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?


Does anyone have Power of Attorney for your mother? They need to have the PoA invoked and take away her credit card. I know this sounds harsh but it is reality. If she were twelve doing this, you would have no problem. If she were ordering up sides of beef, you would have no problem doing this. You need to protect her from herself. That's what Powers of Attorney are for.

You should also notify the online shopping company to the situation and tell them that all her purchases would be returned. I have heard this happening with many other elderly folks who can't get out to shop. Often the boxes stack up because they don't really need/want what they ordered. It's being able to order.

Can you take your mom out to shop once a week so she can buy what she needs? My 90 year old mother wanted some "cash" in her purse even though I will get her whatever she needs. $25 was all she needed but she wanted to be able to "buy something" if she needed to. Money is freedom and as their other abilities decline, being able to buy proves they are still alive.
That's what your going to have to do, is get the POA, i'm so glad my grandmother don't act on it. she just set's looks at the shopping channel, but she has that thing about she needs to have money, but i stop giving that to her because i founded out that she was giving it away. (to her sons) after i got that POA she was mad at first but she just tells them i won't give her any money. Since i the boys as she calls she them, stop coming for money, i gave her 20.00 over a year ago and she still has it. i'm like you JulieQ i get everyting she need she has no need for money. some times she might ask the caretaker to go to MickyD.

God bless you ladies! POA was not enough for me. That still gives them the power, even though it gives you some, too. I have full Guardiasrhip, and full control. And Mom's been deemed, "Incapacitated," by reason of poor judgment. It's sad, but necessary, sometimes. Also, with POA, they can also rescind it at will, so if they get mad at you, they can just as easily take it away.

My Mom is furious that I'm in total control, and very anxious about it. She does not understand anything about restraint, responsibility or repercussions. She blames me for her consequences, and is very bitter and angry about my imposed restrictions. They are necessary, and for her own good and future well-being. Not a pleasant position to be in for me, but absolutely better than allowing the tyrant rule of an out-of-control spender. She tells everyone I won't let her attend social functions (because "I won't give her any money..."), then turns around and spends her cash on dog biscuits and bird treats, leaving nothing for her necessities. Lately, she tells me, "I don't need anything from the store." Then she tells others that "I'm abusing her by not giving her any groceries," etc. It's a sick cycle. But she was like that with her husband, too. They spent 50 years together, fighting about this very same problem. Now I get her wrath. Thank God Dad's Alzheimer's has allowed him to forget so many grief-filled years, and he can live his remaining ones in peace - away from her, and protected in a safe place. Did I just vent, or what?
for my grandmother she has never worked outside the home so she knows nothing about credit cards so thats my saving grace. and in her mind she think i have total control and she can't do anything with out me. Just has she did with her husband he had total control, she never had to pay bill, etc. it sad but she has never had to make a life decision, and now that he's passed away she thinks shes the boss,and want to tell people what to do. LOL
Awwwww. :( so sad.
her never having a life of her own, breaks my heart. and it is sad. you live all your life the way.
I have never heard of a PoA being rescinded once it has been invoked unless it would be for negligence. If all you have is the PoA intent, that can be changed but the person would need to be of sound mind to do it.

In order to invoke the PoA (which puts it into affect) I needed the signatures of two physicians who deemed my mother unable to take care of her finances. Once the PoA was in affect, I could take it to my mother's bank and get my signature on her account.

I have a separate PoA for my mother's medical needs.

It's surprising to me that my mother wonders about her finances. She was inquiring as to whether she had any money or not and then said maybe she should ask "Jack" my brother about it. Of course, he is a man so he would know more than I would, right? :) She made the decision many years ago to have me be her PoA. I showed her her checking account and told her I paid the bills. The reason she wanted some money in her purse was if she wanted to "buy me a gift." Awww. That was gift enough for me.

Julie Q
thats funny my grandmother only speaks of her money when she mad at the world. i guess what, i've used it all. guess what i say, i sure did on depends. LOL like i said, she knows nothing about finances, never worked a day in her life, nither has she ever had to pay bill, i had the PoA before my grandpa passed. I started paying bills then. so when i say never, never.

If she is not having any other problems, you can set Parental Controls on her PC, and you should be able to block her from going to certain sites. Less drastic than getting the PoA, and if this is her only issue, maybe more appropriate.
3931 helpful answers
It's always good to have a POA in place (for anyone) in case it's needed, but I agree with blocking sites on her PC, if you can. That would be good anyway. You could maybe find a computer video game that she like to catch her interest. There are a lot out there. Shopping online and video games are a lot alike to some people.


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