Vic lives independently in his own home with some home care assistance provided weekly. He’s active with a local walking group and enjoys meeting up with his pals once a week at the social club. Vic’s 18-year-old grandson, Paul is on holidays from university and has been visiting Vic every couple of weeks. When he visited last time, Paul borrowed $100 from Vic and agreed to repay it in a week. Vic hasn’t had any contact with Paul since he borrowed the money and when Vic telephones Paul, it goes through to voicemail. Vic doesn’t want to raise the matter with his daughter, Selina, who is Paul’s mother, as it might cause family conflict.
It’s reasonable for grandparents to want to meet the needs of family members, such as grandchildren. However, it’s important to recognise that as older adults we have rights and when requests are made those rights shouldn’t be ignored. Paul’s attitude might be that as Vic is getting older therefore he doesn’t need the money. Vic’s financial circumstances are irrelevant. Whether Vic is rich or poor, Paul is exploiting the relationship he has with his grandfather.
It’s important to ensure that when requests are made by family, older relatives meet their own needs first, before agreeing to the request. Sometimes this can be difficult, however saying “no” can be empowering, as well.
If Paul made another request to borrow money or didn’t repay the loan, Vic could telephone Seniors Rights Victoria for a confidential discussion.
*Personal details have been changed to protect our client’s privacy.