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Great suggestion. I blocked qvc today. Unfortunately she calls them and asks about black pants and they tell her what they have. She orders that way. It's a challenge!
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Loraine, any way of blocking that channel? Like using Parenting Controls. Or would your Mom start ordering via phone from catalogs?

Shopping is therapy for some people thus the reason for the "hunt" and the "capture" of an item from QVC and stores. Once brought home, the thrill of the hunt is gone. Maybe your Mom could benefit from talk therapy with a therapist.

See if you can find a therapist who takes Medicare and one who is closer to your Mom's age... your Mom probably wouldn't listen to a younger person because "what do they know" :P
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My mother had over $35,000 in credit card debt from shopping, mostly Macy's and QVC. After 1 1/2 years of encouragement she's down to $17,000. But this past month she started shopping with a vengeance. Spent about $1,000 this month. She has drawers and boxes full of cheap over priced jewelry, scarves, clothes, and handbags - NONE of which she ever uses, or ever will. She orders so much awful tasteless and greasy frozen food from QVC you would think she's doing catering! To the ordinary person she seems with it, but we see everyday that she's becoming more forgetful and living in the past like it was yesterday. She's not so far gone though that she doesn't pay the bare minimum of her credit card bills. She's an addict and we can't stop her. What to do??
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I apologize for many typos. This should have read:There is a slight risk that the person will try to hoard DVDs.

perhaps can you get them to sign up for an online forum or more relating to their favorite hobby. For instance if they do enjoy watching old films, they can sign up for web sites such as IMDB and discuss with other people. Or a Yahoo group on Old films or their favorite actor or their favorite subject or topic that they read books about. Anything to fill up time, and engage their mind and emotions and all this for free. ;-)

some of you have mentioned pessimistic personality traits and saying that they do not want friends. Those people will find it easy to complain and argue with others in online forums. As long as they do not give out any personal information it can be entertaining to pass the time venting and ranting online. This is viewed as negative by many but it can also be very healing to the person who has a need for such an outlet, so do not judge them for that.

finally, if they do not like old movies, and who doesn't, they can also be entertained by the home Garden television watching other people buy and renovate houses or any Cooking Channel or even the travel channel has some quality programs such as Mysteries at the Museum. Those are back to back so they can really binge watch there. Maybe get them a series on dvd such as Columbo, Bonanza etc old TV series that they might get interesting and binge watch back-to-back.

they do not have to leave home. Now that my suggestion is understood as being replace one addiction with another that does not cost money you might yourself come up with any more ideas besides my suggestions.

Good luck to everyone and I hope you will post your results here. :-)
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I know this is an old thread but I hope this will help someone else who Google s and here. you cannot eliminate an addiction. You have to replace it by another addiction.

I suggest you get one of the old movie channels that old people are sure to love such as Fox movie channel, TCM or get TV. Get some special treats and sit down with your hoarder elderly relatives and watch it with them. Try to find an actor or actress that she really did like and then set out to watch as many of his or her films as you can.

Discuss the movie with them what they like what they did not like etc. even if on this phone, try to make it a point to call them after they watch a favourite films so this will fulfill the need for human contact, emotional outlet and attention. There is a slight risk that the person will try to forward the DVDs but at least it is a change for the better. You could then make a bargain with them if they quit shopping on the shopping channels you can buy 2 DVDs per month and maybe a book on the actor that they like.

This will fulfill their void and need to watch TV as well as occupy her/his mind with something intelligent. I hope this helps someone. Then praise them for all the money saved at the end of the month. Of course I am sure you guys have tried explaining budget and bills and $$ stress so just keep positive reinforcement at the end of the month of watching TCM and stating how much money was saved and able to spend on catching up with bills and credit cards.

another thing to do is to get them to the library and get them a library card. Then rent borrow books on their favorite topic whether it be antiques, Mesopotamian culture, interior design, fashion, boats, planes, knitting or even these actors anything to get them reading an occupied and not just watching TV and spending money. you can also rent classic film DVDs for free at the library just make sure to return on time or late fees will accumulate.

I hope this helps. And sorry about the previous post I am new here and did not know where to go to sign up so I had to send something to get the sign up screen.
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It's not just seniors; a friend with a long illness in her 50's got "hooked" on online ordering and it caused a major financial problem for her family. I would think that if there were any way to get a low limit on her credit card that might help; especially if it could redirect her hobby into getting the most for her limited money. There would still be junk, but maybe lower volume.
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In the same boat. My grandma buys QVC products almost every day & tries to pawn off the extra stuff on family members. No one ever wants any of it and she won't send it back. Most of the stuff she buys on there can be purchased cheaper from stores and most the items are a POS, bad for your health, and plan pointless to have. Looks like a hoarder's house.
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My father spends about 1400/mo gambling... I think they become addicted to spending that money and getting something in return that's not related to their old age and inability to do anything else for themselves.

I've not found an answer to my dad's gambling. Sometimes it's a help just to know you're not alone. Good Luck to you!.
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My mother buys mostly sugary food items: $50 coffee cakes, $38 chocolate covered pretzels, the “assorted" $45 candied apple collection - the prices are really absurd.

My guess is that she gives a lot of it away, as it’s hard to believe that she can consume all of that stuff and not go into a diabetic coma.

She spends about $500 every month.
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I was blessed more than I realize - my mom eventually became less able to call in orders and when I quietly collected her QVC card, she was not about to admit she had "lost" it so that part was stopped. It was a relatively short time and small amount (few hundred) that I could not stop her from; she was fond of ordering candies "for the staff" and then eating them herself, and Wendell August Forge junk to give as gits that no one wanted and no one ever got :-).

I would suppose if they were cognitive enough you could try an "intervention" for it, and if not, you could try for POA and guardianship, and if they are somewhere in that gray area in between, you are screwed unless you are very creative. Maybe a fake news post that QVC went out of business...or some kind of fake nastygram accusing them of not paying or something else totally unfair that would make them mad enough to never shop there again, plus some kind of hobby like indoor gardening or sudoku and word search to take the place of the instant gratification and satisfaction of buying stuff. Its all about those dopamine receptors.
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The blocking helps if they do not have internet acess. I personally did not complain until she moved w me and she is shopping and we are struggling to support her and my mother in law.
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Ruggles, they even have QVC in the ER, and mom was glued to it. We got rid of all her cable/dish and put her on a plain old antenna. On cable you can block by channel or block by content. Go to the instructions on your cable provider's website.
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I you can't cancel her credit cards, then you can't do anything to stop her.

To expect QVC to step in is, I'm sorry, just silly. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Ruggles, we've been instructed by your daughter not to accept any more orders from you." That is NEVER going to happen.

I don't mean to be unsympathetic, but it's your mom's money. If she gets some small joy from at-home shopping and she has the money to do so, then why would you deprive her of this entertainment? No matter HOW many unopened boxes she has in the house.

Now. If she's spending more than she has, that's a different story. But your initial post doesn't indicate that.
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Did you get anywhere with blocking the channel? I think you were right first time, that it may be possible to do this; I know that my SO and I accidentally parental-controlled a series we both wanted to watch and were left gazing at each other helplessly - neither of us could figure out how it had happened, and because it's not something we ever need to do of course neither of us knew the PIN, either. Worth ringing the TV service provider and asking, I'd have thought.
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Since most of these products bought off of TV require a credit card, any chance of getting your mother's bank to lower the maximum amount to $500.00 a month or less? If mother complains just tell her she's not making enough income so the bank had lowered her max amount.
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I agree. She lives with me and I have refused shipment and they instruction fed x to just leave at the door and not knock. I have blocked qvc and hsn on tv so now she just uses her phone.
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LouieMc, I feel for you. QVC will not work with you unless you have POA. Exploiting the elderly seems to be a big part of their business model.
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I am in the same situation- I recently moved my mother in with us and told her not to order without confirming with me. She still does. I am at loss what to do. We are completely supporting her as she has no money after she pays her credit card debt. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
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Ruggles, have you gone to an eldercare attorney and asked him/her about seeking guardianship of your mother? If she won't give POA, then this will eventually become necessary one way or the other. POA is a lot cheaper and easier to do, but guardianship will put you permanently in control of this situation and enable you to make any decisions you need to for your mother. It costs about $10,000 to get guardianship but this money can be recouped from your mother's estate, because you are doing this for her own good.
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As far as dementia and DPOA, sound mind is sound mind, free of delusions and all the other dementia related issues. Her shopping bent is a choice and I don't think you can dictate to her what you consider acceptable, or not, she has her marbles and no one will commit her on her shopping penchant whatever you think is sound or not.
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I understand your frustration. My birth mother is a level 5 hoarder with a shopping addiction. But, my masters in psychology has taught me that it is not QVCs fault that your mother is an addict, any more than it is the alcohol store's fault that someone is an alcoholic.

You say that your mother is of sound mind...but is she really? Someone with a mental illness such as addiction is not of sound mind. She is not able to make rational decisions about spending money and I think any agency would agree with that. I think you can do a few things. You can attempt to gain DPOA of her so that you control the finances. This would allow you to shut off the cards, and the channel if you want and not allow her to spend. If she is not willing to do this the easy way, then you need to call the area on aging and have them do an assessment. Based on what you describe, they will deem her incompetent (based on both her spending AND on the condition of her house). No doubt that there are fire code violations, etc. They will not allow her to continue to live like that and will have a guardian appointed (most likely you) to make the right decisions.

Some may tell you that if she is of sound mind she can make her spending decisions on her own and shop all she wants...but I would argue that someone who is a hoarder and a shopping addict is NOT of sound mind. You will not be able to reason with her and get her to stop shopping unless she wants to if she is truly an addict, which is why you have to contact the authorities and have them deem her incapable of making her own decisions. I don't think you will have a problem doing this from a legal standpoint...however, can you do this from an emotional standpoint? She will be upset, but it IS what's best for her. If she had a different illness, say cancer, you wouldn't let her live in a way that would hurt her either right? Addiction IS an illness, and she does need someone to make her decisions.

Angel #2
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Sorry I don't have advice, but you are not alone. I told mom 'make some friends'. Her response? I don't want friends! They are all old. I don't need their problems and complaints and I don't want to have to worry about them.
Nice.
She is 91. She was thinking about having someone move in (family) because of what they could 'do' for her and she was comfortable with them. well guess what. They don't want to move in. Surrounded by 300 flowers, stuffed animals, candleholders and pee pads with a hyper maltese? um, no.
It's sooooo hard when they are no longer seeing things objectively. I think dementia makes people VERY SELF ABSORBED and gives them (at least my mom) a sense of entitlement. Sorry I didn't help with an answer but I am looking for one too.
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Hello! Expert at this here!
My mother lives for garage sales. I HAVE to go. It is part of my income to go. Of course she loves it and tags along. WEEKLY she brings in about 6-8 bags of knick knacks and junk from other people. Her house is crowded enough with decor that if we needed to get a gurney inside she would probably die. The walkways are pretty slim. When she shops, she brightens up. When we don't? She is sullen. Again, I have to go and from a 'heart' standpoint, I can't leave her alone home when I'm doing what she loves to do. My daughter (13) had a garage sale last weekend. Grandma 'donated' a few items (literally like 5) to the sale for my daughter. Then she came over and when the sale was over, she wanted one back lol.... oh Lord help me... She won't part with her things. Her THINGS are VERY important to her. They surround her, and she calls her stuffed animals her "family".
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I'm glad to see that you're detaching, Ruggles. That's really all you can do. You can't change your mom's behavior. If she were a drug addict and you took away her drugs she would just get more drugs. However, if you approached her dealer and threatened him if he sold your mom the drugs again he wouldn't give a d**n and I'm not surprised QVC doesn't care. It's not their job to care about the spending habits of their customers. Why should they? It's not QVC's fault that your mom's spending is out of control. When your mom shopped at Walmart everyday would you have expected Walmart to care that your mom's spending was out of control?

Getting rid of QVC is just a barrier that your mom will have to overcome to fill her emotional void that all this junk fills. There are tons of infomercials on tv around the clock. When do you stop trying to control her habit? You said this was years and years of behavior twisted up in personality disorders. You can't cut through that and it would take years of therapy for a therapist to get through all of that stuff.

You can't change her behavior. QVC isn't at fault. All you can do if find a way within yourself to come to terms with it, that this is the way it is, and try not to let her behavior affect you. This is her mess, not yours. If your mom were an alcoholic and you were spending your energy on having her supply of booze cut off and begging her to see reason and wanting to take the money that she spends on booze away that would be codependent behavior. We can't control other people's actions and the only way she's going to change is if she wants to change. Otherwise you're going to make yourself crazy. Keep detaching. It might be something that you have to practice doing everyday, numerous times a day. It doesn't come easy or everyone would be able to do it with no problem but it's not easy. But you're on the right track.
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Hi Sallyc - After really working myself up into a lather over this, I’m taking Madeaa’s advice, and basically giving up on trying to control my mother’s behavior. Her shopping addiction is so imbedded in layers and layers of personality disorders that I’ve accepted the fact that it’s unrealistic to think that this is an easy fix. I was tempted to try what igloo suggested, but I think that I would end up causing my family, and me, too much stress. I think my mother carries so much shame around with her as it is.
QVC is an irresponsible company that preys on the elderly. Everyone of their "salespeople” has to live with themselves and their complicity in exploiting the weak and the lonely.
I’ve had a social worker from Adult Protective Services visit my mother and asses the situation, she said to wait until an actual crises occurs, and then step in with a strong hand.
So, I’m in staying stand-by mode for now. Good luck with your mom, Sallyc - hopefully she is more compliant than mine.
BTW, my sister is still living with her and is now on a daily medication which has made her more stable.
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Ruggles, I have almost the exact same situation with my mom. Do you have any updates? I like the response by igloo, but I cant humiliate my mom. If the news would keep her name and face off the story I sure would like to do it. I think what QVC gets away with - using the caller id and simple 1 or 2 button entry to auto order for existing customers - is reprehensible. I need to find help with this problem.
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I don't know what to say, I can sure feel for you, I abhor clutter and there are a lot of people who have lived somewhere their whole lives and accumulate so much as is. This is for sure her recreation and it is her money and her house. You aren't living there so let it be, when she runs out of money she won't be able to buy anymore stuff. I would one last time talk about getting legal stuff done for any future issues, but if she doesn't want to do it, that is her choice. She is of sane mind and can do what she wants within reason with her money and her home. Detachment maybe your only course, let go.
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My FIL did the same thing. And we couldn't stop him. He was incredibly stubborn and very intelligent - just no common sense on this subject. He let his house practically fall down around him while he bought useless junk to fill it with - QVC and all kinds of catalogs too. He would NOT let anyone interfere. Period. And he was of "sound mind." In the end, we were left with a falling down house (money pit) full of useless junk. He had no life insurance. There was literally no way to stop him from buying short of stealing his credit cards and he would've had us arrested. I sympathize with you.
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You must understand Ruggles, these people are professional manipulators. Face the fact that only the best salespeople can ever hope to become television hosts. You cannot solve this problem without an intervention at the source, namely your mother. I have the utmost respect for the people at QVC. I have watched their productions in the past, often intrigued at how well they do their job. They try to create a relationship with the shopper, which they use to an advantage.

You must improve your relationship with your mother, she is seeking a relationship in other ways in order to cope with loneliness.

All the best.
Goatman
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