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I'm really worried about my dad, although I'm worried that I'm interferring too much. Do you think I am??

(27 Posts)
JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 18:00:07

This is probably going to be long as I am trying to explain the situation as best I can from all angles.

A bit of history first. My mum died 7 years ago, she left my dad, me (I was 25), my twin sisters (they were 23) and 2 grandchildren (my children, DS5 and DD3). My mum was the person that kept us all together and on the right path, (in other words, she was the boss).

Anyway, my dad pretty much gave up after she died and has steadily deteriorated over the last few years. He has emphysema, slipped discs, sleep apnoea and is generally not in great shape. I have looked after his bill paying, bank accounts etc for the last couple of years. At his request, I will add.

Now fast forward to last year when my sis met her now fiancee. He had walked out of his marriage and met my sis at church. He was taken in by an older couple from the church, and lived there for a while before he started seeing my sis. He has not worked since I have known him. He has had a couple of jobs, but has worked 1 day then phoned in sick. In the 12 months I have known him, he has had Pleurisy, Kidney stones, various viruses, injured knee, several colds and the flu, amongst other illnesses.

This is my sister's first proper relationship, so as you can imagine, she is head over heels in love. The thing is, he leaves me, my other sis, and my dad with a very uneasy feeling. I don't trust him 100%, although we get on well enough.

My sis moved out for a while (6 months), because my dad didn't want her to have a boyfriend upstairs in her room past 12am, and he didn't want him to stay over.

After their 6 month renting period was up they then said they had nowhere to live and could they move in with my dad temporarily for three months, which took the month to Oct last year. When the chat about them finding somewhere to live came up at that time, they then informed us that they couldn't go anywhere as they didn't have a good enough income until her boyfriend found a job. He hasn't done anything towards finding a job at all, but continues to pretend to look, and feign illnesses. I have asked him several times about it, and he promises that he will do XYZ next week, which obviously doesn't happen.

I'm worried that they are taking advantage of my dad's good nature and fragile state. They use his bank card and she regularly asks him for money.

I have asked my dad not to give them the card many times as he moans they are taking him to the cleaners, but then gives them it again the following week.

Oh I also should mention that my sis took over £1100 from his account last January.

What on earth am I supposed to do to stop this crazy, scary situation? I mean, my dad is a grown-up and so are they, but this surely isn't right?

Am I interferring? I don't feel I am, but maybe I am?

I apologise for the length of the post, but this is driving me crazy and I really needed to try to get it all down.

Thank you if you got this far.

honestfriend Sat 10-Jan-09 18:08:47

Why not talk to your sister? Your worries are understandable. Purely financially, it seems unfair that your sis is fleecing your dad for a lot of money when, presumably, you manage on what you have and don't "borrow" from him.

Ultimately though- as you say- it is your dad's home and money- he can do what he wants with it.
It might look to everyone else as if he is being taken for a ride by a scrounger of a boyfriend and a daughter who allows this to continue, but it is HIS problem.

I think maybe you have to have a serious talk with your sister.

madwomanintheattic Sat 10-Jan-09 18:09:37

you are, but for the best of reasons.

however, if your dad is together enough to comment on them taking him to the cleaners, i suspect he would rather bail your sister out rather than see her get hurt further.

you can talk to your dad sensibly about it, and you can try and ask your sis with no drama how she really feels, but ultimately they are all adults. i'm assuming you don't have power of attorney over your dad's affairs or anything, just have taken over where you mum left off to save him the hassle.

what do you feel is scary and crazy about? it seems as though they are taking advantage, but nothing else really. if you feel they are stealing from him without his knowledge then it might be a different matter, but there seems little you can do at the mo.

what is your concern? that they will empty his bank accounts and leave him homeless and uncared for? there is probably a lot that you are not seeing - i'm guessing you are not there 25/7 but have a family of your own. do you feel maybe you might have got hold of the wrong end of the stick a bit? he might not look too much of a catch to you, but your sis's partner might be cooking your dad dinner and doing his laundry or whatever?

(i don't mean to be critical - just wondering what exactly is scary and crazy?)

madwomanintheattic Sat 10-Jan-09 18:10:56

25/7 lol... 24/7! finger slipped

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 18:15:55

Thanks honestfriend. I have spoken to her and both of them together. I have asked her if his not working is a problem to her and she says that it is a problem, and she has spoken to him about it, but she says "What else can I do, this is the man I have chosen to spend my life with."

I have tried to talk to her, but obviously it's a touchy subject and she is embarrassed about it.

I also don't want her to be taken for a ride.

I do agree though, I do need to have a proper talk with her.

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 18:23:39

MWITA- I think it's the taking advantage that I find scary.
Although I do agree with what you say and I'm hoping that I am getting hold of the wrong end of the stick. I am good at putting my foot in it, although it's mostly because I'm trying to do a nice thing and it goes dreadfully wrong.

madwomanintheattic Sat 10-Jan-09 18:24:33

your problem is that he doesn't work?

if he's pulling all those illnesses he probably earns more on benefits. get your da to charge them rent and get him to claim for ss. (ok not really, but i thought the biggest concern was your dad's health and diminishing bank balance, not the partner's lifestyle choices lol)

solidgoldsoddingjanuaryagain Sat 10-Jan-09 18:30:48

Other than a reluctance to work, is there anything in particular about the boyfriend you don't like? IE does he dominate your sister and push her around? Does he speak kindly and civilly to your dad and treat him as a friend?
He may be a bit of a scrounger, or he may be a predator: obviously we don't know. And if your sister has been a bit sheltered (she met him at church and he's her first partner - rarely a good sign if there's anything worrying at all about the partner) she might not have very good judgement about people she doesn't know.

I appreicate it's difficult when you want to look out for your dad without hurting your sisterm try and keep an eye on things as unobtrusively as you can.

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 18:33:16

lol, I think it's the lack of work that causes the diminishing bank balance that I have a problem with. I do actually get on very well with him, I just don't agree with his work ethics.

I also think my dad kind of plays us all off against each other. He asks me to say something to her about the money and housing arrangement, so I do, then he denies all knowledge and I end up looking like a cow.

The thing is, if my dad is happy with the arrangement, then so am I, but he tells me he's not so I try to do my best to fix it, and so the cycle continues.

Miggsie Sat 10-Jan-09 18:39:40

This is known as "elder abuse" and you can ring Age Concern as they have people who deal with this kind of thing.

I would also advise your Dad to change his PIN number immediately, why on earth did he give it to them in the first place????

Taking money out of an account like this is stealing, not to put too fine a point on it (I assume if he kept cash in the house she'd help herself?)and your sister needs to address her problems, not leech off your Dad.

Your sister won't do anything until she has no option. She prefers to take hers dad's cash than stand up to her partner.

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 18:43:24

Thank you solidgold, you've explained my concerns better than me. Also do you know my sis?

He is ok to my dad's face, but pokes fun behind his back. He is easy to get on with on a friendly basis though.

WRT him and my sis, he speaks about and to her as though she is a silly child. They argue a lot.

My last relationship was both emotionally and physically violent, and he has similar mannerisms to my ex, which I admit possibly clouds my judgement, or does it make it easier for me to spot it, IYKWIM.

unavailable Sat 10-Jan-09 18:51:46

Jeanie - does your sister work ? Does her partner claim incapasity benefit because of his illnesses, or are they not "real" illnesses?

£1000 from your dad in one month is alot of money - do you know what they are spending it on?

From the way you describe the situation, I would not trust your sister to tell the full truth about what is going on even if you confront her. Her boyfriend is clearly her priority over your dad's welfare.

The partner sounds really shady to me - is there a chance he has a drink/drug problem that your dad is now funding.

Sorry if this all sounds a bit melodramatic, but it does sound v odd to me.

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 19:02:43

unavailable- my sister works fulltime. He doesn't claim anything. I did ask why and he said something about not being able to because he lived with my sister who is working. Bollocks I think.

Funny you should mention the drink/drug problem. He was an alcoholic when she first started going out with him, but he stopped drinking just like that, and is now clean.(Is that the right word?)

It is odd, you are right.

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 19:04:34

Miggsie- do you think I could ring Age Concern to have a chat with them myself. Your post is very interesting.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 10-Jan-09 19:11:17

He may well have stopped drinking (for now) but if he is alcoholic he will remain an alcoholic.
You son't just stop becoming an alcoholic.

Agree with the "elder abuse" comments; your Dad is being taken advantage of.

Your sister sounds like her partner's enabler. Not a good position for her to be in.

Would certainly ring Age Concern.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 10-Jan-09 19:14:11

Does he have a will?.

I would also look into taking charge of his finances on a legal footing. He is being ripped off by his daughter and her partner. They iuing his bank card to access his funds is something the bank should be taking notice of and stopping.

Where's this money gone?.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 10-Jan-09 19:15:26

This charity are also good:-

www.elderabuse.org.uk

JeanieG Sat 10-Jan-09 19:28:40

Attila- He doesn't have a will yet. He has been asking me to set up an appointment for him, which I did. He then said it was too short notice, so I re-arranged for 23rd of this month. I told him today I had re-made the appt, and he said he wasn't ready to do it yet.

My worry is that should something happen to my dad whilst they are there, would they move out? It has crossed my mind that this could be his plan, but then I worry whether I'm being melodramatic. I also don't want to piss people off if I'm wrong.

I do think you should trust your instinct though, and mine says this is not right.

Thanks for the link.

lessonlearned Sat 10-Jan-09 20:41:24

I think you are right to worry. It sounds like your sis and your dad are needy and vulnerable. He is making himself very much at home and winning their dependence on him as an alfa male in their lives.
I think you can see that he is inching you out of their confidence here.
It will be hard to wake them up to what is going on by being confrontational though. I think you need to move closer to them all and don't let him make you out to be the cuckoo in the nest.

solidgoldsoddingjanuaryagain Sat 10-Jan-09 21:01:25

OK this bloke is definitely a parasite, if not a predator. Men like this have an instinct for women who are vulnerable in some way (shy, not very streetwise, inexperienced in dating, fresh from a miserable break-up etc): they have a lot of superficial charm but always an eye to the main chance.
The situation is not helped if your Dad is a bit manipulative, either. I agree with the posters who say, contact age concern etc but try not to force a confrontation as this could end up with you being pushed out and blamed, leaving a clear field for the parasite to fleece your dad and sister and then move on. Hopefully the links given below will be able to give you some more directly useful advice.

Technofairy Sat 10-Jan-09 21:07:59

"unavailable- my sister works fulltime. He doesn't claim anything. I did ask why and he said something about not being able to because he lived with my sister who is working. Bollocks I think."

No, this is true. If he's never worked then he won't be entitled to Incacapacity Benefit as he won't have paid enough or more likely any NI contributions. I think you have to have accrued about 2 consecutive years worth to be eligible. His only other option then is Income Support but if your sister is working over 16 hours a week then he isn't entitled to owt.

Technofairy Sat 10-Jan-09 21:09:19

Incapacity Benefit lol - though Inca capacity benefit has a nice ring to it!

LoveBeingAMummy Sat 10-Jan-09 21:17:15

I think you are right ot be worried, i would be. Your dad must feel like he's unable to say no when she's stood in front of him telling him whatever she does. You need to have it out ith him and ask what he wants if he really doesn't mind then that's up to him but it has to be his choice, if he doesn't like it then ask how yu can help.

unavailable Sat 10-Jan-09 21:23:27

Jeanie - please go with your instincts. I am sure you asking more tough questions and trying to get your dad to be firmer will piss your sisters partner off, but only because you are on to him.

Can you find out more about his background/history? Has he intorduced you to any of his family?

Attila is right - you dont just wave a magic wand and get over an addiction, but it may be that he has substituted one substance (alcohol) for another (?)

lessonlearned Sat 10-Jan-09 21:57:30

What about these people he lived with before? might it not be a good idea to find out what their experience of him was?

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