Unwanted 'paid' friends/helpers in the home

Has anyone returned home to look after an elderly parent and found a ‘hanger on’ who has promoted themselves from once a week cleaner to ‘trusted friend’ who now acts as a pushy person who has insinuated themselves and one’s parent thinks they are now ‘family?’ (and Indispensable…)
I also have found that my father is giving this person money as a ‘thank you’ now and again and this person has not told me. I also have suspicions about money matters in general. (I do not pay them directly, but it comes out of a petty cash kitty which I set up with the idea of having at least a clue about where the money was going!) (NB I have asked them to keep a record of any ‘petty cash’ as they sometimes buy things on my father’s behalf that he has asked them to. But there has been an indiscrepancy this week, which my father finally admitted he had given them a £100 cash bonus!!!)

They do not have a contract with us, (except an unspoken one with my father,) do not declare their income (6 hours a week usually plus the bonus’s) have never presented any paperwork. (Not that I have had the guts to ask yet. The two official carers I hired to help my father had no trouble presenting care certificates, DBS, passport and proof of being self-employed and carers insurance.)
I personally also feel that this person is putting my father at risk as they have a day job working in a school and have not yet been vaccinated. (She was as far as I know in my father’s ‘bubble’ during last lock down, but I do not think she should be coming to our home at present. She also never wears PPE, unlike the professional carers.)
I would like to put my foot down, but I know I will be forever the person who drove them away if I did. And my father would make my life even more difficult than it is already.
My father is also now talking of putting this person as co-executor on his will with me, (and also leaving them a sum of money.) This is the last thing I want!

My father has full capacity and I have been told if he wants to give his money away he is perfectly entitled to! I have tried to talk calmly with my father about this, but he has no sense of things and trusts people too much. (He is also emotionally vulnerable as he is 90 and has cancer.)
(PS My father’s sister, who is in her 80’s and widowed, has also run out of savings but refuses to do Equity Release on her home that is fully paid for and worth around £400K. She has no children and re-wrote her will this past year leaving nearly all to charity. So she has turned to my father instead and is asking him to pay her a monthly sum to keep her afloat as her state pension is apparently not enough to live on.)

Advice please…

There are so many alarm bells in your post that I really don’t know what to say: financial matters are obviously a worry, but can be sorted out somehow, the PPE needs addressing urgently - I would say the carers either wear it or stay away, that’s assuming they should even be there in the first place if they have another job in a school. At 90 years old and with health problems your father is very vulnerable.

Help and advice
If you want to discuss your concerns and get some advice, contact Action on Elder Abuse.

Action on Elder Abuse helpline
Telephone: 0808 808 8141

Thank yo AJ and SD… I am trying to address the many complex issues, partly via my father and ‘mediation’ but also in my own way. (Thankfully after a pre eye op today at local hospital he understands self isolation for 5 days from Covid test… and has told ‘friend/carer’ to come after op…) ALSO… We had a 'family meeting today, with said carer and my father… but I still feel she is crossing the line. (I.e she is not NOK but acts loudly as though she is!!!)

Hello Wendy

Thanks for posting in the Forum. We can see that you are understandably quite concerned about your father’s situation and we’ve sent you an email with some further suggestions of support you can seek to address the issues you’ve raised.

Wishing you well


Hi Wendy, I assume that you are away from home for much of the time and your father is alone. Perhaps your father feels very lonely by himself and is pleased to have the company of the ‘cleaner/friend.’

I think dad is being “groomed”.

I also wonder if your Dad is being groomed, and can understand your concern. Has this cleaner/ carer been DBS checked? My friends niece has become a paid visitor to 93yr lady, who just wants company. She was police checked, and the family have set up bank transfer payment. No cash changes hands.

Karen, I now live with my father full time as he is at risk of falls among other things. (He is also no longer capable of
managing the house, paying bills, going shopping, personal care etc… he has a caether etc.) His health has generally declined in the past 12 months and I have just about managed to get him the treatment he needs and make his life more ‘comfortable.’
I try to spend as much time with him as I can, (apart from my afternoon break which I insist on,) but sadly my father is quite a ‘difficult’ person and I am the one he uses as a verbal punchbag daily yet is totally different to any outsider who comes into the house.
I have lived abroad for 20 years, but am here for him now. But as some have pointed out, he is in danger of being groomed.
I would have this cleaner/companion on a contract and paid via bank transfer and copies of her DBS (which I assume she has for school as a lunch time attendant), etc, but it would make my father furious that I ‘don’t trust her’ and so I have to play it all low key.
She has actually now ‘remembered’ about the £100 cash he gave her two days ago (odd that no?) and it was in fact her petty cash top up, (according to her.) But her record keeping is so bad (or she thinks I won’t notice?) that she told me what it was for after initially denying he had given her any money whatsoever.
Alarm bells are ringing very loudly, but I have to be really careful as I rely on my father for food and shelter. (I have no funds of my own or anywhere else to go. Neither am I being paid at all, but that is another story with its own complexities…)
I agree with everyone that she should be registered, have her own carers insurance, self employed (so we don’t have to pay any NI for her)… and paid via bank transfer on receipt of an invoice. Likewise PPE is a must.

But I am working with no support from my father as she is the ‘best thing since sliced bread’ etc.

Thank you Michael for sending the info. I will be speaking to a few people early next week for advice and hopefully find a solution that takes my father away from risk. (She also encourages him to do things that in my view give him too much confidence and is heading for another fall… possibly…)

(It is a really weird one too to have her treating him like her ‘own’ father, when she is not related and she already has a father of her own, albeit they are practically estranged!)
She has also tried to talk to me like a family member and forgets that she is NOT related to us in any way at all and should not be speaking out of turn. (I.e she tells me how to behave/act around my father…)

On reflection, I know my relationship with my father would improve overnight if she never showed her face again… (After a period of separation anxiety on my fathers part. But I would need a replacement for the hours she spends with him, which is very easy to arrange, as I cannot give my father more than I am already doing.)

I would also second the possibility of “grooming”. I have had two friends whose respective elderly parent was, in effect, groomed by a non-family carer-turned-“friend”. In one instance, the parent rewrote his will in favour of family (previous one had been mainly in favour of “carer”) shortly before he died. Carer/friend challenged the will and it took over four years to finally sort out!

Exactly Pennie! I am worried about this too… My father asked me to arrange a codicil (pre last hospital visit) to make above said carer the beneficiary of a small, but good, cash payment, but NO WAY am I going to do this now! Especially as he also is talking about having this ‘carer’ (who is telling me how to treat my father???) as co-executor…
I hope my father will behave according to ‘type’ and ‘do nothing!’

I would start thinking about covert cameras, to find out what was going on, and what was said, when I wasn’t there!

In hand BB :wink: Thanks for the support…

Contact Adult Social Services and raise a safeguarding concern. You can ask not to be drawn into it so your father won’t blame you for any consequences.

Thanks H, that is my next port of call on Monday…

Another thought. Is she working, or claiming benefits? DWP have a fraud hotline I believe!

Thanks BB that is on my list… for later on. (She is not declaring the money my father gives her for her ‘services.’)
She has not shown me her DBS, self-employed status or carers insurance. Because… she is not a carer! Just someone who promoted themselves in my fathers time of need…
She has ‘another lady’ she goes to once a week and a friend advised I need to pass this info onto someone too as it could be trickier for that lady as she has no family about.
The plot thickens!