Hello. I am new to this site and new to forums in general. I apologize for posting on someone else's thread and say thank you to those contributors who offered me some advice. So here goes my story....
My father is 63. Three years ago he met a woman (55 years old) online while he was managing a business on his own and living alone. Three months into his new relationship, my father suffered a mild heart attack.
I live quite a distance away from him and went to go see him with my kids. He told me his lady friend was staying over at the same time, which I didn't mind as it gave me an opportunity to meet her.
She seemed friendly enough and I was happy to see my father happy around her.
However, alarm bells began to ring when I caught her looking at houses for sale on the computer. She didn't own her own home at the time, had no savings and was on stress leave from work, paid for by the government.
More alarm bells rang when she proceeded to tell me that she was waiting for my father to ask her to move in with him. She told me she couldn't be looking for work and helping my father (who was due to have a triple bypass surgery in 3 months). They had known each other for 12 weeks at this stage. I had offered to help him out but he told me she had already offered.
She ended up moving in with my father and he had his heart surgery. My brother went to see him in the hospital and commented how clingy and over affectionate she was with him.
Since the surgery, my father ended up selling his business and retired. He bought a house for him and her to live in and within 3 weeks of living in his new house, he had a stroke.
I didn't get news of the stroke from her until much later that day. But when I did, I made plans immediately to go and see him in hospital. Within minutes of arriving at the hospital (which was a 10 hour drive away!), she came into his room acting overly anxious. I asked to speak to her outside his room as it was making me feel uncomfortable.
She then told me "not to take her house away from her" and "your father wants me in his will". I thought these were very strange responses especially when my father just had a stroke! I told her my father had made me POA prior to him meeting her and I was there to help. Still, she kept a very close eye on me and never left my father's side (nor gave me any time alone with him) during my visit.
The whole time I was there, I just couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right with her.
Anyway fast forward a couple of months and my father had entered rehab for his stroke. My grandmother called me to tell me that my dad had changed his POA and will. He made her POA and put her in his will. I questioned dad's capacity to make big changes so soon after having his stroke. He said it was just easier this way.
Since rehab, my father has bought 2 more houses and moved twice. Meanwhile, us adult kids get no contact from him since the stroke. When we call, its put on loudspeaker and she listens in and comments. Around Xmas time I questioned her about why is it her grandkids get acknowledged and mine don't when Dad cant do these things for himself?
She kept blaming my father for being stubborn and tight with his money. I reminded her of an earlier conversation where she promised she would help get dad reconnected with his family. But she told me my dad doesn't want to go anywhere.
Since the textes she has blocked my phone number and all contact with my father. My brother is told a whole bunch of lies about the conversation in the hospital including that I am just after my inheritance (her words). She also told my brother that I pulled her out of the hospital room and demanded to know all his bank account numbers! and to top it off, my father now blames me for splitting him and a previous partner up and he said he will never forgive me for that.
I'm now so confused. I'm being blamed for something I never did and now I have no way of contacting my father. I don't even know where they live and they aren't giving out their address (she doesn't want me turning up to abuse her she said). All I wanted to do was to send my dad photos of the grand kids but she tells my brother she doesn't want the photos in her house. My father just goes along and backs whatever she says.
I've called the elderly abuse hotline regarding this matter but they said if my father is happy then there is really not much they can do. I could apply to have his capacity reassessed but I know that that is just going to cause any even bigger wedge between my father and I.
Other well-meaning family members are telling me to just let him be. But I know we will never talk again. It doesn't help when she posts nasty quotes and pictures of apes with their middle finger up on social media (which I'm sure is aimed at us). My father would have no clue she is doing this. Nor would he approve if he hadn't had his stroke.
Some things just don't add up. What do you think I should I do? thanks for reading.

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Hi all,
just an update on my situation for those interested... I managed to get in contact with my father recently, but only by chance. He had accidentally dialled my brother's number instead of his partner's phone and told my brother that she was out of town for a few days. So after using 4 different phones (luckily my husband's phone hadn't been blocked) I got through!!

So relieved to hear my father's voice! He sounded very happy to hear from me too. He didn't have any recollection of our last conversation or the conversation he had with my brother (he had said a lot of hurtful things about me to my brother).
He wasn't aware I was blocked. But he told me he would get his partner to unblock me on her return.

We chatted for about an hour in which time he told me that she takes good care of him. But having said that, he also told me that she listens in on his phone conversations, which he thinks isn't fair since he doesn't listen in on her chats with her family.

He told me he would love to see photos of the grand kids and have a visit from me.....however, I still could not get his address as he doesn't remember it! He gave me a rough idea of where he is though.

I am pleased to know that he is happy and well.
I told him I will call again soon (even though I am half expecting to have my husband's phone blocked).
Helpful Answer (8)

Personally, I'd do a background check on that woman, to make sure she hasn't scammed/and or done worse to other seniors before your dad. She moved incredibly fast and got your father sucked into her world in no time flat. Sounds to me like she might have some experience in doing that.

You can do one online for about $40. Just get more information about her, so you have more knowledge about her background.
Helpful Answer (7)

Your dad is an adult. He is involved with a partner. You really have no standing, legal or otherwise, to try to disengage him from this partner.

If she tells lies about you, refute them, gently. If others in your family seem to believe those lies, then they are not very loyal family members, are they?
Helpful Answer (5)

Cazz, I would suggest you keep trying to stay in contact. Unfortunately, there are people who do the types of things your dad's girlfriend has done. Try to take the high road for now, stay away from her, keep your contact with her minimal and reserved, but keep letting your dad know (however you can) that you love him and are there for him. Badmouthing her won't work. (But if you can afford a private investigator, you could have her investigated, just to make sure she doesn't have a criminal background. But don't tell anyone in your family unless you find something solid; even then you'd have to be careful how you present it.)

Things could stay how they are, or you could end up getting a call one day like my friend's family got from her loved one's (30 years junior) girlfriend, saying, "Come pick up your dad. I'm not doing this anymore."

Someone who would move in on someone so quick and try to push away family sounds really unstable to me. Families break apart but if it is something organic, that usually happens over years, not a few months. It really does sound like she deliberately tried to isolate your dad.

People are more vulnerable when they are sick; your dad has had serious health problems. It's probably affected his thinking and he's probably too exhausted to sort out family conflict; she's there "taking care" of him and she's the one he'll rely on for now. But who's to say what will happen a few months/years from now? If you love your dad, be steady (and persistent.) Trying to "detach" yourself from the immediate emotions/drama is a good idea. But you can do that and still not give up on your dad if you love him and want to be in his life.
Helpful Answer (5)

Agree with those suggesting a private investigator. She may be a serial scammer, and at best not only would you be saving your dad but hopefully any future "targets" or maybe even help for others she may have scammed in the past if the investigation reflects unresolved cases that she slithered out of.
I would still try to contact your dad - your brother's suggestion is great.
But I wouldn't put your life on hold either, which I don't think you seem inclined to do as you have IMO a pretty realistic view of the situation.
And who knows, she may be sincere in wanting to care for him without any financial gain. Taking care of your dad may indeed be difficult and she has hung in there for several years.
Good luck! I really hope you find peace with whatever the outcome is. Detach with love for your own mental health for now but always keep the door open.
Helpful Answer (5)

Cazz1973, so sorry you are going through this. One way to get your Dad's new address is to mail an envelope to his old address [if it has been less then a year since they moved] and write on the envelope DO NOT FORWARD. The post office will return it to you with the forwarding address [it might take a couple weeks].
Helpful Answer (4)

A lousy turn of events, Cazz. Many of us here were thrust into navigating a parent who is "not who he/she was" when we were growing up and when we were younger adults.

There's no preparation for this. It's sad and disorienting. And especially sad for you, because your children are blocked from their grandfather.

Having said all that, it boils down to what Barb Brooklyn stated (above).

Search "detach with love" on this site. Or google it. It does not come naturally and it takes some practice. But it will (help) stop this boondoggle from eating you alive.

Hang in there. Big hugs.
Helpful Answer (3)

Thank you BarbBrooklyn, BlackHole, Freqflyer, CountryMouse and lindyLu for your honest opinions, empathy and helpful suggestions.
I would never try to take my father from this woman. If I had wanted to do that, I would have done it while I was still POA and he was in hospital. But that is not who I am.
Its just so sad that she is telling him lies about me and I have no way of defending myself and I have no way of telling him I still care.
I think other family members are sitting on the fence. Especially my aunt who I have confided in. She is the only one who still has contact via social media with them.
My aunt suggested to my father's partner that dad try calling me to talk to me. The girlfriend told my aunt (conversation was all via texting, mind you) that she relayed her message to my father and he responded with.. "if she doesn't like the situation, then leave".
The girlfriend also told my aunt that she has tried to turn my dad around but he is stubborn. The partner also told my aunt the decision was made to block us all (?).
My aunt said there is really nothing she can do to help anymore. She can see there are red flags but thinks deep down that dad's partner really does have his best interests at heart.
I have asked her to keep an eye on things and inform me of any change to Dad's health, which she is happy to do. My aunt and Dad's girlfriend have never met and my father isn't close to his sister. My father doesn't have any male friends. He's never been social. He's on his own with this woman and surrounded by her adult children,grandchildren and friends.

I live in Australia, so the postal service may be different here. I have lost his previous address where I stayed after his stroke. However, he still owns this house and rents it out.
I have 2 brothers. One is estranged and the other is still in contact with Dad. The brother still in contact is planning to call soon and ask him again for his address (to go visit him later in the year). If he gets it, I think I might request a mediation meeting and send it via post. What do you think? Because I do still want contact with my father. Just not with her. I know I will be rebuffed, but at least I tried and it goes on record.
My brother has thought about giving him photos of all his 7 grandkids along with a letter from myself telling him how much I miss and love him (which he will read out loud to my father). My father can't read since the stroke.
I have thought about hiring a private investigator, LindyLu, but your'e right and I cant really afford it. I know that will help me to locate his address. It might be something I reconsider down the track, especially if the address isn't given to my brother at all.
My father has changed a lot since the stroke. He has lost the empathy he used to have. He told my brother while in rehab that he doesn't care about anything anymore.

I'm not ready to give up on my father. I know its the stroke, and not really him.
The pain I feel from being blocked and not communicating with him is killing me! Any disagreements we had in the past were always worked through.
I am taking BlackHole's advice and starting to research the process of 'detaching with love'.
I am not prepared to make amends with the girlfriend though as I feel so betrayed by her lies! I have lost all respect for her now.
Thank you all so much for caring! I hope this really does resolve itself soon.
Helpful Answer (3)

You and your brother's idea about the letter and photos sounds really nice, as is trying to ask for a meeting. It is so sad that he's changed that much -- it sounds like really bad timing, having that happen shortly after meeting someone who might be fishy. There have been a few people posting the past few months about loved ones' personalities and cognition changing after a stroke; it must be really hard for both the patient and the family.

It does seem worthwhile to try to get in touch. At least it should give you some peace of mind to know you you reached out to him and shared your feelings with him. I really hope things work out for you.
Helpful Answer (3)

You may be able to get an address by searching the tax assessor's or County clerk's records online in the county that he lives. The old house records may have a mailing address of the new house. A good start to at least try to find out the address.
Helpful Answer (3)

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