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Elder Abuse. Opinions?

Discussion in 'The Cat Lounge' started by twinkles21, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    Sorry it's long and totally off topic, but I value your opinions [​IMG]

    We recently moved out of our starter home of 8 years into our forever home, in that 8 years we became quite good friends with one of our elderly neighbours (“Alvin”) Previously he was one of those people that would say his age and you would do a double-take, you’d never believe he was that old, although in the past 8 years he has aged terribly and quickly.

    Alvin had little retirement saving and (obviously) cannot live off his pension alone, so he has (had) a contract job as a caretaker.  Shortly after we moved in to the starter home, Alvin’s adult daughter “Tara” moved in with him, he never agreed to let Tara move in, but due to his increased aging he was unable to do parts of his contact job, so out of necessity he allowed her to stay because she helped him out at the job.

    From an outsider perspective, Tara is a lecherous woman, she is 50+ years old, never had a stable job, lost her license twice for DUI, has been in and out of AA for 10+ years, and that’s just scraping the surface of her personality! In the 8 years we lived next to them, she has systemically ruined his life.

    - The little retirement savings he did have, she stole to pay off part of her back-owed income tax

    - She makes him pay her car and insurance and cell phone

    - She lives rent free

    - She sells his belongings for alcohol

    - She steals his pension to use at the VLC gaming machines

    DH and I unsure what exactly she is doing to make him pay for her things, but we’ve seen first-hand the verbal tirades she goes off on, shouting all sorts of obscenities and names at him. So obviously there is some verbal abuse going on, but we don’t know if it extends to physical.

    There are many times we thought of reporting this situation (to somebody? Not even sure who?) and we’ve spoken to Alvin on it multiple times, and it’s the same excuse. He needs her now, because of his ailing health he can’t do any part of that job now, Tara is doing that job for him now, he needs that job to make ends-meat, which they are BARELY making because of Tara’s habits and every day it’s more of her abuse and demanding more and more money from him, which causes him to stress which deteriorates his health further.

    It’s like a never ending downward spiral.

    DH and I surprised each other last night that we were considering offering one of our spare rooms to Alvin. We have the room in our new home, He would have his own bedroom and bathroom plus his own family room, with shared laundry and kitchen. He could sell off his home cheap to Tara (it’s a trailer on a rented lot, it wouldn’t go for much anyway) give her the contract job, and then the 3 of us to work out what he can afford to contribute out of his pension, while still having enough for leisure money for him. That way he can stop paying for Tara’s debts and finally retire.

    That’s the up side, I am conflicted on some things.

    - Privacy invasion, We’re child-free by choice, I’m concerned about having someone else in the house

    - His health, we cannot provide him home care, he will have to work that out himself.

    - His dog, I don’t know how well that will go over with the kitties.

    And the big one:


    If we were to do this for him, it would be an escape, I would want him to wash his hands of her (so to speak). I don’t want her within 100ft of my house, let alone IN it! I don’t want him giving her money, I don’t want her to contact him, because we all know how that ends up. Is it unreasonable to request he let her go? To have no contact? I know it is his daughter, but she’s a total abuser, she’s totally not welcome in our home and if we find out after she’s still coercing money out of him, we’re going to be really hurt.

    It could be all speculation, he may choose to stay where he’s at, he’s refused help before. but I don’t know, what do you think? I’d value a different perspective.

  2. Columbine

    Columbine TCS Member Staff Member Advisor

    Feb 27, 2015
    The kitty playground
    It sounds like a pretty awful situation. It's incredibly generous of you to even consider opening your house up to Alvin.

    However...I don't see that you can demand he cuts all ties with Tara. She can be banned from your property (that's your perogative, after all), but it's not your place to ask him to stop all contact with her - no matter how dreadful she is.

    The other big issue is Alvin's health. There's no knowing what may happen in the future, but if you're unwilling to assist with care (perfectly reasonable, imo), then you may have a whole can of worms in the future. You could even find yourselves in a position where you have no choice but to provide some care - you certainly don't sound like the kind of people who'd sit back and watch Alvin suffer, but you could easily end up resenting his presence if circumstances bounced you into the role of carer. There is also the matter of dog walking if he were unable to do so. It could easily be a situation where either you provide care or you lose control over who comes into your home to provide care.

    In the uk we have a charity called AgeConcern which is focused on all aspects of rights and life quality for the elderly. Is there an equivalent in the US? They ought to be well placed to advise you as to options available, and even whether a call to a government agency such as Adult Protective Services is appropriate.

    It's wonderful that you care so much for Alvin. I really hope you're able to find some way to help him.

  3. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

    Aug 29, 2014

  4. twinkles21

    twinkles21 Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Sep 15, 2014
    Alberta, Canada
    For sure. This is exactly what I'm afraid of. It probably sounds really selfish but there's a reason we're chid free. We're not nuturers, I don't know if we could handle the kind of care that may be required.

    Thank you! I'll look into those. Maybe we can find another option. But again as I said it's all supposition at the moment. All I can do is present him with options and reaffirm that what's happening isn't his fault. He has to want help, and he's refused ours in the past.

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