DEAR ABBY: Dad has been a widower for five years. Shortly after my mother passed away, he began dating women (girls, really) about 45 years younger than he is. He has spent more than $20,000 on these girls -- who quit calling after they get his money.
His house has been robbed three times, and it's a constant hassle to cancel his credit cards, call the banks, etc., in the middle of the night after he discovers that someone has been in his house while he slept.
All precautions have been taken, locks changed, a motion-activated alarm installed in the hallway, but he's the one to blame.
He knew the latest girl who robbed him for only three weeks. He invited her into the house. She led him to believe she was going to stay the night with him, got undressed, and then told him she needed to tell the person who gave her a ride that she was staying. She pretended she couldn't find her shirt, and when my father got out of bed to help her look for it, she grabbed his wallet and ran out of the house -- topless. Her shirt was discovered later.
Abby, how can I stop Dad from making such stupid mistakes? I've tried explaining what these women really were interested in, but it happens over and over. Please help. -- WORRIED ABOUT DAD IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR WORRIED: You didn't mention how old your father is or what his mental capacity was before your mother's death, but it's possible that his ability to care for himself has diminished to the point where intervention is necessary.
Schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in geriatric medicine and discuss mental and neurological evaluations for your father. Since it appears that he has lost the ability to protect himself from being taken advantage of, also consider consulting an attorney with expertise in elder law about options for protecting your father.