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Neighbor barely known more than a few months is attempting to provide personal care, including heavy lifting of my mother who has end stage cancer and in hospice care at home. I am suspicious about the "all of the sudden" interest in her and my father (both vulnerable, elderly adults). Is there a way I can protect them if (sadly, and I hate to think) there is ulterior motive? How do I protect them?

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Unusually, I mean. Tsk!
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If the new neighbour is merely a helpful and concerned citizen (and I would be happier in a world where we could just assume that to be the case) then the neighbour will perfectly understand your natural reservations and will take no offence at being courteously asked for reassurance.

Do be careful to be courteous and appreciative, otherwise it will sound as if you're acting on the opposite assumption! And verify anyway. Some of the nastiest people ever have also been among the most plausible, and you can do no harm by discreetly checking up.

I hope and trust you will find that you have nothing worse than an usually kind human being living next to your parents. What a restoration of faith in the world!
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Thank you so very much to each and everyone who responded. Oh my gosh, I am overwhelmed with such thoughtful information. This website is such a blessing. I will carefully consider all your input. I live in the same City as my parents and am there as much as I can. Unfortunately, I am about to exhaust my protected leave from my job, so I try and guard it carefully knowing extended leave for her care is to come. Also, it is unfortunate that I still have a couple of years to go before retirement and cannot quit at this point financially. I would be there 100% if I could and that is part of the guilt and concern expressed in my post. Again, great information to consider and act on. I love them so much and only want the best for them. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart. Kathysdaughter.
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From what you wrote, this is just a neighbor to your parents who all of a sudden has taken an interest in your parents' wellbeing. Is that accurate? And this neighbor is not a member of the hospice team?

If this is just a neighbor who is pitching in to help and you are suspicious take that suspicion seriously. Are you in the same town as your parents? Are you able to keep an eye on them?

To protect them you can let the neighbor know that your parents have assistance but thank you so much for your help. If you live in the same area you can create boundaries for this neighbor. This neighbor can do x,y, or z but that's it. Neighbor can come over on this or that day but any other days wouldn't be good for your folks.

Is someone taking care of your parents' finances? Watching over the finances? If not, then someone needs to step in there. As you said, your folks are incredibly vulnerable.

It's a shame that we have to be suspicious of someone whose motive may be just to be helpful but we've all heard the horror stories of someone insinuating themselves into an elderly person's life and creating drama and stress if not worse situations.

I think the neighbor should have gotten in touch with your family and said, "Hey, I have some time on my hands and I'd be happy to help out your parents if they need it. What can I do to help?" This would have been more appropriate. But we all know that there are people who prey on the elderly. It happens all the time and we read about it here too. Because your folks are so vulnerable, I'd keep an eye on this neighbor but that depends upon where you live. If you're out of state there's not much you can do and I wouldn't put too much faith in what your parents say about this neighbor. I'm sure they're thrilled to have the help. And if the neighbor IS up to no good, he/she will be friendly and easy going and charming and oh so helpful and that's all you'll hear about from your parents. You may not hear that this neighbor asked your parents for a loan or submitted papers to them offering to be their POA. In order to protect your parents you're going to have to be 100% hands on with them and their finances.
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I agree with all the above, including asking the neighbor how your parents are doing, and listening to her perspective. You don't have to agree with what shes says, or like it, but listening is useful. Maybe she is seeing or hearing something that you are not being told about, for whatever reason.
My perspective is that I am friends with an elderly woman with gradually worsening dementia whose children disliked the "meddling" of her church friends. These things are judgment calls, but in my opinion (knowing the woman and her church friends), they were seeing that at times she needed more care than the children had arranged for. I'm not saying that is the case with your parents; it's just something to consider. You sound caring and loving and this is not a criticism of you. The protection angle is important also, as you and others have said.
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I too would check her out. Background check on the Internet is inexpensive, assumes you at least have the full name and address.

I will say my mom had a suspicious meddlesome and very helpful neighbor, 5 years later i now know she is just a helpful kind person.
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Trust but verify. Are you local? Make sure the checkbook and cards are secure.

The neighbor may have no boundaries, and sincerely want to help, but I, too, would be concerned enough to investigate.
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I agree with Veronica. Ask hospice if they know anything about her. Maybe she is just a helpful, compassionate person. It would be a shame to lose her if that is the case. There are not enough people like this.

I definitely understand your concern. You should get her contact information, give her a call to introduce yourself, and ask her pertinent question about how your folks are doing. If she sound like she is on the up and up, make sure you thank her for what she is doing. But it is hard to believe, it may be worth a call to the PD to alert them.
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Maybe your mother is paying her to help.
call the hospice office and talk to the head nurse and express your concerns and ask what they know about this woman. Perhaps she just has a kind heart and wants to help out
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