Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Neighbors Suspect Caregiver of Conducting Affair Next Door

DEAR ABBY: We live next door to an 89-year-old woman, "Estelle." She's a "snowbird," meaning she is our neighbor for only part of the year. She has a devoted caretaker, "Iris," who visits her almost daily. Iris shops for her, brings in her mail, and helps her with laundry, bathing and many other intimate tasks.

Estelle has given us a key to her house for emergencies. The issue is that once Estelle leaves for the summer, Iris arrives almost daily for what appear to be afternoon trysts with a man, not her husband. They stay in the house for two to three hours and then leave, always in separate cars.

After several weeks of seeing this, my husband went over to Estelle's house to check on things. The bed in the master bedroom was obviously used. The air conditioning was on high, and the house was in general disorder; not anything like how Estelle would have left things.

Our dilemma is, we know Estelle depends upon Iris. She trusts and adores her. Do we turn a blind eye to what's going on? It really isn't our business except that we hate seeing someone taken advantage of. Last year we reported our observations to Estelle's son as he was bringing his mother here for the winter. He wasn't sure what to do because, as I said before, she's quite dependent on her caretaker. Advice? -- SEEING TOO MUCH IN FLORIDA

DEAR SEEING: This is Estelle's home and Estelle's employee. If this were happening on your property, wouldn't you want to know about it? I see nothing to be gained by keeping Estelle in the dark. Tell her what has been going on, that your husband went to check the place and found it in disarray. Then leave the ball in her court.

Read more in: Friends & Neighbors