This morning on the radio, I heard a commentary from Dr. Dean Edell that really helped me understand my elderly mother. His commentary was regarding the elderly and their inability to recognize unscrupulous individuals. There was actually a study done using unsavory types of individuals and normal, clean-cut individuals and showing them to a group of elderly folks as well as younger and middle-aged people. The results were amazing in that the group of elderly people couldn't see the difference between either group of individuals. They saw nothing wrong with the unsavory types in their appearance compared to the normal, clean-cut looking group.
That information was so helpful for me. You see, my mother who lives alone, answers the door to anyone who comes calling, has invited strangers in and has had items stolen from her; fortunately, that's all that has happened. I thought that she was just lonely and I tried to tell her that she couldn't just open the door to anyone. Each time she tells me that it was a bad idea on her part and she won't do it again. Now I know that as an elderly person, she may not be able to recognize the difference between those who may want to do her harm and those with legitimate intentions. I am not quite sure how to use the information that I learned today, but it clearly puts it in a different perspective. Now have they done a study on why the elderly (my mother) give money to anyone who calls on the phone and asks?