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My dad wants female companionship or possibly more. He has recently found a female friend. She is 47 and he is soon to be 80. Whilst I am fairly liberal, I can’t help but wonder why she wants to be friends with such an older man. He has told me they go out often and from what I gather he has paid about 70/30. He is very generous with his money, but is in no way wealthy, but has a reasonable pension and owns his own house. I would like nothing more than it to be all ‘above board’ but I worry about him. We are taking him out for his 80th and he has told me that she would like to meet me and my brother. Obviously I would like to look into the situation as I am concerned there may be something more sinister. Am I overreacting?

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Good for your dad! It's great that he's found someone.

Now, protect him from his impulses. My dad found someone, too. She was his own age, but that doesn't matter. He had a bit of money and owned his home. After several years of living with her, he had no money and no home. I don't blame her for a bit.
She never swindled him, his own generosity and early-stage dementia whittled away every penny. I don't think she ever had a sense of how modest his income and assets were and they never did anything particularly splashy or indulgent, just well beyond their means.
She then passed away, her kids sold her home (he had moved in with her) and he's left lonely and struggling and depending upon us for financial support.
Dementia very often makes its first attack on a person's ability to make simple financial decisions. By the time the family notices glaring dementia symptoms and gets involved, the money's gone.

Protect your dad. Sit him down, express your delight that he's found someone to share his days with, and go over his income and expenses. Sign him up for online banking, if he isn't already, so you can keep tabs on his expenditures and intervene when things go sideways. Best bet is to take him to an elder law attorney for a consultation.

Don't be as sorry as I am.
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disgustedtoo Feb 2, 2019
Absolutely he should go over everything and consult an Elder Care attorney, sweet young thing involved or not. Setting up his home as a living trust allows him to live there for life, but protects it from ANYONE who might try to swindle him. It also makes it so much easier at time of death because it does not have to go through probate. If he has any other assets, consider a trust fund. Also remains his, but it is protected.

We did this for mom when dad was not well, then redid what was needed later before her dementia went beyond the capability to agree/sign. I can say the living trust part of this (condo) was a pain in the butt. We had to move her (wouldn't allow aides to come in) and selling it while she is still living was a nightmare (certain percentage is allotted to her, and the rest to us - we all put our share back into the trust, but have to file capital gains. We plan to have the trust pay for the portion of taxes due for the gains. It was too much to hang onto the place (about 14k just for taxes and condo fees, then replacing a lot of glass due to fogging and the whole heat/AC system...) But it still beats losing the whole thing to some swindler (ANYONE can potentially take advantage of an elder without our knowledge!)
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I don't think so. The age difference is reasonably grounds for suspicion.

My biggest concern would be that she may try to get him to change his will.

Are you able to have a heart to heart talk with him about your concerns? This may be a good time to discuss you or your brother becoming POA if you are not already. It would be a good idea too for Dad to make his bank accounts joint with you and your brother.
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Reply to Sanibel01
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No you are not overreacting. Why would a 47 yr old want to be with an 80. Friendship, maybe. Sugardaddy, maybe.

Invite her to the party and feel her out. Your opinion about the relationship will not be wanted. You will just push him away. Just keep your eyes and ears open.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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We dealt with this with my FIL; he was 92 - she was 30, and his nurse in a facility! She was GREAT to him...but needed money. Turned out he gave her around 4-5K. ( He was relatively well off!!) We had to step in & take his checkbook away. She wasn’t too happy about it; nor was he. We felt it wasOK to help her a little, but we saw it getting out-of-hand, and had to take over the finances. We should probably have done it a bit sooner...!
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Countrymouse Feb 1, 2019
Er - did you also step in and report these gifts to the facility's director? I'm glad you managed to nip the problem in the bud (quite a big bud! - but anyway in time); but it's a completely different situation with a completely different set of ethics applicable.
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What better start to "looking into the situation" could there be than inviting this lady to join the family for your father's eightieth birthday celebration? I hope she is lovely and that you all enjoy the event.

You won't enjoy the event if you use it to cross-examine her, of course. Take an interest in her but as a rule of thumb do not ask her any questions which you yourself would find offensive or intrusive if they were put to you.

Hmmm... worried about him. Worried about him? Worried about what happens to his savings and his house after he no longer needs them..? I don't mean this point as a criticism, because who wouldn't be affronted if some gold-digging interloper waltzed off with their father's hard-won assets; but do be clear-eyed about what exactly your concerns are.

It doesn't flatter your father to find it so amazing that a much younger, but not young, woman would enjoy his company. I might also point out that we ladies well into middle age struggle in the dating game when it comes to our own age bracket (well. I personally don't struggle because I'm not playing, but there is a lot of it about); and one of the most unattractive things about men in their fifties and sixties is that they are not attracted to their female peers.

Enough musing. Take an interest in this lady, find out where they met, ask her pleasant conversational questions - get to know her, in short. Then you'll know what more you need to know.
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20Eagle16 Feb 1, 2019
Hey Countrymouse...As usual, you gave good advice on this post. I would simply advise you not to generalize a group of people. Saying that men in their 50s and 60s do such and such is quite unfair. I feel that it would be more accurate to say that SOME men in their 50s and 60s do such and such. It would be like me saying that the only thing women in their 40s want from men in their 80s is the men’s money. I have always liked your posts. Please don’t spoil them with generalizations about a group of people.
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The age difference throws up everyone's antennae. It is not unheard of for a younger woman to be looking for a sugar daddy, however, you said 2 things that make me think she may be in this for some male companionship that is safe.

You say that dad has paid about 70% of their dates, that is what his generation believes, if you, as a gentleman, take a lady out, you pick up the bill. She has been able to get him to let her pay 30%. A gold digger wouldn't pay one penny.

You say she wants to meet you, if she had larseny in her heart, she would avoid you like the plague. People that are up to no good want as few eyewitnesses that can identify them as possible.

You don't tell us what kind of health your dad is in, is he sick, frail, feeble or is he vibrant, energetic? Is he interesting, does he have a great sense of humor, is he kind and compassionate? If the former, yea, I would wonder, if the latter, why are you surprised that a female would find him and his companionship attractive.

Love is blind but it is also age indifferent.

It took 3 years for me to meet my dads young thang. She was resistant, even when he forced it. She did everything in her power to separate him from all of his friends and family, of course he participated, he was an ego driven person that was flattered a young thang wanted him, so he willingly believed the lies. There were red flags everywhere and he was the only one that couldn't see them. I didn't think about her motives one way or another, until I met her. She was like a bitch in heat, marking her man, really? Yuk, I'm his daughter why would you behave that way? To prove to me she had him. He was a wealthy, fat, bald, old man. When she divorced him, almost to the day she qualified to collect on his SS, he was almost dead, 70#s of water weight, teeth rotted out of his head, kidneys failing, and his monthly SS check to his name.

She brought her next victim to his house, a rented trailer, that he actually paid the July rent for her, as we were moving him out. She had her hooks so deep that he only knew to keep her happy or pay the consequences. She spent everything he had, he lost his business trying to please her and she would always have something she needed so he couldn't see to his own health. To this day he thinks she did nothing wrong.

I didn't mean to go on, my point is that you should have your antenna up, but watch how she behaves, if she is up to no good there will be obvious signs.

Until she has given you a real live obvious reason to be concerned welcome her as dads friend, if you say anything it creates a reason to disconnect from you, she will use it to her advantage and your dad will choose her. If she is up to something, she knows the game and how to win. You can't help if you have no contact, keep that in mind.

If she is only looking for a safe male, Praise The Lord, you now have another person to help dad and that is invaluable.

Give her an honest chance to show her true colors, not your already distorted colors of her.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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It could be both but if you are concerned - go with the gut feeling.
I had a cousin that was - was writing my father. Found out he was sending her cash in the return letter. He thought she was broke. I told him she had a fancy computer, fancy cell phone, showed him on google maps where she lived... he stopped sending her money. That 50 cent stamp was getting her $20 to $40 dollars a month. Now the letters come but not as often, oh and I check each envelope that goes out... "because the post office in on my way to work"
Blessings
hgn
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It is so hard, isn't it, to be caring yet vigilant, accepting yet doubtful when our loved ones are beginning a relationship that doesn't seem quite right. Forbidden fruit is attractive at any age! Avoid a "them against us" vibe. Be welcoming, but aware & discreetly follow up on any red flags. Involved, loving family members are the best barrier against predators looking for an easy (alone, lonely) mark. Include the new love interest in family gatherings & casual dinners or activities with your Dad. She may really have a mutual attraction with him. Or not.
Here's a twist: Before my dad died of cancer at age 57, he told my brother to make sure my mom, age 53, remarried a younger man. Dad believed that older men were only interested in women her age as a live-in, unpaid caregiver. Was he a male chauvinist or clear eyed realist? Food for thought.
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Reply to Longears
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MaryKathleen Feb 1, 2019
One of my widowed girlfriends said, "Older men either want a nurse or a purse". I thought it was hilarious. Maybe sometimes, not all the time.
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I’d be very skeptical. Definitely time to look out for dad
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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The advice you have received here is sound.
Weve just been through a nightmare with my parents regarding unscrupulous women. They were loving and doting.... especially to my sweet trusting father. All the while gaining access to his accounts, asking about his land ( he was willing to sell to them for a fraction of its worth because he was being worn down) and there was theft- not just cash(over $5000) but in hours, pay, etc.
please check your local court records to see if her name appears for anything unscrupulous- we wish we had.
Believe the good in everyone; but be as wise as you can be, too.
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