"When a Live-In Caregiver Friend Gets Too Familiar”
“I am worried.
My girl friend moved in with me as a live-in companion last month. She has become too familiar. She climbed into my bed last night and wrapped her arms around me! I sent her from my bed. We have been friends a long time, and I had never thought she was interested in women, particularly me!
Unrelated to last night, some other things have me worried, too. All of my friend’s belongings are here. She recently asked to be a joint signer on my checking account “in case something happened.” She is also quite reluctant to pay for her share of food or any household expenses for that matter. She always has some excuse.
While I am in my eighties, my friend is 10 years younger than me and in far better health. I do not have children, though I do have a younger sister. My sister warned me about my friend, and I did not listen.
What do I do now, Mary?”
The Caregiver Column Answer:
I see some red flags here, which are probably the same ones your sister saw. You have a friend who has indeed become way too familiar, and you are feeling vulnerable. It is easy to see why.
It appears that while looking for a caregiver, you did not clearly establish ground rules for the living situation. Many people do not realize this beforehand, but these relationships can be very tricky and should be set up with legal advice.
What to Do
You will have to suffer the “I told you so” with your sister. So be it. Privately, call your sister, eat the humble pie, and ask her to help you extract yourself from this situation. Siblings can be great warriors when it comes to someone interfering with one of their own, and I hope this is the case for you.
Ask your sister to accompany you to a lawyer. Their advice will help untangle you from your friend. Take along any papers you may have signed that relate to your friend. Go to the bank and remove your friend from your accounts TODAY.
I strongly recommend that your friend move out immediately.
You may need another person to be present in the home with you until your friend leaves. I recommend it. This will help avoid potential backlash. You may have a niece or nephew you can hire or ask to stand by your side. Perhaps your sister can help.
While the encounter in your bed may be strange, the other matters dealing with your finances are what concern me more. Talk to your sister, recruit support, and take heed. Feel confident protecting yourself.
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