I often find that friends and neighbors do their best to be helpful to others they see struggling. However an important thing to always question is — are we giving the best advice? Obviously we all have our own opinions about what we should do, what our children should do and what others should do, but is this advice tainted by our own beliefs rather than being the most educated, accurate or impartial advice? If you find that a friend or individual who is not your family member needs advice, the best action is to find a professional in whatever field the advice is needed. This avoids perception to any outside person that you have a degree of influence. How many times I see occasions where advice given by a friend turned out to be detrimental to the individual. For example, a friend “knew” someone who they believed would be a suitable renter for an older woman. This friend, however, was involved in drugs and the police one day found the older woman bound, gagged and locked in a bedroom of her home. The friend who recommended the renter took absolutely no responsibility for the event because she said that the woman made the decision to allow the renter. This would have never occurred had the friend not interfered or try to help in the first place. The responsibility of helping another who is not family, especially in significant situations should not be taken lightly. When is doubt, consult a professional.

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About Pamela Wilson

PAMELA D. WILSON, MS, BS/BA, NCG, CSA helps caregivers and aging adults solve caregiving problems and manage caregiving needs through online programs, live support groups, and an extensive caregiving library that includes articles, podcasts, videos, and webinars.

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