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. - AgingCare.com

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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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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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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