Dear Annie: After my dad died, my mom went to live out of state with my brother and his wife. My brother took control of everything. He convinced her that she was incapable of making her own decisions and had her open joint bank accounts that he has full access to.
Recently, Mom confided that she has no idea why she can never get over a certain amount of savings in her account. She knows she should have more money put away, but fully trusts my brother and will not confront him about it. My brother has also pushed me out of my mom's life. He will not let me visit her or allow her to come to my home. I am lucky if I get to speak with her once a day on the phone.
My children miss their grandmother and can't understand why there is such a drastic change in her behavior. Family is just not family anymore and the holidays seem sad. I don't know what to do. My brother and his wife want nothing to do with their niece and nephew. Please help. -- Missing Mom
Dear Missing: While it's possible that your mother simply doesn't remember what money is being put into her account, it is more likely that your brother is taking advantage of her -- especially if he will not permit you to visit. This is very worrisome. If you believe your brother is being abusive toward Mom, either by stealing her money or preventing others from checking on her, please contact Adult Protective Services in the city where she lives or get information on local state resources through the National Center on Elder Abuse at www.ncea.aoa.gov.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Lonely Not Lusting," the 80-year-old woman who went on a date with a man who seemed nice, but who grabbed her breast when saying goodnight. It reminded me of the comments that my doctors always make after my exams.
I am in my 80s and single. Both doctors always ask if I'm sexually active. Then they warn me to make sure that my partner has been to his doctor and been tested for STDs. This is the age of Viagra and a large percentage of their practice is devoted to men with STDs, especially those living in assisted living and senior residences where the women greatly outnumber the men. The men I have been with lately think we women are all just waiting for them to ravish us. How stupid can they be? Please consider educating people on this subject. -- N.
Dear N.: According to the CDC, the incidence of syphilis among seniors is up by 52 percent, and the number of chlamydia cases has risen 32 percent since 2007, many of these cases in retirement communities. The increase is attributed to living longer, healthier lives, along with the accessibility of erectile dysfunction drugs. Many seniors seem to believe that if pregnancy is not an issue, condom use is unimportant. But as we get older, our immune systems weaken, making seniors much more susceptible to being infected.
We commend your doctors for discussing STDs with you. Medicare offers free STD screenings for seniors, and low-cost treatment for those who need it.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM