How can I get my Mom to stop wasting her money on medical gadgets and devices that "will work miracles"?

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Every time my Mom talks to one of her docs they tell her about some gadget or device that will "work miracles." Most of these things do not work and/or Mom uses them a few times then out in the garbage they go.
The problem is that she wants me to research the item, track it down, order it, and help her figure out how to use it. I wouldn't mind if they worked - but they don't. I wish these docs would just mind their own business - I think its their way of getting the patient off their backs.
Added to everything else that is going on, I just don't need more "projects." Any suggestions that work? Every week it is something new!

Answers 1 to 8 of 8
Lilliput, I had the same thing going on with my mom. It was either the doctor, tv or one of her pals. She also wanted me to research stuff online and even if I said the product was a scam, she'd buy it anyway. My son and I told her she was going to run out of money quickly if she didn't put the skids on the spending and every item she bought was taking away from your future comfort. Well, she got so furious and I mean furious with a capital F, she told us the paid caregiver was going to take over and ultimately, she disowned us, revoked our POA (son was primary/me 2nd) and accused me of trying to take her money. I know this is extreme and would not apply to you or your mom.I doubt anyone else on here has gone through this, a parent taking such offense to what was meant to be helpful advice, but I just had to put in my two cents since the subject was something I'd dealt with firsthand. I'm sorry I don't have a solution. Mom didn't give us a chance to come up with one. Thanks for letting me share.
All of these medical device and OTC remedy advertisers seem to appeal to a certain need in the elderly. I am not sure what that need is but apparently the telemarketers and TV advertisers have discovered it. Although it is not as severe as it was for AlwaysMyDuty, I bet it is very common. I have been trying to get the Consumers Union involved in testing and rating these products but they do not believe it is that big of a problem.
my dad is always wanting all those fancy gadgets too but is mostly interested in the exercising equipment. Maybe to get back his youthful figure?????? Well I guess the good thing with his dementia is the fact that he forgets that he has asked me to order it. Whenever he does ask I just say "I will call and order one" and then he forgets. Thus they never get ordered.
Always: your situation became extreme...but I can see how it can happen. My Mom calls and says she wants these things. Then I carefully explain how she would be better served by keeping up with good nutrition, exercise, and vitamins. Also, some things are just irreversible (I would like to feel like I did in my 20s too!) She usually gets mad, says she wants it anyway and proceeds to call everyone from her apt. manager to her hairdresser and imply that I won't get things for her - as if I am withholding real medical treatment!!! Even if the darned thing did work, she cannot commit to doing anything for more than a in the garbage it will go. She is so concerned how every penny is spent, then she does these wasteful things. I am just too tired and too busy to indulge these childish whims. I feel like telling her to call her other child and see how she fairs. Also, as you mentioned above, too many paid caregivers are getting their greedy little hands on senior's money. They play the devil's advocate and sypmathize with the client. Next thing you know they have moved in! I am so sorry that happened to you.

ez and witt: there are so many companies just trying to pick the pockets of seniors - it is a disgrace. But I guess at any age one needs to be a good consumer. Maybe Mom's doc was trying to help, but I'll bet she is not caring for an aging parent herself. Sometimes they just get in the way of what is appropriate. Anyway, I don't need anymore energy vampires in my midst.

Thanks for everyone's comments.
As I read everyone's sharing, I am thankful for the not so little matter in my life that neither Mom nor her doctors have ever been into the latest and greatest bells and whistles. Whew. I can't imagine! Thanks for sharing your experiences, all.

A few suggestions:

(1) Ask your mom who recommended the gadget. If it turns out to be doctors, research the product for its effectiveness before you confront them to ask why they'd give your mom false hope when they know it really doesn't work. In a nutshell, have your ammo ready before you say anything you'll regret later.

(2) Nag your mother by reminding her of all the other gizmos she's bought that never did anything for her and she either discarded or stashed somewhere "just in case."

(3) Research whatever product it is that your mom wants before you do anything else. If it doesn't agree with your own reason and your own common sense, don't take hope out of your mom's sails but ask her how she thinks this particular product is going to enhance the quality of her life. If she has no clue, you can point out cheaper alternatives that render the same or similar results without breaking the bank.

(4) If she wants what she wants when she wants it, don't give in just to get her out of your hair. Stand firm and help her see the light (whatever light that is as long as she doesn't continue throwing money away).

-- ED
Ed: Yes, we have been through countless "wonder cures and products." Funny thing is, Mom is not a fact, I have the opposite problem. She tries something for apx. one minute and then out it goes into the garbage. I ask her to hang on to these things so I can donate them...but she insists that they have to be thrown away.
Great suggestions above...and I have been using many. The main problem now is that she calls everyone under the sun to get these wacky products and implies, along the way, that we refused to buy them for her.
I think that she is going through and end-of-life issue and holds on to the belief that there is a magical doctor out there who has a miracle cure for old age. Sometimes the docs are just trying to help - other times they are just trying to keep another senior quiet.
I have so much on my plate right now that this all seems to minimal...but it does cause hassles down the road. The main issue between us is that I am a person who deals with reality, Mom has always lived in fantasy land. (Nice place, I'm sure...I might go live there too :o)
Thanks for your comments.
I hate to tell you this? But the doctor knows there is nothing that she is talking about....Let her think she is making a miracle. Let her. who is it going to hurt? You? her? No one...She is doing the best she can for what is wrong with her. My mom has had 2 strokes and I wake up every morning to a mess. Literally. Hospice comes in, babies her, makes it worse on me, and Now I have to talk to then on how to handle her so I do not have to wash poopy pants every day,4 times daily at that! It is all part of it....I am sorry to tell u this. People think they know what we are going thru, they don't. My mom doesn't sleep at night. I can not handle her alone. Yet I do not want her in a nursing home because they allowed her to fall, breaking her hip, then left her briefs on her too long and it got infected. They had to go back in and I and D it.....Hon?? I accept what You are going thru isn't easy. Be good to yourself. Take a break, And it will make u feel better. I am strong..IT took her 5 months to break me....But yesterday, I cried. I am not a cryer. SO I am here if u need to talk...Good luck...Shaorn

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