My mother is addicted to HSN and QVC and spending over $2,300 on products she doesn't even use. We need help in fighting this addiction.

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My mother is 87 and lives by herself in a house that is way too large for her to manage but she will not move to be closer to her children. She purchases items daily on HSN and QVC with her monthly bills running over $2300. Last year, I put parental controls on her TV to combat the constant purchasing and she didn't talk to me for 6 months and ended up calling them to purchase and eventually got the TV company to correct this. She doesn't even use the products and orders 4 or 5 of the same item (blenders, vacuum cleaners, makeup products, clothing, etc) She is also a hoarder and never gets rid of all of these boxes and her home has become a real safety issue. When you talk to her, she is fully aware of the days events, the news and more but there is a part of her that can not see and fully understand the problem with her spending sprees and her financial safety for the future.


My siblings and I are at wit ends. We have even discussed legal steps to take a hold of her finances but she would be livid if we did this.

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It feels good to see that I am not in this alone. I agree 100% on the comments that HSN, QVC and the likes most certainly prey upon the elderly and/or shut-ins in our society. It, just as any other online shopping venue, is scientifically designed, studied and redesigned to target the attention of potential buyers. My mother's home is filled to brim with boxes upon boxes, new clothing, vitamins, herbal remedies, shoes, makeup, small appliances all in duplicate and triplicate. A 3 br home that you can barely maneuver through. I am going to print this entire string and share it with her as soon as I receive the charge card statements I've recently requested. Its a horrible feeling to take something away from a parent that gave so much of herself to you in raising, but the insanity needs to stop. At 89 she is in relatively good health, although mentally beginning to show notable changes in temperament. She could have gone on a beautiful cruise with one of her best gal friends twice a year with what she has spent. I wish you all patience and strength in dealing with your varying situations and again thank you for posting.
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Reply to Suzuser
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Both, HSN and QVC exploit the elderly and their vendors- Greed and pretend friendship/love over the airwaves continue to prevail! They prey upon lonely people-especially the elderly.
What can be done???
I’ve learned the hard way that your elderly parent cannot be deemed incopitant for their ‘bad choices’! Who defines if it’s a ‘bad choice’ or dementia or ???...doctors remain uninformed and too busy with complying with the legal details- it’s a very grey area that must be explored.
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Reply to YIKESMUFFY
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My MIL was and still is addicted to HSN and any thing she sees advertised on TV commercials that she likes or thinks she needs. We had to take over her finances because she charged her credit card up to 10,000.00 dollars, yes you are reading this right and has dementia and wasn't paying her bills. She fell and the hospital finally told us that she couldn't live on her own. We were not aware of her dementia until she fell and she was living on her own. We had to clean her house out because we moved in with her. (She has a much bigger house). She also had so many things that she will never live long enough to use and lots of double items. The HSN was sending her stuff and just automatically taking it off her credit card apparently for a couple of years. We have now taken her phone and bought her one that she can't call out on. She is upset about it but that's how we deal with it. We had to get POA of her and now we have more control over her spending. She still isn't allowed to order from the TV anymore and thank goodness my husband decided to take over. Sorry you are going through all of this. Just know you are not alone.
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Reply to Momof5and8
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My grandmother bought tons of stuff off Qvc since she's been in the nursing home I gotta clean all of the stuff out one day I had over 40 bags of clothes and donated it to goodwill I found more clothes in my old bedroom, her bedroom and my moms old bedroom it has been a challenge and soon I will have to rent a uhaul van again to take everything to goodwill. Even Walmart too she would buy tons of stuff and it accumulates I spent most of this summer when I was off straightening her house out just throwing out so much clothing and garbage
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Reply to Coneal7876
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brittenechols Aug 24, 2018
I am so sorry and I feel your pain. Have you and your family considered taking her finances away to stop the purchasing? My mother’s house is full of HSN QVC boxes and everything from exercise machines to vacuums to clothes to beauty products and so on. We worry about finances for her continued care, of course not knowing what could happen in the coming years. I wish you the best.
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You have to take away the credit card or at very least have a low limit on it. I had to change 4 credit cards. My mother finally gets it. It doesnt matter if she is mad. You need a durable POA. Otherwise you might just as well as walk away because this is not likely to improve. I am very sorry you are dealing with this. My situation wasnt as bad but it was exhausting. Publishers Clearing House was a nightmare
We also had to unload an apartment that was crammed. Am an only child so it was up to my husband and myself. There are still issues I deal with 5 years into this but financial is much better but it took alot of brow beating.
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brittenechols Jul 29, 2018
I really appreciate your comments. We know we have to make some tough adjustments to her life. The credit cards are the biggest one. You are right about it being exhausting and I commend you on the steps you have taken with your mother. It is time for us to take those steps.
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Also like to add, yes it’s hard to do this and yes there will be upfront costs for the atty that you & your sibs will need to pay. But if you or a stronger “no white flags” type of personality sibling can’t be totally bad witch in this, you’ll need an atty. But once guardianship done, you can be reimbursed for those costs from her assets. The atty will know how to go about getting the documentation to establish she incapable of sound judgement anymore.

I’d suggest that you take photos of the stacks of crap in her home & in detail. Photos to show fire hazard & no emergency egress. Shots of bathrooms and kitchen - open cabinets and refrig too. Shots of any vermin signs and mold. Tell her it’s for insurance

My mil had mold on oodles of clothing, shoes. A science project in types of mold. Mold embedded into seams. No redemption. I threw everything not 100% cotton out. She complained about it loudly & to the point that her old living out of state friends (none of these had visited her in years) wrote letters to hubs about how awful it was for him to allow his wife to do this to his mother. Fortunately I had taken photos of everything; hubs sent copies to them along with a photo of her at the beauty shoppe in her NH and that she had been declared legally blind but would so love for them to take a trip and visit her. Found out she hadn’t told them any updates to her life or health in over 10 years.... My point is that your mom may try to find an audience that believes you all are taking advantage of her, so taking photos helps show the deplorable situation she has placed herself in.
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brittenechols Aug 24, 2018
Thank you so much for your candid response. Each time I visit her home, I take pictures of all the rooms and the additional crap that has been added. I used to clean but I have quit doing that because it returns to its chaotic state after I leave.
We are very concerned for her health and well-being and you are very right, we either take the proactive approach and she hates us or, she will injure herself and end up in the hospital. It usually takes someone to spell it all out.
Thank you so much.
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QVC & HSN are the devil.
What your mom is doing is unfortunately common, my mil did this with clothing off of HSN and 2 clothing companies that do monthly mini catalogs and they would call her. To me the only way around it is too take away &/or cancel their credit cards so no way to pay = no way to order. It seems that you’ve attempted that & she works around you.

Either you’ve got to just become super bad witch in this (& all your siblings & thier spouses agree) and find an atty so you can file for guardianship & so what if she’s peeved, livid, violent, whatever. If none of you want the job of guardian, have the atty file for it to be a court appointed guardian.
OR
You all wait till it’s a crisis situation and she has a fall and gets hospitalization. It’s gonna happen..... Then someone goes over and clears stuff out in a massive 2 day purge & has power disconnected as she’s going into a facility as you all clearly let the hospital discharge planner know that her home not liveable & has no utilities and none of the kids will be coming to pick her up. What will likely happen is if she can’t finangle someone to take her in to thier home then SW will find a facility for her under an emergency ward of the state order with a state appointed guardian taking over all.

Guardian sells house, $ used to pay for her care and if, just IF there’s $ left it goes to heirs. She sounds like a tough, old bird. I’d bet she going to outlive her $ and will go onto Medicaid. There won’t be any $ left.
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