Friend or Foe?

Elderly Care Orlando FL - Friend or Foe?
Photo by Steve from Pexels

Making friends and keeping current relationships can be challenging for elderly folks. Natural attrition drains the connection pool. The older you get, the more funerals you attend. Your friends all don’t have the same life span. A dear older friend of mine, Charleton, used to laugh when she’d talk to us young mothers, from her perspective as a grandmother. She’d say her Sunday school class socials were now mostly memorial services. It sounds maudlin, but she was telling the truth.

As an elderly person, social opportunities may be few and far between, but the need for social engagement remains. We all feel the need for community, for connection. In seeking those friendships, however, our elderly may fall prey to people who want to take advantage of their loneliness. How do we protect them from potential foes? Here are a few signs that the new “friends” might be wolves in sheep clothing:

1. Bank Account Activity – Does the new friend frequently run out of cash just in time to pay the lunch bill? Unless you’re dating, friends should pay for their own lunches or dinners. Sometimes friends develop the habit of trading off who pays the entire bill. If your Epic Elder is always picking up the tab, you’ve got a red flag that someone is trying to take advantage.

2. Change in View – Has your Epic Elder started sounding different to you? Does she have opinions that sounds totally opposite to what she has expressed in the past? Does he want to delve into the status of your involvement in his life, especially your oversight of his finances? Someone may be whispering in your loved one’s ear to make waves between the two of you. Wolves may try to position themselves to become Social Security Representative Payees.

3. Sudden Obsessive Involvement – A true friend needs her own space too. If your Epic Elder has become intensely involved with someone that commands his attention constantly, perk your ears up to listen for trouble. Strong friendships evolve over time. Sudden love affairs with friends might signal someone trying to get an inside track to your loved one’s money, belongings, or identity.

Elderly people crave and thrive on friendships and community, as all humans do. They may be less prepared to discern between true friends and false ones. Stay vigilant in your watch over their relationships, even if it seems as if you’re intruding. They need your help in staying away from the foes that could do them harm.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elderly Care Services in Orlando FL, please contact the caring staff at Flourish in Place Home Care Solutions today.  Proudly serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Brevard Counties. Call 407-845-9797.

 

About Melanie Lee

Robert “Kim” Lee and Melanie Ann Lee founded Flourish in Place to help seniors and adults with disabilities thrive and flourish while leading dignified and independent lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Kim and Melanie raised three remarkable children while helping care for Melanie’s wonderful mother, Kathryn, who lived a rich life despite dealing with bipolar disorder all her life and suffering later from post-polio syndrome. Melanie has cared for her intellectually disabled older sister for the past 18 years as Melinda’s court-appointed plenary guardian. Kim’s mother, Betsy, suffers from severe dementia. She lives in her own home with the help of compassionate family members as well as paid caregivers. Kim and Melanie’s life experiences caring for others influenced their desire to help people not merely “age in place” -- but flourish at home. Kim and Melanie are both Certified Senior Care Managers. Melanie is also a science teacher.
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