Dear Harry:

Last week, a friend told me that her daughter calls her every morning to make certain that things are OK. I like the idea as a matter of self-protection. I'm 84 and I suffer from a number of cardiac-related ailments. I live alone, and I manage very nicely so far. My daughter (my only child) lives in Delaware so she would have a long trip to help if there were an emergency. However, she could do the call thing twice a day and even call 9-1-1 if she couldn't get me on the phone. There is only one problem. She wants me to pay her for doing this. She flat-out refused to do it otherwise. I am very hurt. She says that it won't do any real damage to my income or assets, which she will inherit anyway. I suppose she's right, but I just don't have a good feeling about it. I'm afraid I'll lose my daughter if I refuse. Help me, Harry.

What Harry says: Wow! I hate to say this, but I think you lost your daughter even before this situation arose. She wants you to try to buy her back. I can understand a child asking for an "advance" on her inheritance if the parent is very well-off. But to ask for compensation for an act related much more to love than to money is just too much. I'm guessing that she normally has very little time for you. I don't know what she intended to charge you for her services, but consider alternatives like MedicAlert or a reciprocal calling arrangement with a friend. After this cools down, you might want to reconsider your will provisions.

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.