. She started taking him to her church, he said he liked the breakfasts, she brings her daughters over.
We live in a small community, and access to caregivers is expensive and limited.
It all comes down to what he wants. He is 91, and mentally sound. I know he gets lonely and he likes her company.
My question is, should I report her, or just let her know that she will be fired if she accepts any more gifts?

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Report her. A person who is caring ? for another that needs a caretaker, should know how lonely & needy to just have company or someone to be with, talk to, etc. would pretty much give their life savings for it.
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Wow, this story made me cringe. It is because of greedy, manipulative caregivers like the one you described that I finally put Dad in AL (although it's not a bad idea to watch those places as well).

My last straw was my Dad's last caregiver. I hired her to get Dad's breakfast in the morning, drive him to Adult Day Care, pick him up, make sure he had a nutritious dinner and keep him company until I got home around 9 PM. I had her to do a few overnights as well.

Imagine my surprise when one day I decided to go into work late and check on Dad's apartment before heading to work. I thought it was odd to see her car outside his apartment and I was completely prepared to blast her for not getting Dad to Adult Day Care as agreed.

It turns out she had indeed dropped Dad off at Adult Day Care only to swindle him out of his house keys and RETURN TO HIS APARTMENT!!! I opened his door to find her lounging on the sofa in her underwear AND helping herself to Dad's groceries! I later discovered that she was asking Dad to pay for additional gas (I gave her a $50 gas card monthly) and would order take home plates for herself and her hubby she would take Dad out to eat (the receipt showed two meals which I didn't question. Dad would only have coffee and pie)!!!

...AND this woman was studying to be a PHARMACIST!!!!!! Oh if I could have reported her.

It's disgusting that people take advantage of the elderly like this. I hope the OP did fire that awful person and found better alternatives.
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Ed, you have my respect, wow ! I just found out that my mom's caregiver asked for a $1000 loan, so I filed a police report, and found out that this "caregiver" also told mom to leave the door unlocked and open on Christmas Day, which she did when we picked her up. We have advised that to the officer who took our initial report, which was Dec 23rd. Now I feel like I have to jump through numerous hoops and do multiple things just to keep her safe.
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Same story here. Small Town, private pay. Pretty single mother, caregiver, flatters 85 year old widowed Parkinson's man. We were"lucky" to have her as she split her hours to work AM and afternoon until we could get home from work. She tells sob story day after day and laughs at his jokes. She promised she'd never leave him. WHAT?? New tires, then help with used car and cash gifts to "help her out". I askef her not to tell him her problems but.... She continued. We could not find anyone he would work with. Basically he has a tantrum of sorts. I asked her not to take money..."I didn't want to, he made me"!! Talking to him or my husband was futile. She had them both beguiled. Until, he was temp in nursing home and we asked if she would mind dropping in on him just to make sure he was OK while we worked in another city. We had to pay her for hours so she would stay. No, she would not drop in. What happened to I'll never leave you? She was paid in cash. While he was still home she set her own hours. Took off and left him alone while still on the clock. While he was in nursing home she wanted to be paid just to retain her. When he finally went in for void she knew her gravy train had ended. She demanded severance pay! What?? Severance pay is when you work somewhere that takes taxes etc our of your pay and employer decided to no longer employ you. . Not our decision. His money was gone, So was she. She showed up at his funeral and I could not stand to be near her. Sorry this is so long evidently I needed to vent. I just can't stand people who taste advantage of the elderly.
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Read lots of these comments. I have these similar battles " Red. flags. ". How to stop the loving vexin when you open others eyes to see it. How do you stop it
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Must definitely have her out of the house immediately.. She should have never accepted those gifts unless she is looking to gain something out of him.. That is a bad sign of a bad caregiver.
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If you read on this site very much you'll soon see that what paid caregivers experience happens to family caregivers, too. Unfounded accusations (often because of dementia or long-standing mental health problems) can be devastating to the daughter who is taking care of her father. What your colleague experienced with the missing check fiasco happens all too often to the grandson or niece or son-in-law who is only trying to help, at great personal sacrifice.

Caring for an elder with cognitive problems can be very rewarding and also risky. Whether you are getting a fair wage or not!
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Thank you Jeanne, and you're right. There are many scandalous Caregivers. These people make it so hard for scrupulous Caregivers to maintain any respect or consideration for their devotion to the people they work, and care for. I cherish my time off to spend with my family. My boss has actually had her feelings hurt because I did not include her in some very personal family functions taking place among within my family. My oldest son is graduating from college, and receiving his degree next week. As a courtesy, I asked my boss if she would like to attend the ceremony with me. She hesitated, and then declined, stating that it was something that I should do with just my family. I was relieved in a way because I know now I will be able to concentrate on watching my son walk the stage to receive his hard earned degree instead of taking my boss to the restroom, or getting her something to drink or sweater or Kleenex, etc. nobody has ever been as generous to me in my life as my boss has. Her generosity changed my life significantly in a good way, and I will forever be grateful for what she did for me. When she comes up with some other way she wants to help me, and insists on it, I tell her that she is already helping me by giving me a job, and paying me a fair wage. I remind her that the car was HUGE, and she has already helped me. I again, try to encourage her to reunite with her family. I call her family members regularly, and try to keep them informed about her health, and her challenges. Sometimes she speaks with them, sometimes she says "no". Maybe I'm over sensitive. But, I don't think many of the family members, Conservators, Lawyers, and other significants have any idea what the magnitude of the relationship is or becomes between Caregiver, and elderly that they serve. I've seen honest, good, and devoted people thrown under the bus, and their credibility completely ruined due to false accusations, mis-informed or uninformed authorities, and ignorant assumptions made toward them. I'm still effected by one Caregiver in particular. To this day, the lady cannot show her face at the bank because she was falsely accused of stealing checks. She feels shame for something she never did. The checks were found by the elderly person. Yet, she was so bitter, and embarrassed, that she refused to call the bank, and re-tract her accusations. I lost all respect for the entire situation. I wish there was some sort of mediation counseling or authority that could digest each situation, and make fair, and informed judgements and/or decisions over these types of problems. It can make a person who is normally very caring, and compassionate toward the elderly reluctant to go into the Caregiving profession. I agree with you Jeanne. This should be addressed over and over until it can find better resolve. I still believe that family members inter-action is so important to prevent these issues, and not rely on Caregivers to solve all of the caring needs for their elderly parents. It breaks my heart to see months go by, and not one single phone call or visit from a son or daughter. Yet, the first inconvenience that arises for the adult children, and it's a catch all for the Caregivers. We have our own families, and issues to deal with too. I've made significant sacrifices to my own family because of the long shifts, and constant attention my employer requires. Hopefully, the industry will grow and learn over time how to best address the needs of our elderly. Until then, I will wear my battle gear under my scrubs, and expect the worst but always hope for the best. Thanks for letting me put my 2 cents.....well, with inflation now...my 20 cents in! I love my boss, and will always have a lot of heart for her.
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Calicaregiver, we know there are priceless caregivers out there. Some of them post here, like Ruth1957. Most of us are not on a witchhunt for caregiver scapegoats. But the fact remains that there are a lot of stories of unscrupulous caregivers manipulating elders to get inappropriate perks. Elders, even those who are "in their right minds" are often vulnerable, and lonely, and perhaps even mad at their family for not trusting them to take care of themselves. The fact that a caregiver SAYS she is using gift money to save for her children's education does not make manipulation any more acceptable (even if it is true). Coming on days not assigned is suspicious. Why isn't she spending her time off with those children ? My wonderful aide would not come in on weekends even for extra pay, because she needed that time with her own family. I'm saying that the circumstances described are suspicious, and ranting at her employer doesn't make it look any better. Not every gift is the result of manipulation, but those who are responsible to see that the elder has enough money to last the rest of his or her life really do need to monitor these things.

There are amazingly wonderful independent caregivers out there. There are golddiggers, too.

Since this particular post is 2 years old, you may not get responses from the original posters, but it is a timeless topic, and worth bringing to the top again.
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One last comment to "Eddie": as a Caregiver, I find your response despicable. It's people like you that enjoy running Caregivers reputation in general...to the ground. Your opinion of women is very troubling, and I can only hope that your radical, and ostrisizing opinion of Caregivers doesn't go much farther than this forum!
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I am currently a Caregivedr for a very wealthy woman. She bought me a Lexus after working for her For a year. I refused to accept it for 3 weeks. Finally, after she cried real tears...yes, real tears, she phoned her lawyer, and had a neutral third party confirm with her, in private that it was something she REALLY wanted to do. It was, and I reluctantly accepted. I took the bus For 6 months because my car was stolen, and I had no insurance. She felt sorry for me, and wanted to help. But, a LEXUS...come on! Three things stick out in your story: your dad is lonely, the woman takes him to church, and she used the money for her kids education. This doesn't sound like a scandalous person that would more likely manipulate, and use your dad. It always amazes me to hear the adult children of elderly parents complain and blame the Caregivers every time something happens that they don't like. I am with my boss 96 hours a week. She is estranged from almost everyone of her family members. I spend alot of time, and energy encouraging her try to be closer to her family. When I met her, she had everything in her will going to someone who left her in a home for dead....and all kinds of random people. I believe I was a big influence in convincing her to change her will, and leave what she has to her family members. She has since realized that that was the best thing to do, and changed her will on her own accord. You said your dad is of sound mind, that's paramount in trying to establish if he gave to this woman because he truly wanted to and it was his idea. I guess what I'm trying to say is....not ALL situations of an elderly parent gifting their Caregiver are of a scandalous origin, and frankly, I'm frustrated to see the adult children ALWAYS blaming the Caregivers. If your THAT worried, take it to a legal level, and let a Judge assess the circumstances, and decide. People that leave their elderly family members under the charge of a person for 90% or more of the time expect machines, and miracles. We Caregivers are only human like you. Many of us are under paid, sacrifice time with our own families, and suffer from anxiety, and stress taking are of YOUR parents. Don't be SUPRISED if your parent becomes attached to their Caregiver when the Caregiver is the primary person they spend their time with. make the time to VISIT, and CARE for your parents. Be lose to them, heal some of their loneliness, be there for them like they were there for you. Then you would have no surprises, and can make these types of decisions together. From a legal stand point, ask a lawyer. From a "do the right thing" stand point, ask your heart. Also, consider having your dad make you a co-trustee that requires your signature and/or agreement before he gifts anything to anyone. Good luck, and to all the radical Caregiver witch-hunters...ease up...not EVERY Caregiver is out to screw the elderly. Most of us are very honest, loving, and forthright people. And, I'm just tired of reading all your negative crap about Caregivers. Anyone who is breaking the law is a criminal...not necessarily a Caregiver! Good luck.
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This was our story with our dad. He thought he was making good decisions and taking care of things on his own, so he didn't want our interference. In truth, he was being manipulated. He bought one of his caregivers a car and gave her money. When we figured out what had happened, my dad was furious and said this was none of our business. The caregiver was belligerent with us otherwise we may not have investigated until it was too late. When my brother and I got involved, things changed. I somehow managed to get POA and changed things so that Dad could no longer get to his money. Mom was incapable of dealing with the whole situation, so she was no help - even though she knew that what he was doing was jeopardizing them financially, she would not cross him. And she was in the early stages of dementia.

Somehow my brother scared the caregiver into paying for the car (eventually and after much effort). We have no idea how much money she got from him before we found out.

And just to be clear - my brother and I were not worried about an inheritance. We were worried that he was going to give it away and there would be none left for their care.

Lilliput had great advice. Investigate all of his financial information and try to figure out what is going on before it is too late.
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WOW what an ordeal, and what a story. I was discussing this situation with my 89-year-old client. She and I have an amazing relationship. She was as appalled as I was, at this woman's actions. I had to laugh; often I bring a "treat" for my little lady and every time she tries to pay me. I tell her, "There are treats, and there are necessities. I'm allowed to bring you a treat, and I'll let you know when you owe me for necessities." So one day I had gotten her something that was about $3 which she'd asked for. She only had a $5. I said to forget it. She insisted on giving me the $5. So it was lying on the dining table, and one of the times we went back to the bathroom this quiet little Southern Belle actually RAISED HER VOICE and said "YOU TAKE THAT $5 RIGHT NOW!" we both had a great laugh. And I took the $5. Ha.
I know that my level of comfort with (them) her is outside of the range of what might be safe in some situations, but it has, in fact, worked out just fine. I'm not there on my own time, I don't take anything from them (and wouldn't if offered), and find myself being mostly family, but very respectful of family. Most of the time I simply leave the room if the family comes to sit and visit. Often I'm called back by either her or one of the kids. It's nice. Still - I "know my place"! I also remind them often that in my world and my business, I'm an executive and doctors and investment people ask ME for advice! Ha ha. Gotta have the pride in there SOMEWHERE as you wash the bathroom floor! :-)
Take care - I look forward to hearing the "rest of the story"!
Ruth
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Ruth, My step still likes her. He thought she was good company and a free spirit. I asked him what he thought a free spirit was, he said, someone who does and goes where they want. I said, I'm a free spirit, she's a freeloader! On the day I was going to fire her, I made the decision to take him to the care center, as we were waiting for help to get him in "her" van, I brought out the check for this last months payment to give her she was asking me if I had checked to make sure I gave her the right amount! It was my thought not to pay her, but I had to do it, because he was there and that is what he wanted. I'm calling the Ombudsman tomorrow to get the ball rolling on her. She took that 5,000 after we had discussed his almost giving her 10, and she yelled saying "I don't want your dads damn money!" She also says he forced her to take it!

Anyway, he actually did not have a seizure all day yesterday, and is more rested than I have seen him in a long time.
This caregiver did not steal any of the money he had in cash, did not physically abuse him, and helped him through many bad moments.......Her life has been different than mine and I do believe she has some kind of disconnect, as she believe she is a Christian and that she did nothing wrong..............this is what makes the whole thing so insidious, like walking down a nice country lane and dropping in to a hole!
I want to thank everyone for their stories, encouragement and advice. I will keep you posted.
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True Story: One Day My Mom was driving hit a tree dented her car and what a blessing that minor accident was. She never drove after the incident. Well for quite some time(approx.2yrs) she walked everywhere was great for her health and nothing to far from her home. During this time she was hoarding and cognitive impairment set in. Stubbornly refusing any help from family and telling story's about anybody in the famliy, ""we were all stealing stuff ""and wouldn't let us in the house.
So we didn't know how to help her and basically couldn't. The nieghbors and people in town were in touch and assisted her alot!!! A town full of honest good hearted people "for real". I didn't find out how much they all did for her until she got to the point of full blown helplessness and she finally accepted help. Then I started sorting out the disfunction piece by peice. Then I found out she still owned the car it was in a driveway a few blocks away her plates remained on the car. I didn't know what really happened but she said some guys stole it. Then she said she gave it away to some lady for changing her locks (she kept losing her key). So Before I realized there are still people that care for real. My sister and I thought the worst after many trys to contact the people who had the car. We finally spoke to a woman about the car and by this time I was really thinking someone was taking advantage of Mom. She said that Mom had given her the car. I thought she was lying still. Anyway it turned out she was a "handywoman" she did help Mom in fact they met because she saw Mom dragging a bag full of ? up a big hill in a snow storm and she drove Mom home. That time on they were friends. She help me fix things in Mom house free of charge too. Family didn't help and she did. She turned out to be one of the nicest people I ever met. I felt so bad for what I originally thought about her. I am not saying everyone is this angelic. I do believe that it's hard to trust but those who can be trusted go the extra mile due to the many untrustable. Just wanted to share.
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Ha - it would have paid to read the other responses prior to responding. SORRY! And, never mind!!! *blush*
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I am a private caregiver, also. This is very disturbing. The fact that she would raise her voice to you is unacceptable. My clients have treated me more like a daughter than a paid caregiver, and I would NEVER take advantage of that by accepting anything from them. I was given $50 for Christmas after I had cut both of their hair in their own home. (He was declining rapidly due to cancer, and she had difficulty with mobility as well) This made them so happy, the Colonel grabbed his wallet and handed me a fifty. Since the two of them agreed and were so excited for me to go shopping for myself, I took it. Had it been any more than $50 I would have gracefully declined. I agree with allshesgot with the statement "there is a difference between one who gets close and is like family, and one who acts like family to get close." AMEN to that - so very true. I am caring for a very wealthy woman, and I'm well aware of that. The thought of ANYONE taking advantage of her in the way you describe makes me really angry.
There are occasions where a gift from a client is okay. For instance, in my Agency, there was a young college-aged caregiver who had cared for the same couple for a long time. When she was leaving to further her education, the couple gifted her with a laptop. This was with the knowledge and approval of both the agency and the children of the clients. VERY different story from what you describe.
I'm wondering if outright firing of her would hurt your father. Just a thought. She needs to be threatened, at the very least, with legal action and with firing. What if you established the rule that she is only to be there while on the clock, and is to run any "gifts" by you prior to acceptance? Am I being too soft?
Ruth
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kitttiemom, congrats on making such a hard decision.. your step dad is safe, she will not work any time soon in this field and you stood up to her at the end about the painting. I can not believe how ruthless she was up until the end... keep us posted on how your sd is doing. hugs .
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Big hugs, you have done well! I know it was the hardest decision ever, but you will rest easier in the months to come. Thank you for sharing! You will never regret
this decision. Big hugs again!!
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I would definitely report this young woman as she is exploiting your Dad. It is not righ to accept his gifts on such a large scale, especially whete she is already being paid for caregiving. Also, if he ends up going to nursing home within the next five years, there is a five year look back period for state aid. She could end up having to pay this money back. Have you spoken with your step Dad concerning "NO MORE GIFTING"??? Maybe, he is finally solvent and quite wealthy. If so, that would not be a concern. Please let us know how you make out with this concern.

~Sharon
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Kittiemom, good for you. My goodness, Miss Thang was being shamelessly exploitative and grubbing for all she could steal, right up until the very end! Un-frickin'-real. You are right to pursue bringing down this she-devil any and every way that you can. Notice how your step-dad wanted your husband there in case she got violent. I can only imagine the threats and intimidation that poor man lived under. Well, no more of that!! Is the care center close to you that you can visit him often?
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Thank you Floridian. I am just now getting phone numbers for the Ombudsman/Advocacy Services in my county. Now that he out of her hands, I will pursue this matter with gusto. I had decided to fire her, before my decision on the care center. In doing so, even my step-dad suggested I have my husband there on case she got violent. That did not happen because the job went away. Rest assured that I will do everything to see this does not happen again.
The icing on the cake: as we were waiting for ambulance service to come help us, she asked if she could have the water color painting of him, that my sister had given him....as he was saying yes, I told her no, that it was for family!
P.S. The doctor told me to call the ambulance service to transport him the 1 mile to the Bishop Care center. they told me it would be $500, but they would come out to the house and put him in the car at no charge....Thank you Symons Ambulance!
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Kittiemom, you did the right thing. Of course, I know you will visit him often. Kudos to you also for alerting everyone in town to this horrible female "caregiver". You are sparing a lot of people a lot of problems by doing that, and you will be blessed for it.
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Well, he is now in the Care Center. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do, next to taking my husband to a hospital 5 hours away, for ECT last year. That is one of the reasons I hired a "helper" for my step-dad in the first place.
Life is not black and white. I admit that, in the beginning, it was easy to let someone else be there for my step-dad while I was navigating my way through the mental health system for my husband. I work full-time, with no other family in the area. In wanting to get rid if the beast, I have spent a great deal of time trying to find someone else. This came when he was beginning to need even more help, and finally I have spent the last week, staying with him at night, helping him through progressively longer seizures.
This man and my mother got married when they were 80 years old. They had 4-5 good years, then he took care of her through her Alzheimer's. He never put her in a home, and she died at home, 81/2 years after they were married. I was hoping even yesterday, that he would die at home. We sat and sang and cried and finally I made the call.
I work with the public, and I tell as many people I can about this woman. All the agencies in town now know her.........and I have his bank accounts in hand.
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Kittiemom, if the assisted living facility is not adequate for his needs, please consider a nursing home. I am concerned that you refer to this female as an "unscrupulous B". She is a lot more than that. She is a criminal. I am also concerned that you have not reported her actions to law enforcement. Pay no attention to what your step dad says about her being "a good companion". Her actions are criminal, and she must be stopped. In addition, in all my years of home care, I have witnessed elderly people who say nothing but good things about their abusive, exploitative "caregivers" because they are afraid of what will happen if they tell the truth. Yes, it means they have been threatened. Have you noticed, kittiemom, that all the responders to your question said basically the same thing, in a variety of ways? We all said: GET RID OF HER. Any town big enough for an ALF will also have a nursing home. Make an appointment for a tour of the nursing home and see if it is up to your standards. If not, find a better one in a nearby community. While there, make sure you sit down with the administrator or DON of the facility and tell that person everything you wrote here, plus the answers you have received from all these kind people, and see what he or she says to do. I am confident that person will be in agreement of all of us: take steps NOW to save your step dad. Think of how you would feel if and when her verbal, mental, and financial abuse takes the next logical step to physical abuse. I would not be surprised if she's "whipped" him into changing his will, and then poisons or smothers him. She is an episode of "Snapped" just waiting to happen. Please, pick up the phone today and make an appointment to tour your local nursing homes. Don't be ashamed to tell those people what is going on. This problem is more common than you would think. They will know how to help you.
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I want to thank all of you for your responses. For the most part, My step-dad has only needed care during the day. We thought we were going to try the assisted living facility for weekends, and he was looking forward to it, but on Monday, he got worse and that facility is not equipped for him. I have stayed with him 2 nights and have been trying to find another caregiver, as I work full-time. The unscrupulous "B" is still with us until I can make other arrangements. Her reputation is now sullied all over town.........and this is a small town! My step wants to keep her, but I have explained that that can't happen. He says she is a good companion!
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From a personal perspective: You need to fire this 'caretaker'. She is a predator
who has inserted hints and such to the point he is agreeing with what she wants, not what he wants or needs. My dad was in his fifties, healthy, held a full-time job, seemed to manage his life well. My brother lived 4 hours away, I lived 2 hours away. We never realized he was being taken advantage of by a co-worker. Dad was lonely after Mom died (he used this word often). His co-worker asked to stay in Dad's lower level of the house til he could find a rental. Long story short, 4 years later - co-worker, his new wife, her 5 kids, and other assorted relatives were there. Dad was not receiving any financial assistance (rent, utilities, groceries, etc) from these people (we found out later). Dad had a massive heart attack at 57. During his hospitalization, I moved into his house. I discovered that that he was in serious financial trouble from supporting these people including their pets. The second day in the hospital Dad requested we get a lawyer so that these people could have a portion of his estate should he die - he promised them. Yipes! We got a lawyer to protect my Dad. My brother and I were naive, Dad kept assuring us that the people were helpful, paid rent etc. Dad was a overwhelmed but didn't want to worry us and I am sure embarrassed. I regret I listened to what I wanted to hear, not what I needed to hear. Dad died peacefully a few weeks later. My brother and I managed to evict the people but not before they destroyed the interior of the house. Please remove this person from your Dad's life. You may even need to contact a lawyer or the police to see if she has done this financial blackmail before. Being lonely leaves one vunerable to all sorts of scams. Please help your Dad - I wish I had stepped up for my Dad.
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That so called caregiver is nothing more than a 'man eater' like in the song. Once she's chewed him up of all his money, she'll spit him out with a broken heart and then find another sucker. Does she work for an agency or just on her own? My stepdad and mother got taken advantage of by a man caregiver much like her.
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Ed lmao, sooo true. No wonder you mom has dementia after raising 14 children, and 13 of them girls. Just kidding.
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KAREN:

Restraining order? Absolutely. But people like her often find ways around them. Still, it's a great idea.

ALL SHE'S GOT:

You're right. Apples & oranges. If confronted, that caregiver will undoubtedly say the $5K gift and the car were his idea; and that he insisted. The fact of the matter is that most women communicate by giving subtle suggestions instead of being literal, and many men will either fall for the Damsel in Distress in a heartbeat or consider how best to help -- especially when there's a secondary gain. Even when they know there's a possibility they might be taken for a fool.

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for day. Teach him how to fish, he'll eat for a lifetime." The best way to help others is to give them the tools to help themselves. I don't care if it's a man or a woman; straight, gay, bi, confused, in the closet, or behind the closet.

Most women I know find me intriguing or intimidating. Perhaps because I'm the only male out of 14 children, and I understand the female psyche better than the average Joe. Perhaps because I'm looking for a self-reliant, self-respecting woman who wants me but doesn't need me; and only hangs around because she loves me.

Although it sounds like I'm looking for a custom-fit in an off-the-rack world, there are many out there. Yet no one, no matter how lonely or mature, deserves to be manipulated, used, or abused in any way. And I have no tolerance for these golddiggers -- which are quite common in my Southeast Bronx neighborhood and usually target the physically/psychologically frail elderly to the point they often feel grateful that some Spring chicken finds them "attractive" and wants to spend some time with them the week when the SSI/SSD checks arrive.

My "Trick Alarm" goes up when females 20-30 years younger than I approach me at the Parkchester Fountain while I'm reading and relaxing. "Casing the joint," they ask if I'm single, what kind of work do I do, and if I have a car. I immediately flip the script with something like "I just came back from Upstate (NY prison) after catching three bodies, and I'm looking for a place to hang out for a while. ... Can I get your #?" In a nutshell, they realize I'm not to be played with and the conversation ends abruptly. Maybe when I hit 90 my tune will be completely different, but for now I'd rather hang on to my self-respect and keep my eyes peeled for these shiftless predators who prefer to get the milk and the cow for free.

Good night my ladies.

-- ED
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