D EAR ABBY: Some friends are in the process of adopting two children internationally. Early on, they had a garage sale with the proceeds going toward the adoption. I was excited for them and wanted to help.
By JEANNE PHILLIPS
However, this was soon followed by more requests for yard sale donations, two more garage sales, the opportunity to buy expensive coffee online, a fundraising dinner and then a solicitation to provide a virtual shower of plane ticket money.
I have never been asked for money for the same thing in so many different ways in such a short time. I am increasingly disgusted and put off by their continued pleas for money. Am I wrong to be so upset about this? A Little Ticked Off
DEAR TICKED OFF: It appears your friends are taking advantage of your generosity. It will continue for only as long as you permit it.
Are you absolutely sure this couple is really in the middle of the adoption process and not using the money for some other purpose? Before donating anything else, you should find out.
DEAR ABBY: I was married to a wonderful man, Ted, who was 20 years my senior. In social situations, his adult children would introduce me as Dads wife or Teds wife. Sadly, my husband passed away, and his children no longer know how to refer to me socially.
I was recently asked by Teds children how I wished to be introduced, but Im not sure. I dont think stepmother is appropriate because Im only four to seven years older than they are. Do you have any ideas as to what might be appropriate? Marilyn in New Jersey
DEAR MARILYN: You could be introduced as Dads widow, my late fathers wife or simply by your name.
DEAR ABBY: Thank you for all you do to keep our seniors safe. Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. On that day, communities all over the world will sponsor events to highlight the growing tragic issue of elder abuse.
Your readers young and old should know that the U.S. Administration on Aging estimates that as many as 5 million seniors are abused or neglected each year in the United States.
Elder abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and sexual. It also includes people who are neglected. Elders who are abused are twice as likely to be hospitalized, four times as likely to go into nursing homes and three times as likely to die.
Elder abuse can be prevented if everyone would learn the warning signs and report it to Adult Protective Services or the police if they suspect it is happening. Mary Twomey, MSW, University of California-Irvine
DEAR READERS: I was dismayed to learn that 90 percent of elder abuse happens at the hands of a family member or a caregiver. The descriptions of the kinds of treatment these elderly adults experience are frightening, and frankly, not suitable for readers of all ages. That is why I am urging readers to get more information on this important subject by visiting www.ncea.aoa.gov.
We can all stop this scourge if we know what to look for and are willing to speak up when we see the warning signs. There, but for the grace of God, go you and I.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. Dear Abby runs Monday through Saturday.