Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 9:23 pm
Dear Annie: My father is getting up there in years. He can think and do for himself quite nicely. The problem is, if something breaks or Dad does not have the money to get what he needs, he will go without. Sometimes there is not enough food or hot water, and periodically an appliance stops working and stays that way.
Dad is very proud and will not tell us when he needs something nor will he ask for help. I don’t want to be held liable if something awful happens. I have mentioned the problem to other people and they tell me to just blow it off. I need to know how to handle this. — No Name and No State
Dear No Name: You are not accountable if your father’s refrigerator breaks, but you have a responsibility to check up on him. Don’t wait for him to ask for help. Go see him in person. Look at what needs replacing, whether his hot water is working or if there is heat and food in the fridge. Talk to him about his financial situation and see if he’ll let you look at his checkbook or credit card statements. Maybe you can enlist the help of a neighbor to drop in on Dad now and then.
You can get more information through the Eldercare Locator (eldercare.gov) at 1-800-677-1116 and AARP (aarp.org). To find federal and state support for older Americans on low or fixed incomes, check out benefitscheckup.org.
Dear Annie: My husband is from a state that is generally considered progressive. We now live in my state, one where people are generally perceived by many as ignorant hillbillies.
Because we plan to retire to my husband’s hometown, we bought property there and make frequent trips to check on it and visit his relatives. Lately, I have been subjected to many rude remarks about my home, to the point where I have told my husband I no longer wish to retire to his state.
My husband thinks I should overlook the insults and pity the ignorance of those making them, but I know I can never be happy living in a place where, no matter how bright, funny and articulate I am, I will always be considered a hayseed. The irony is that my home state has good jobs and beautiful homes (including ours) while the area my husband hails from is extremely rural and so riddled with poverty that the highest aspiration its residents can have is to land a job at the local mill. What do you think about this situation? — No Hayseeds Here
Dear No Hayseed: We think your husband is being a bit insensitive and you seem to have a slight chip on your shoulder. Most people tend to be defensive about their hometown and critical of others’, but these things can be overcome with time. The locals will not consider you one of them until you actually live there.
Aside from topography, we assume your husband wants to be closer to his relatives when he retires. This is a valid reason to relocate, so we hope the two of you can discuss it a bit further and work out a reasonable compromise.
Dear Annie: “No Name or State” said her husband looked at online porn and often asked her to do demeaning things in the bedroom. I can offer some additional help to this woman. I belong to a group called S-Anon for friends and families of sex addicts.
Many of us have felt the shame of thinking we were responsible for the sexual actions of a family member or friend. Our self-esteem dropped to low levels and we doubted our attractiveness, our emotions and our sanity. If she, or anyone else, would like additional information about finding meetings in their area they can contact S-Anon (sanon.org), P.O. Box 111242, Nashville, TN 37222-1242. I hope this helps. — T.G. in Atlanta
Dear T.G.: We have recommended S-Anon in the past and hope anyone who needs the assistance will look into this organization for support and guidance.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. E-mail questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.
Published in The Messenger 1.13.09