The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 6, 2014

Can partying stepdaughter be placed in rest home?

DEAR ANNIE: My adult stepdaughter doesn’t want to work. Her main goal in life is to drink, smoke pot and pass out naked on the beach. She inherited two family homes and essentially threw them away by not paying the mortgages and having parties with the money she collected as rent.

This woman falls off the face of the Earth until she needs something. Her father and I are just getting our finances back on track after a series of layoffs. She had no idea we had moved out of state for new jobs. My husband is retired now, and we absolutely cannot afford to house a 43-year-old woman.

This girl needs some serious help. When my grandmother became too drunk to manage her own affairs, we put her in a rest home. Could we do this with my stepdaughter? — No Drama, Please

DEAR DRAMA: Not without her consent or a court order saying she is incompetent. We doubt you’d get either. We assume this woman doesn’t have a job, but she is still your husband’s daughter. Is he willing to cut her off financially?

Would she listen to him if he offered advice or suggested job counseling? We don’t recommend you let this woman land on your doorstep. She has to understand that there are consequences to her irresponsible behavior. Still, you cannot do much without Dad’s backing. And if Dad enables her profligate behavior in any way, it only prolongs the end result.

DEAR ANNIE: Everyone at our YMCA is friendly. We smile and say hello, even if we are not well-acquainted.

The exception is a young man who started coming a few months ago. He always has a scowl on his face. Whenever anyone says “hello,” he turns away without responding. Maybe he just wants to be left alone. But he has had an arm amputated, so we wonder whether there is something more we should do to reach out to him. He might be a war veteran — but we don’t know, because he won’t talk to us.

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Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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