DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: We have just recently been able to get into my grandmother’s senior apartment building since the beginning of COVID. While we were visiting with her in her apartment for the first time, a man we had not met before stopped in to ask if my grandmother was going to the bridge group that plays two or three times a week. Most of the people in it are in their 70s, like my grandma, or early 80s. The new man is only, I’d say, in his mid-60s.
After he left, my grandmother told us he seems to be very popular with all the ladies, including from what we clearly saw my grandmother, who has been on her own for six years, since my step-grandpa passed.
I just don’t trust this guy. He was very flirty with my grandmother, and when I said something about that, she said he is always like that.
The next time we visited, we ran into one of my grandma’s friends, who doesn’t play bridge. I asked her about this new guy, who was once again knocking on my grandmother’s door 10 minutes into our visit. She said there are rumors about this man hitting up the women for money or sex, or both.
I think he’s a creep taking advantage of lonely women. How do I tell my grandmother to be careful and protect herself? --- FEARING A GIGOLO HAS MOVED IN
DEAR FEARING A GIGOLO HAS MOVED IN: Since your grandmother and the other women in the bridge club have been grown-ups for a long time, you need to give them credit for being able to take care of themselves.
That said, a little casual flirting is one thing. Taking advantage emotionally, sexually, and/or financially is something else, especially if there are any mental or physical issues involved.
If you continue to be uneasy about this man, you might want to talk to your grandmother to gauge her true feelings toward him and determine if there’s likely cause for any real worry.
Also, if any of your grandmother’s children are in the picture and not already cued into your concerns, you could share your observations with them. Having more people keeping an eye on things could end up providing peace of mind for those who genuinely care for your grandmother.