Mother is an on-line shopaholic

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Any suggestions for how to stop my 78-year old mother's habit of on-line shopping? She receives a package every day in the mail and has been doing so for years. But, now her income is cut in half due to the death of her husband. Is there something I can set in her computer?

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I think my mom shopped Lindenwold a few times and then Lindedwold offered unbelievably cheap trinkets if she would buy more things. For example a flashlight the size of a chapstick tube you could put on a key chain. It was waaay out of hand. We had hundreds of boxes of stuff around the house. This was a while ago, but I believe I contacted the company who was bilking her, found someone with authority, and faxed him directly the POA and asked him to please stop or we would raise this to the courts. I also followed up with a letter with a description of the conversation and a little more detail about mom's condition - doctors description etc. Then I called the credit card companies and explained the situation and asked them if they could offer some relief for those particular purchases. Perhaps the credit card company could block the sales from that company.
It took two years to clean up my mom/dad's CC situtation.

ALWAYS FOLLOW UP WITH A LETTER. A PAPER TRAIL WITH A TIME,DATE,WHOM YOU SPOKE WITH AND THE FOLLOW UP PLAN DISCUSSED.

If you aren't comfortable writing down as you talk, tape the conversation, and then put it in a letter. Then you can put the copies of letters in a file folder or scan it into your computer so when the trail gets twisted you can fax the copy of the letter they say they never recieved to refresh their memory. Anyway this is a good start to the process. An attorney can help you fill in the gaps as you go. Just ask for 15 mins of his time, (or how much time you think you need) have your questions ready and watch the clock. You can ask the receptionist of his office what he would charge so you can be ready with the dough. Hope this helps.
You will feel much better once you are on the other side of this, and pray for GODLY help to focus your efforts to the people who can help you. Jerome.
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The only issue about having the credit card company give her a small limit is to make sure that once the limit is reached they will not allow any more charges. Some credit card companies let you go over your limit (so as not to embarrass you) and then charge you a huge over the limit fee.

Could you block the Home Shopping Network on her TV? I'm assuming it's a cable station.

Julie Q
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Okay, I posted somewhere on one of these boards about online shopaholic.... on Windows XP you can set up your account to have a password (make it complicated) where they can't even log into your system or create one for them that has just the basics and everything else blocked.

I would also have the POA on hand (for financial) to contact the credit card company and discuss the issue at hand (they will want the POA proof). You can also have them put a REALLY small limit on her card that gives her some freedom without the worry.

Hope this helps. Maybe sell her stuff on ebay or some other website after any of this is done? LOL
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Thanks for your valuable post, Jerome. We can all learn from your sharing.
Continue taking care of yourself,
Carol
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Hi Anne, I am sharing what I am learning as time goes on. Different posts stimulate events that happened to us currently or in the past, and for me gives me ideas that may help someone else. You are right that it is a continual discovery, and it may take a while for someone to find the physican who wants to help and is encouraging.
I didn't drop my mom at the mental health ward by the way, she settled down.

But for a year and a half I didn't get any REM sleep, she would run away from caregivers while I tried to work. She would try to exit the car while I am driving in City rush hour, she would scream at police, or anyone for that matter, that I was kidnapping her and trying to kill her. It was quite difficult to find that balance, and forget about a personal life.

Change is happening all the time, and we have a picture of what our parents are/were, and then they get hit by this tragedy. I learned to let go of my frustration, anger, pity party to myself, and just simply be kind to her (and to myself by the way) and love her where she is moment by moment.
When she can no longer converse with you verbally then you will discover new ways to communicate, but you will miss the words.

When I finally got to a point where I was stuck and all I could do was clean up after her and eat out of cans (soup, veg. etc) a social worker with Hospice told me I needed to see a psychologist. So I did and that started all the 'stuff' inside to unravel and fade. It is a process, I am taking better care of myself. Finally, no more dirty dishes piled in the sink!

Everyone must learn to ask for help, and continue to pray for guidance.
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Thanks, Jerome. Excellent suggestions. Are you responding to another thread or post of mine? It's all a time of discovery isn't it? First a diagnosis, finding the right meds, adjusting them, and ourselves, and our approach and expectations. Finding what works and what doesn't. What a difficult disease. Talk about shopping... We're "shopping" for the "right" Physician, the right meds, the right interactions, and the proper balance for everything. Just when we think we have it figured out, things change. All except our mothers, that is. Ciao
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Anne, I learned to love the 'fight ' that my mother would present. It wasn't until I was ready to drop her at the mental center in town, that I discovered you must take one to the emergency room to be treated first and then they can be admitted. Well, at the emergency room and later we found out mom suffered from depression and anxiety on top of Alzheimer's and that she had been suffering from this her whole life!
Finally some pieces fell into place and that explained a lot of her strange past behavior. Once she was properly medicated, using the "less is more approach" she leveled out beautifully. But back to the arguing the running etc. At least the fight is effort against the ravages of the disease.
On the other hand my cousin took his mother off the Alzheimer/dementia medicine and she responded more normally.
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Two things I would consider.... one is that if you have POA and your mother shops from a regular online store, write a letter to the store with a copy of the power of attorney and you are recommending they don't sell to her.

If that is not an option, can you put an account on your computer like Windows XP has (even MAC). That way you can set a password and she can't get into your system. Heck if I'd leave her with a computer all day.

And what about her credit when she buys? Again as a POA I would write the credit card companies with proof of the POA and say to shut her credit line down due to dementia or something. You can obviously prove it with her excessive spending and probably debts she owes.

How about disconnecting a phone line somewhere? With VM and digital service, there are plenty of options to receive calls from people.

Do you need anymore ideas? LOL
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Hi all! Hope you are all having a great day. JulieQ, sorry I am late answering your question about the solicitation calls to my dad. These were various persons claiming to be from various organizations needing donations, wanting to offer him certain services to save him money, etc. You name it, they offered it. Dad has dementia, and cannot say no to anyone. He would get the phone calls from Jamaica saying he won anywhere from $400,000 to $1,000,000, but he would have to send them a fee first of about $200-$400.00. He would do it, thinking he had struck paydirt, because he has dementia. He would receive up to ten calls a day. They would be so friendly and call him by his first name, and talk like they were an old friend of his. I know, I answered his phone many times over a one week period at a time. Then, when they found out I was looking after his best interest and would not let them speak to him, they would get really nasty over the phone. Especially the ones from out of country, because they know we can't touch them. I loathe those that take advantage of lonely senior citizens and steal from them. They try to use the excuse, "Well, they gave me the money!" No, they did not, it was stolen from them, knowing full well they are not in their right minds. They will have to answer to their maker one day, and I hope they burn in hell for it! Am I bitter? Yes, seeing what has been done to my father, I am. I want justice, and will spend every ounce of my energy, as long as it takes, to see that it is done. Victims are supposed to have rights in this country, and I will exercise these rights on behalf of my father. He was a major victim of "Financial Elder Abuse" for those of you who have not read my past posts. He used to be worth $1,000,000.00. Now he will be losing his home that USED TO BE paid for, and he lived in for 40yrs. I'm trying to prevent that, so that I can be sure he gets the best care at least for the next couple of years. After that, I am not sure. Hopefully, some can learn by what those of us here have been through, and hopefully avoid some of these catastrophic situations. Good luck to you all! Have a good weekend!
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Julie, that's a fabulous idea! I think I'll send my Mom something today. Everyone loves surprises. What a great way to bridge the gap of their wants. I could send Mom some new "needed" items, as well, such as underwear, lotion, wipes, etc. It's the thought that counts, and you're so thoughtful. Thanks for the suggestion. You are a very loving caregiver. Bravo to you, angel in disguise, and your parent's hero!
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