Life Advice



Ask Amy: Hard luck brother begs for funds

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Medical notebook labeled Diagnosis Substance Abuse, psychiatric mental questionnaire and pills are on table in psychiatrist cabinet or counselor of this issue or problem

Dear Amy: My brother (age 60) has had a difficult life. He has been fired over a dozen times from various jobs.

I also believe that he has substance abuse problems.

A couple of years ago, he moved and said that he wanted to get his life in order.

I gave him some money then, but now it seems he is up to his old behaviors. He’s been out of work for the last year.

He frequently “borrows” money from elderly relatives.


When I tried to put a stop to this, he told me that he completely understood why my husband divorced me, and the begging (successfully) continued.

Now that my elderly relatives are no longer in the position to give him money, he is back to asking me.

I generally refuse, but he still manages to get me to donate, claiming necessary medical bills.

He has also asked me to be the go-between to transfer money from my father’s account to his because my father is no longer able to physically go to the bank. (My father is competent and agrees to give the money.)


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