compulsive shopper!


Registered User
Mar 1, 2008
Hi, my mother is 81 yrs old and suffers from vascular dementia. Over the past 5 years at least her memory and confusion have deteriorated so much I am now considering taking control of her finances by registering the EPA she signed several years ago. I have put this off much longer than was wise as she loves to shop especially mail order and I didnot want to take this pleasure away from her. Unfortunately she has fallen prey to an un scrupulous salesperson who has befriended and manipulated her into paying £996 for a massage cushion which allegedly eases the pain of arthritis!
As I live a good distance away from her ( about 1 3/4hrs travelling time) I was wondering to manage her day to day needs for money. I can make sure she has enough cash in the house but has anyone any suggestions how I can still let her make catalogue purchases?


Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
I think the painful truth is that you will not be able to. It might be possible to restrict the number of catalogues arriving. It would seem logical that someone with POA would be able to write to the catalogue companies and instruct them to remove your mother's name and address from the mailing list. You mother may well simply not notice that she is suddenly not receiving so many catalogues.

Unfortunately there are many of these mail-order firms that to be frank specialise is selling overpriced stuff usually with the temptation of "free gifts". They usually operate by sending out one catalogue, and when they get a "hit" they pass the name and address to all of their sister companies; without naming names, we used to get six different catalogues and they all had the same address for orders!

Sad to say, to curb my father's mail-ordering habits (he had no idea how much he was spending, nor how overpriced the stuff was compared to that in normal shops and was burning through his savings at an alarming rate. His excuse was "I like having a parcel" and "I have plenty of savings"..not true!) I cooked up a tale that the main offender had been "done" for selling dodgy goods which put him off! This eliminated most of them because they were all parts of the same company. Once the orders dried up, the catalogues did after a while! We still get a few but I try to get to the mail first and they go straight into the bin.

I would also suggest that you place your mothers name on the Mail Preference Service. This is free and will stop quite a lot of junk mail, although it won;t help if some firm already has you on it;s list of "ordered from us".

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Hello Dian,
This is one of the difficulties if you live locally, so living at a distance is an even bigger challenge.
My mother was also overcharged and taken advantage of and I`m afraid we had no control over her spending until she attended day care 5 days weekly and we had her with us at the weekend.
I hope someone else might be more help than I am. I can only sympathize.
Love xx


Registered User
Mar 1, 2008
Thanks for your reply. I will definately take your suggestion and register her with the MPS. Unfortunately she has a tendancy to scan the newspaper ads and send off coupons for anything that takes her fancy especially if it offers a free trial which is how she got hooked by the cushion conmen. As she invited them into her home she has probably lost her consumer rights.
I know she will take it badly if I take her cards and chequebook away as she is a very proud and independant lady who does not accept that she is not capable of managing her affairs. I was hoping that the bank would be able to put a stop on a cheque or card transaction above an agreed amount and so she would still feel she is in charge. I'm not sure if this would be possible or not.

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Hi Dian.... just an idea which I confess I haven't fully thought through .... can you have mail redirected? So anything mum sends off for in terms of catalogues and offers would come to you?

BT also offer a service to block calls to premium rate numbers .... not sure you could track all the potential 'order-lines' ........????

I absolutely agree - it is horrid, horrid, horrid trying to keep any semblance of financial independence and the 'enjoyment' that brings whilst balancing the need to protect ........ Could you have duplicate catalogues delivered to you? Would mum know to ring you and tell you what she would like (rather than ring the companies directly? - on the basis - 'You don't need to worry mum, I'll take care of all of the paperwork .......'?) and still let her have the parcels delivered to her address ...... just random thoughts ......

Karen, x


Registered User
Mar 1, 2008
Hi Tf,
thanks for your thoughts. I have just registered her telephone account on line so that I can monitor who she is calling as one of the problems I have with her is that she is very secretive about her purchases. Usually the first thing I know about them is when the deal is done! She will not easily accept help with any aspect of her life so would not ask me to order for her.

Forum statistics

Latest member