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MIL watches TV all day and sees commercials for wellness drinks, pills, etc. and wants to try all of these expensive things. I fell for it once and let her buy Nopolea for $150 a month - what a rip off. She is obsessed with drinks, vitamins, etc. She had a stroke 14 years ago and is paralyzed on one side and in a wheelchair unable to walk at all (she lives with us). Other than this, she is extremely healthy and only takes an antidepressant and an anti seizure med due to her stroke. She's always writing phone numbers down and telling us to call or ripping things out from newspapers and magazines to call and order for her. When we tell her no and ask her if she is not feeling well then we'll take her to the dr. she cries like a child. This is driving me crazy.

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1DIL, I feel for you. My mother had an entire cupboard full of miracle cleaning products. She bought them in the subconscious belief that they would actually do the cleaning so she didn't have to. "Bang! - and the dirt is gone." Yeah right.
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If she's really into her TV, go the expense of a 'smart' TV, pay for a few of the online services like Netflix (where you can get just about any of your favorite TV shows and thousands of movies for under $10 a month) ... all you need then is internet, and can utterly avoid cable or commercial television.

If she tends to not remember that she's/you've ordered something, you could always fake it. Get out the order form, write the check and mail it back to yourself (or toss it, lol). Invoke the 'kind lie' and remind her, if she asks that shipping can take up to 8 weeks. Bet she's utterly forgotten about it by then.
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Does she remember that she ordered things? It could be part of dementia. My dad did not buy things, but made multiple copies of some of his WW II memorabilia. I think he would get stuck on something "important" but couldn't remember making copies. There is not real easy solution to this, try distratction to get her mind off buying things, record tv shows and cut out the commercials, find movies she likes so she doesn't see commerials, block cable channels.....just thoughts
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Get her involved in an adult day care, or have someone come over and play board games with her, scrabble. Go to the library, and get her large print books to read, and then return them. Books on tape. Other things to do but tv. If she is concerned about health, Try GNC, TRADER JOES, The 99 cent store may have health things that are about ready to expire...but are still good. Your local health store. Make an adventure one day, and take her out. Yeah, easier said than done. I know...Go to library and find a health book, and have her read it, and then talk about it. Maybe getting it the natural way, veggies, would be ok too.
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I forgot to mention that while I was busy mopping the other day, my MIL was hollering for me to come and see something on TV. It was a "super mop" system that she wanted to get for me! Boy am I lucky or what! So, as I was hot mopping her bedroom and bathroom, she had a disgusted look on her face due to the "inadequate" mop I was using. Ha!Ha!
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Thank you for all the good information. My MIL is 69 years old. I've printed out the bad reviews/scams for the items that she wants and give them to her, and it does not seem to faze her. She still wants it and thinks she needs it, whatever it is. I've even tried to appease her with knock off brands of some of these things, but she is very brand oriented, so I don't bother trying to find a cheaper version of something. She does take a multi vitaman everyday. I'll take all of your input into consideration. Thank you.
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Gads, TV tripe is pernicious--some is good, but one must ask why spend on exotic stuff, when "Simples" will do nicely..
...and understand, I am a health care professional who spent most of my career in alternative medicine, promoting supplements, correcting dietary etc.
You are right--most of what's seen on TV, can be easily lived without.
Most of what's lining store shelves, can be lived without.

Maybe you can convince her by reminding her that Dr. Oz, even, is promoting things for Industries trying to make money.
And/or, that one or two simple things, cover almost everything, from soup-to-nuts/head-to-foot...like good quality fish oil with high Omega 3's, for instance---using about 4 or more per day, can help brain function, heart/circulatory systems, normalize blood pressure, help skin, eyes, etc.--all with fish oil in large enuf amounts daily.
Simple.
Or, simply using coconut oil--you can google that and get more data than you can read.
Simples.
But more than that, maybe ask her if it scares her to get old?
Even confused elders, fear dying, even ones who have had firm beliefs in afterlife. One of my Gma's believed all her life in afterlife, continuance of Spirit, yet, poised at the threshold of being about to leave the world, she feared it was all hooey. Maybe she was right--none can tell; Some believe they've seen it--I'm one--but those are my own beliefs, and subject to change--as were heres at the 11th hour. AND, she didn't want to miss anything!

Fearing illnesses, aging and death, can prompt all kinds of bad behaviors, as well as buying frenzies of products to help maintain youth/health.
Take another look at her behaviors, in that context--you might find some answers and maybe a solution, if you can carry a conversation with her about it.

Or it might simply be boredom--and too easy access of the money to do it with.

Placebos, better simpler known safe alternatives she can manage herself, limit-setting, removing the checkbook from her access, etc.--all good ideas.
IF she can still process thoughts a certain amount, snow her with data you approve--keep her busy studying on things--reading disclaimers on stuff that's no good, too expensive.

Faking things too much though, I've found, especially with those who still can think straight some--it doesn't work very well, and can backfire on you---because she'll recognize some or all the fakes, then start mistrusting everything you provide or say.
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here ya go for an entre into something evidence based and a little more user-frinedly than PubMed : arthritis.about/od/supplement/a/What-Is-Nopalea.htm
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PS re Nopalea specifically? Its great stuff, but WAY overpriced. Eat cactus instead! Its a lot like green beans in texture. Mexican in tomato broth is just heavenly. If you don't like that, you can get an opuntia supplement for $9.99 plus S&H minus discounts from Swason's.
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Absolutely getting stuff from foods is optimal, there are all kinds of things in them we don't even know about. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with odd little molecules that you've never heard of that are very, very good for us and only a few that may be bad for some people (e.g. canavanine for triggering auto-immunity). I personally drink a little whisky from time to time JUST to make sure I'm getting all the PQQ I need - that vitamin was only discovered a few years ago. (Sure, its in parsley too, but you can only eat so much tabbouleh.) OTOH, there are things than can be beneficial in higher than RDA doses, and only a few things are toxic. B vites except more than 100-200 a day of B6 are pretty safe, extra folate may help hearing a little, for examples. Fat soluble vites need a little more thought and planning; D, A, and K can at least theoretically be overdosed on, and gamma E is probably important if you otherwise get only a multivite with alpha tocopherol, to balance out pro-coagulant effects. Lots of the proprietary fancy expensive formulas have a couple of good ingredients and you can get those cheaper online for the most part. I had a bunch of patients take Protandim and its quite a good antioxidant mix, but again you can do better with good foods and less expensive versions too.

It is well documented now that a "cocktail" of B vites carnitine and CoQ can help in mitochondrial disorders. B6 given with Keppra, and Coq and maybe carnitine given with statins are reasonably effective at combatting side effects. B2, B1, and a few herbs may work for migraines, but YMMV. Petasides (butterbur) actually GIVE me headaches. OTOH, it is also pretty well documented that glucosamine and chondroitin do next to nothing to humans with arthritis, though they may be just great for dogs, (e.g. "Happy Hip" dog biscuits). If in doubt, go into PubMed for detailed info on any specific thing. You may be very suprised at what does and does not work.

I recently heard an interesting view (by interesting I mean I don't personally subscribe to it) that using supplements is sort of like implying God did not know how to make good foods for us to eat, and a Christian person I otherwise respect a great deal espoused that idea and said NO ONE IN HIS FAMILY ever takes any supplements. If you feel that argument is useful, use it! But, I tend to think of them as medicines. Did you know there are anti-inflammatory compounds in the whey fraction of milk? Found that out when I tried to go milk-free on someone's bad Mercola-based nutrition advice. But if you really can't drink milk, then fresh pineapple has bromelain, and you can buy some OTC too, some of the orthopods recommend it regularly instead of Aleve.

OK, now that I'm hungry, ceecee, you can make some of those smoothies for me, sounds yummy. I'm partial to fresh mango with vanilla whey powder, one frozen banana, just enough water, and a pinch of honey. Better and cheaper than Starbucks, BTW.
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Who is the adult here? Say no and mean it. The purpose of advertising on television is to sell a product. Save her and your money because you will need it.
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I also wanted to add that Juicing may be a healthy way to implement foods for total health also. Cherie Calbom has a great testimony of healing by God and through juicing with books and videos available. Recently she was on Sid Roths program if you are interested. Homemade smoothies are much better than store bought ones. We have started making them in this household. I've been using a blender for fruit smoothies but still need to get a juicer. Strawberries, banana, Kefir, coconut water make yummy smoothies!
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There is so much available and offered with the hope of healing. Personally, I believe vitamins are a better choice than the medications advertized on TV that have a zillion side effects. Whatever is natural is always a better choice. Whatever she suggests, check it out online and share what you learn with her. If she can afford it, it may be ok if it's natural. Diet is crucial for proper healing as well as prayer a relationship with God. Dependance on God and scriptures on healing offer us hope to stand on especially when nothing else works. A most important one comes from Isaiha..."Surely He (Jesus) has borne my griefs/pains and carried away my sorrows/sicknesses...And by His stripes I am healed." (Isaiah 53:4-5) Sid Roth has an ebook to download free of healing scriptures you can print off and read with her. TBN or Daystar are good Christian networks to watch for spiritual help that leads to physical healing. Good and beneficial for everyone.
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Some herbs, vitamins, and supplements CAN be helpful... some can be harmful, and there are potential drug interactions. If she insists, please take her to someone skilled in holistic treatments. DO NOT BELIEVE TV ADS!! Even the helpful advice on Dr. Oz about herbs should come with some contra-indications, but rarely does. For example, ginkgo can be great for memory, but it adds to the effect of a blood thinner. Licorice root can be useful, but not if you have high blood pressure, it will raise it. Someone trained in alternative medicine can look at your mom's total health picture and make appropriate suggestions.
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When anyone suggests a vitamin or supplement to Mom (she has a friend always trying to sell her some miracle cure) I tell Mom it might interact with the other medications she is already taking. That usually is enough for her to not want whatever it is.

For me, the commercials I hate are for restaurants. Mom loves eating out and wants to every day, which of course we can't afford. I dread watching tv with her!
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This made me laugh at the memory of my mom...

My mom was completely with it, probably because of her interest in good health. She lived until she was 93. Healthy, independent and in her own home, with me running up to care for her for her last two to three years. I know that's not the same as living with her day to day though.

Periodically I would gently and nicely go to her cabinet where she stored all her vitamins and we would line them up. She could see that she had 4-6 CoQ10 bottles, or what ever else she got. We would look at the expiration dates and throw out all the old things. I think she didn't really care, but she liked the company and we had to laugh.

I agree with the person who said some of the vitamins are good. Duplicates and every last vitamin are not. I was told by a doctor once that you only need 100 percent of the recommended daily value, and you get most of that from whole food, so vitamins are only minimally needed, typically.

My sister and I enjoyed the second and third facial repair package from Cindy Crawford. It was helpful to line up what mom had bought and tell her she had to use up what she has before buying anything more.

It's understandable that your MIL falls for the sales pitches. They are relentless and if she watches a lot of TV, then it makes good sense that she wants to try things. I fall for things too...

Wish I could be more helpful to you. All I can say is that I think this is a common problem. We need to get hobbies and more interesting lives... at least that's what I'm working on.

I still watch too much tv tho.
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Brandy .. nearly took my words outta my mouth. I was going to suggest using the TV provider's ability to block, age protect or simply (meh .. takes a lot of time, but might be worth the effort) the ability to 'white list' channels: most TVs and program providers these days allow you to select ONLY the channels you want to view, so that scrolling through the available channels restricts viewing to a certain number of them. Personally, I hate commercial television .. the show interruptions are more than annoying, most commercials are blatant scams and over-priced. My own viewing is limited to what's available online and I watch on my computer, lol.
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Another vote for the dollar store approach. I buy hand cream for Dad and make a big deal about helping him put it on. It gives him a little extra pampering and wards off requests for more unrealistic and expensive choices. I need to check the travel samples bins at the grocery store too.

Our satellite TV system does allows for blocking certain channels. If need be, I'd block the offending channels and white-lie that they were "discontinued" by the satellite company.
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The dollar store is better than the pharmacy - haha - whatever works.
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Poor her and poor you - it does sound like she is having a bit of dementia. My husband with dementia and movement disorder does the same thing, the television is unfortunately his recreation and the daytime shows are the pits. I cannot reason with him as he just does get it so I just tell him that I will get him whatever he thinks is the magic pill - lotion - drink etc - of course I don't order the crap from the advertisement but substitute something that I can buy cheap locally.
He once wanted a juicer so bad that it was all he asked me about - so I just bought a green smoothie at the grocery store - told him it was "sample" and he hated it, so the juicer idea went away.

He resents it if I just tell him no - and to try to reason does not work, so I just try to go with the flow - whatever he sees that he wants, I just tell him - great idea we will try it and substitute something that I can usually find at the dollar store.
Currently he is feeling so much better because of the magic lotion I am putting on him for his arthritis - it is just some dollar store hand cream.
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Welcome to the world of wild goose chases, there must be something out there for me, where oh where is the fountain of youth. Set boundaries, use placebos, tell white lies - whatever you can do to save your sanity. My Mother would use all of my time on wild goose chases if I would let her. I did not let my 3 year old runs things and I cannot let my 91 y/o Mums run things either.
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Poor love, she wants a panacea. A magic bullet. A philosopher's stone. Whatever you call it, the advertising industry earns its bread and butter persuading people like her that there is such a thing, and if only they buy the right brand then lo! - they will en masse take up their beds and walk.

Try "dearest mother, I would no more let these people take your money for those pills than I would let them sell you a unicorn." And switch her viewing to a TV channel that specialises in exposes all of the consumer rip-offs and scams we're bombarded with every day. Tell her how clever she is to dodge the evil bastards.

The only other thing you could do, if you happen to have absolutely nothing else to think about one day, is download an ingredients list for whatever brand of snake oil she's interested in and read it to her. If you collect these over time, you can get her to join in spotting how much people are charging these days for things like whey, sugar, artificial sweeteners, fish by-products and goodness knows what else. Try to make her feel outrage at the manufacturers' treating her like an idiot, rather than resentment at your protection of her.
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You don't say how old your MIL is.

I would go with Jaye above -- i.e., perhaps by telling her the doctor said they are not good for her, adding that s/he said they would be dangerous when taken with her current medications.

Now, if that doesn't work...... you could just say you ordered them, find a bottle that looks medicinal (or perhaps one of the older bottles that came previously, fill it with flavored water and or some sort of sugarless candy that looks like a pill.

Buy a box with packaging materials with a label and keep it handy so you can tell her 'it came'.

Sometimes, you just have to fake it in order to survive. :)

:)
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Remember that some vitamins are particularly beneficial for the aging population, like D3 and B12. These can be taken in fairly high dosages (read up online). Consider fish oil (there are some great tasting, lemony ones out there in liquid form) for the body and mind, also.
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I would really just explain to her that these things on TV are NOT ordered by her Dr so she should not take them. Most Doctors do not encourage vitamins and supplements. I think that very often you can end up with very expensive urine. I would just tell her that most of those ads are false and encourage her to do what her Doctor says! I do think personally that a multi vitamin and calcium are important for our seniors!
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I suppose you could just say no if you are paying for these items yourself. But if they are being bought with Mom's money, you really don't have the right to forbid it...and I can't imagine the atmosphere in your house if you treat your mom like a 5 year old! You could try this - when Mom wants some new product, tell her you'll look it up online to see if it's "really as good as they say it is"...this gives you time you can drag out in the hopes she will forget the item, or a new item will supersede the old one. You can "find" discouraging reports on an item online and perhaps dissuade her that way. With declining memory/attention span, the least aggressive/stess causing method is to drag out the process until it is forgotten.
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My mom is a sucker for these scams too. She was in lots of pain from severe arthritis and prescription strength gels were not working. I ordered one product she saw just to satisfy her. It is promoted by a well known golfer and was rather expensive. My research showed no medical evidence supporting it. I cancelled after the first shipment and substituted two Bayer aspirin 3 times a day instead without telling her to see if she noticed. She has not noticed and has been relatively pain free for nearly a year now. Placebos work half the time anyways.
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my father also like to buy things but his is from a book of wellness pills. I am not saying they are all a ripoff but they do get you. Buy 4 get 3 free. yeah, well in the past year I have thrown away about 30 bottles of stuff that was expired for 3 or more years because he would buy (my mother not knowing) and then put them in spare room (and he forgets they are there). Problem solved for the magazine type, mother now gets mail (or me) and throw those books away before he sees them. Can't do much for the tv unless you can block that channel.
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Would you let a five-year old cry and carry on to get her way? Probably not. It's important to draw sensible boundaries with children and old people. If she throws a tantrum, tell her you don't give in to tantrums any more than she gave in to them when you were five.
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All of that crap on tv makes me nuts. They target elderly people which is why those commercials and ads are on tv in the middle of the day.

Would she be satisfied with vitamins from the store? Or go to GNC and buy her some vitamins in packaging she doesn't recognize and tell her "it the latest thing". Coconut oil is very fashionable now, get some of that and make a big production out of it and then dribble it on her ice cream.

Or you could tell her that in buying these things off of tv she is paying for the packaging and the shipping but the actual product is simple to make at home. Then make her a shake of some kind (wheat grass might change her mind about these products).

What is her motivation for wanting all of that stuff? Does she believe that they will reverse the effects of the stroke? That she'll "FEEL 10 YEARS YOUNGER!!!" ? I have to think there's some dementia going on because you said when you tell her she can't buy all of that stuff she sees on tv she cries like a child. That's not a reasonable reaction to being told "no". Maybe if you get her to tell you why she wants those products you can figure out a way to get around this from now on.
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