ABBY: Elderly mum struggles to adjust to senior life | Lifestyles



DEAR ABBY by Abigail Van Buren


DEAR ABBY: My elderly mother spent her entire adult life spending her men’s money, and now she’s turned into an authoritative, self-absorbed, vapid woman. She blew off her legacy years ago without worrying about future needs. I have now moved her to a seniors’ residence near my home. She wants to make friends, but the problem is that she thinks she’s better than everyone. She criticizes people’s dress and their perceived social status. Although she looks like a frail old lady, she is in denial. She also has bouts of crying and irrational concerns and demands.

Abby, my mother has a roof over her head that she can afford, food, access to healthcare, and family nearby. She’s just used to the constant go-go-go from her old country club life (which she never paid for). I am recently retired, and her manipulations and the effect she might have on my marriage stresses me out. Please advise. — STUCK IN THE MUD

DEAR STUCK: You are a caring son, even if he is frustrated. You mentioned that your mom spent her entire adult life enjoying herself and living the “country club life.” Change at any age can be difficult, but as people age they can become less resilient, which is more difficult. I can understand why your mother can sometimes shed tears over her change in status and even deny it. You didn’t mention how much freedom she has now, but maybe she has too much free time. If she can’t find things in common with her neighbors, maybe she could make some friends who volunteer for some of the charities or activities in the community. You would be doing him a favor by suggesting it. However, if her crying spells increase, she may benefit from being screened for depression by a medical professional.

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DEAR ABBY: I’ve been in a primarily online relationship with a man for years. He is a musician and we met after one of his concerts. We live thousands of miles apart, and since COVID shut down the world, we’ve only seen each other twice. We love each other very much and have constantly developed our relationship through text messages. My problem is that I’m not a rich woman, but I’ve been sending him over $1,000 a month all this time so he can post his music on various websites. I’m not entirely comfortable with that. I have a strong aversion to being used, that’s what I sometimes feel. What do you think I should do? — DISORDERED IN DELAWARE

DEAR CASUAL: Listen to your intuition. Tell the musician that you love him very much, but you’ll have to stop sending him money because you can’t afford it anymore. It happens to be the truth. His behavior in the months following your ad will show if he is on the level or if you have been used.

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents can be found in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, and an $8 check or money order (US funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, PO Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling charges are included in the price.)

(EDITORS: If you have editorial questions, please contact Clint Hooker, [email protected])


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