Auntie LindaDear Auntie Linda, My older sister is ornery, critical, and mean-spirited.  She’s been married to Reggie,a minister more than fifty years.  He’s a wonderful man, good father and husband, and wonderful pastor.  He is good to Joan even though she makes his life a living hell.  Joan has alienated their children, so that they won’t spend holidays at their home.  They only see Joan when they bump into her other places.  The problem is that Reggie now has Alzheimer’s and is totally at Joan’s mercy.  She tears into him when he forgets, berating him for forgetting and for having to take care of him.  Though he had always been able to blow her off before, he is stuck now.  She gets him agitated and he gets out of control and tries to escape.  She has called me several times to calm him down and get him back in the house or to get him to bed.

Reggie has always been so good and helpful to our entire family.  We want to help him.  He needs to be rescued from the misery Joan inflicts on him.  What can people do who are not next of kin or have no legal rights to make care decisions?  Mad Sister

Dear Mad Sister,  You and concerned friends and family should contact Adult Protection.  If action is not taken, report again.  There is no excuse for this cruelty.  Auntie Linda

Dear Auntie Linda, I have a dear friend, Margie, is a great companion except for for her negative attitude.  If she inherited money, she’d moan about the inheritance taxes.  When I congratulated her on the birth of a grandchild, she bemoaned the state of the world the baby would have to grow up in.  When she had a good report from her doctor, she said, “Cancer runs in my family.”  What makes a person so pessimistic? Look on the Bright Side

Dear Bright Side, Margie is depressed.  Suggest she discuss it with her doctor.  Next time she follows up good new with a downer, mirror it back.  “You just won the lottery and all you can think about is the taxes?  Something is a lot better than nothing!”  Keep it up. If she doesn’t change her habit, maybe at least she will get tired of hearing it.  Auntie Linda