Mar 07, 2024

Caretaking conundrum: When to trust your gut instinct?

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A woman has taken to Reddit for guidance on how to deal with her mum’s new “friend” who offered to take over some caretaking responsibilities. [Source: Shutterstock]

The daughter of an aged care resident has taken to social media to seek advice on whether to trust her gut instincts regarding her mum’s “new friend”.

A 40-year-old female Reddit user who goes by the username ‘raisingjack’ has taken to the platform to confirm whether her “spidey senses” were right as she feels uneasy about her mum’s new friend who has become overbearing and offered to take over personal aspects of her mum’s care. 

Having been ill for some time, the 70-year-old resident moved into an independent living apartment-style facility and mainly kept to herself outside of a few casual friends.

But on a visit to see her mum, the daughter found her mum had a new friend. 

“I extended my hand to introduce myself to this woman when she dismissed the handshake and instead went in for a hug and said, ‘Oh, I only do hugs for family and we’re pretty much family!’,” she wrote. 

The daughter user was content that her mum had a new friendship but, despite being a self-proclaimed trusting person, something didn’t feel right and she couldn’t put her finger on why.   

The mum has since moved accommodation and her friend soon followed, relocating to the exact complex and is now said to always be in the background of conversations when the daughter calls. 

Furthermore, the friend is said to have bought the mum’s dog a, “I have the world’s best aunty,” outfit for Christmas despite having only known each other for about two months at the time. 

Things overstepped a boundary when the friend  called the daughter and proposed she take over some of the mum’s care, such as managing her medications. After the daughter politely declining the offer, things turned pear-shaped.

“When I confronted [the] new friend about going to my mom and relaying our private conversation in a totally twisted way, the friend lied and said that my mom had grabbed her phone and read it all in the text messages (it was over the phone and not at all via text messages). When I pointed out there were no texts she just kind of stumbled and I dropped it because I knew it wouldn’t get anywhere.”

The daughter voiced her qualms to her mum who disagreed, saying that her new friend was “just being kind in offering to help with stuff”. The daughter begged her mum to be cautious, to take the friendship slow and let her family handle her care. 

For a second opinion, the daughter contacted her mum’s oldest and closest friend to ask whether she had met the woman and what she thought of her. “I just feel like she’s up to no good,” said the friend.  

Despite no changes in medications, the user’s mum has suddenly become more confused, prompting her daughter to take her credit and debit cards home to prevent any financial exploitation. 

“I did look this new friend up on a couple [of] websites and all I learned from that is that she has a lot of ‘also known as’ names but I can’t find anything else […] Does any of this raise any red flags to anyone else or am I just being too overprotective of my mom on this?”

What do you think and what would you do in this situation? Let us know in the comments below. 

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