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Grooming my elderly neighbour?

(52 Posts)
forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 20:49:25

I can't disclose too many details and please direct me to another board if appropriate. I am looking for advice and where I can turn for advice and help.

My frail neighbour is in her 90's, I have been her friend and neighbour for 25 years. She has no blood relatives, but has her god daughter, and they have a 'mother/daughter' relationship.

A short few years ago a man and his DW turned up out of the blue. He was the long lost DS of their late friend. At the time, this caused me a raised eyebrow because I'd never heard mention of this man in 20 odd years and suddenly they were staying in her house for a week or so at a time. This man had also disclosed he had been in prison, but the reasons were very odd and land related, which I'd have thought were more civil rather than criminal.

I have spoke with her GD today and we have shared our concerns about them, not in the least that they drove over 200 miles to turn up unannounced late on evening. Who'd do that? There are lots more very strange explanations and claims they have made, but I don't want to disclose further.

Help! Does anyone know if there is anything we can do to safeguard this lovely lady?

CockacidalManiac Mon 28-Nov-16 20:54:06

If you ring social services, you can tell them your concerns and raise a safeguarding alert. Anyone can do that, you don't need to be a professional involved in your neighbour's care.

OohhThatsMe Mon 28-Nov-16 20:55:43

Definitely do something! It sounds as though they will try to get money out of her.

Dozer Mon 28-Nov-16 20:56:41

Report to social services.

stinkyfeet2016 Mon 28-Nov-16 20:58:26

Please be aware though that if your neighbour has full mental capacity then she will be allowed to do what she wants with her life and money.

It's terribly frustrating; like DV victims they can technically 'choose' to remain in the relationship.

If she is assessed as a vulnerable adult (by social services) then there could be a 'better' outcome. Good luck.

springydaffs Mon 28-Nov-16 20:58:37

Also Age Concern will point you in the right direction.

She has a great neighbour in you flowers

tribpot Mon 28-Nov-16 21:00:20

This happened a few years ago? What has happened more recently?

I agree, there needs to be safeguarding put in place for a vulnerable adult. Could the god-daughter talk to your neighbour about a Power of Attorney to prevent her from making any disastrous financial decisions?

If the guy has been in prison he may have a probation officer who would want to know if he was up to no good (although as time has passed this may not be relevant now). I think if I were the god-daughter I would be tempted to have a private detective dig into the past of this guy.

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:01:18

Her GD is heavily involved with her and we are both keeping an eye, so I understand why I can see you are saying involve SS, I don't actually know what they would do more than we are ISWIM. She also has a really good friend, nearly in her 80's who visits regularly so there is a lot of support and involvement around her.

My fear is that by turning up, especially unannounced, she is too polite to turn them away. Despite how she may be feeling about them, because its her late friends DS, she would feel obliged to accommodate them and not tell anyone how she really feels.

tribpot Mon 28-Nov-16 21:03:05

But they're in the house when you're not there and the god-daughter isn't there. There's plenty they could do as a result, from stealing to getting her to sign a PoA in their favour.

Scrumptiousbears Mon 28-Nov-16 21:03:23

Dirty fuckers preying on the elderly. Is it worth calling the police for advice ?

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:04:34

TribpotThey turned up around 3 maybe 4 years ago but now she's alone and her DH isn't with her the visits have continued and it was a few weeks ago that the 'surprise' night visit happened.

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:06:02

I did wonder about the police, but there hasn't been a crime - yet, so I'm not sure if they could help.

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:07:35

Tribpot, that is our worry. She has disclosed that he has 'read through' documents!!

CockacidalManiac Mon 28-Nov-16 21:08:18

All you really can do is involve social services. They have a procedure to follow for things like this.
Unless there is an imminent danger, or you know a crime has been committed, the police will generally direct you to SS.

Optimist1 Mon 28-Nov-16 21:09:50

I'd encourage her goddaughter to talk to her - does she really feel comfortable with these people turning up ad hoc and staying for days at a time? Goddaughter could reasonably express her reservations and reassure her that steps could be taken to prevent them bothering her.

Behind the scenes, but with goddaughter's knowledge and support, I'd be doing all I could to find out exactly who these people are, what he was actually imprisoned for and so on.

She's lucky to have a neighbour such as you and I'm sure her goddaughter is grateful to have you on site to keep an eye on things.

OohhThatsMe Mon 28-Nov-16 21:16:29

Her friend would be mortified to know that her son was turning up like that and reading her documents!

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:18:29

She's an amazing lady, who is still as sharp as a tac, and us the sweetest lady you could wish to meet. I feel I could happily and openly talk to her about it, but she's such a lovely soul, that I doubt she would want to speak bad of them.

I don't know how I can prevent them from just driving over 200 miles and turning up unannounced, expecting to stay. I have absolutely no issues with going round and telling them to fuck off, I certainly wouldn't be behind the door in that respect.

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:19:53

I've already done a Google search on him but I've found nothing significant

Upanddownroundandround Mon 28-Nov-16 21:27:12

Contact Social Services, even police (101 of course). We had this happen with a close relative. They got their feet under the table and got the will changed. Then when the relative died a year later, lol and behold the new will had the house & a substantial amount of money left to that person. After lots of legal hassle and expensive court action we got the will declared invalid and they got nothing. I wouldn't have believed it until I saw these people in action. They appear caring to a degree as they are helping the person to an extent but they are devious and sharp. They know a year or 18 months of casual visits and helping with the odd shopping trip or doctors visit will pay off with a half a million pound house on their death. Vultures. Document visits and make notes of any information they divulge about themselves for future use.

OohhThatsMe Mon 28-Nov-16 21:27:34

I've re-read this, OP. I think you need to get the police involved. He's been in prison, she's never heard anything about him for 20 years and he's staying with her? She's a very vulnerable woman and they need to keep away from her. God knows what they could be doing when she's asleep.

Cuttingthecheese Mon 28-Nov-16 21:31:23

How can you be certain he even is who he says he is? 'Long lost' worries me. He could be impersonating someone who is completely unaware or even dead for all anyone knows?!

forumdonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 21:34:13

Upanddownroundandround, thank you for sharing. That is my fear, that they may intimidate her, directly or indirectly for financial gain.

Ohhhthatsme I've lived next door and been very close to them for 25 years and when they first made contact it was the first I'd ever heard of them or seen them. Apparently he stays up to the early hours after she's gone to bed

OohhThatsMe Mon 28-Nov-16 21:35:14

Is he still there now?

lola111 Mon 28-Nov-16 21:39:54

She's an amazing lady, who is still as sharp as a tac
As long as she has mental capacity then there isn't much you can do .She is entitled to make bad decisions as long s she has the capacity to understand and weigh up.

Lorelei76 Mon 28-Nov-16 21:40:55

OP this is a tough one
I have a 93 year old friend who is now in a home
Prior to that there was a contact who were clearly after her home
As I know her well, I asked bluntly how she felt about him, she was also very sharp at this point and frankly knew what I was asking. Would you do that?

Also ask how she feels about them turning up at short notice, woukd she want help in saying no?

Key difference - the guy here was a not criminal but I was honestly starting to be concerned that he might take stuff from her house (long story). If she doesn't have valuable locked away etc that is possible.

I'm glad I talked to her, she didn't take offence or anything. Worth a try before other avenues?

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