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Private CG
Reply with quote  #1 
My father, 84-years old, most recently ran up multiple credit cards hundreds of dollars in debt in order to watch porn online. I have dug him out of that debt as best as I could. He simply allowed the charges to continue, said he wondered what they were, and claimed he didn’t know anything about how they happed. I half believe him only because he has a hard time logging into accounts let alone knowing how to process a transaction online. After both of these instances I put security measures in place on his electronic device that don’t allow him to visit anything other than free sites. I also turned on Google activity. I can see what he’s searching for online and I’m disturbed. Our relationship has drastically changed since my mother passed away in 2008. This recent discovery has distanced me from him so much so that I have a hard time thinking of him as the Dad I knew and cherished all my life. So much has happened over the years. Anyhow, I struggle with what to do, if anything, right now. He’s constantly looking for porn online. His search criteria, frequently, has been women seducing dogs and women seducing animals. If you can imagine, I’m disgusted, I’m scared, I’m angry with him, I’m sad for him, I don’t know what to do. I can’t talk to the rest of my family, they feel even less for him than I do. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated. He’s not been diagnosed with anything neurological, he has been checked out for things like dementia and Alzheimer’s. I get the impression from his doctor that if anything is wrong with him it’s not bad enough to do anything about at the moment.

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #2 
While my issues isn’t with porn, it is similar. Last summer, my financially smart 83 yr o,d Mom asked for a loan saying my stepfather had run up all these itune charges. He has dementia and she said he had been taking her IPad and glambling. Luckily my son was visiting at the time & he searched her iPad. It was very enlighting. First, she had more iPad technical knowledge than I ever expected and most importantly, it was Mom not stepdad who had blown their remaining life savings of $30k on buying credits to play games. No gambling, just game credits. Mom lied and hadn’t even stopped after after for $2k to pay off credit card. Getting involved was the hardest thing I had ever done. I insisted we see her dr then proceeded to tell the dr everything in front of Mom. My Mom is a recovering alcoholic and it was a topic that wasn’t never discussed with outsiders. Since July, I have taken over all the financials and had Mom tested for competency. She passed. I have restrictions on her ipad, taken away all credit cards and bank cards giving her an allowance. We saw a specialist in Dec that was blunt because Mom wants all my controls removed and her money back. Specialist said you have an addictive personality. Your daughter is keeping you safe. He ageees with my recommendation of giving her the allowance mthly instead of bi weekly so she feels independent but told her you blow it all in the first week and I’ve told your daughter too bad. You don’t get anymore. They are in assisted living so will never starve. Feb is the first time I’ve given her the mthly & because I’ve gone away for the mth, I left an extra $100 for emergencies. On Wed, Mom said it was a good thing I left the extra money as they have gone through everything. She refuses to live within her means. Stepdad needs blood work so she paid $30 to have someone come to their apt rather than $6 for the car service to take hm there and back. I also left $125 credit with car service so they had flexibility to go places. It’s a volunteer service so most trips in their community only cost $6. Also, the Home takes them shopping twice a wk. FYI, the allowance is $150 a week and the only real expense is getting her hair done for $25/wk.

So my recimmendation is to make an appt with your father’s doctor maybe without your Daf to discuss the situation. I know he will likely say, he can’t discuss a patient without their consent so your response is that’s you will tell him what is happening with your father for his awareness and he can’t give you general advice then if dr cooperates and agrees there is a problem, return with your father. Becoming the parent really sucks and is very hard. I’m an only child and Mom quit being my mother when I turned 18 & my Dad died. She started dating my stepdad 6 wks later. She wasn’t that involved as a Mom before that either. She says she doesn’t have a maternal bone in her body & is proud of it, Hugs to you and good luck.

Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 
Maybe you should limit your oversight to ensuring he doesn't pay for porn. I wouldn't recommend monitoring what he watches, no more than i'd recommend listening to your parents having sex - it's hard to handle, not good or useful for either of you.
Reply with quote  #4 
Originally Posted by seniorsam
Maybe you should limit your oversight to ensuring he doesn't pay for porn. I wouldn't recommend monitoring what he watches, no more than i'd recommend listening to your parents having sex - it's hard to handle, not good or useful for either of you.

I can appreciate how it’s not good for either of us. However, I am stuck with his bills should he pass so while we’re all here I feel I don’t have much choice but to monitor his useage - I will not be left stuck with thousands of dollars of debt because he’s bored and looking for amusement. I heard my parents having sex when I was nine years old, how do you unhear something you never intended to hear? I feel like when it comes to aging parents the onus never seems to be on the parent. I’ve spent years making adjustments, reconsiderations and compromises for Dad since Mom passed. Sick of never hearing HE should or could be doing something to change or he’s too old to change or he won’t be around forever.
Reply with quote  #5 
You may never know why there are porn charges.  Your dad might have gotten bored or tried to distract himself with porn or just plain needed to deal with the aging process in his own way.  Or he could be going through some cognitive decline, and his personality is changing.  Or maybe he has always done this, but has never gotten caught.  It doesn't sound like he cares what effect this is having on you, so I doubt talking to him will help.

I find porn incredibly offensive and objectifying, so I would be upset even without the financial aspect of this issue.  Nevertheless, as annoying and unfair as this is, I think you need to trust your gut and address the money issues.  

If your dad is paying his own bills, you may not have any ability to control how he spends his  money.  But if you have control, you might want to restrict his access to either the internet or his devices or his credit cards.  Some ideas:

1) Buy parental control software, such as Net Nanny. 
2) Stop paying for internet.
3) Take away his devices. (Remove batteries or lose chargers or render them unworkable)
4) Cut off his access to his credit cards or reduce his limit.
5) Replace his credit card with a "gift card" that looks like a credit card. When the money runs out, he cannot spend any more. 

We have been fighting this battle with my mother (not because of porn, but for another misuse of her cell phone) so my brother simply stopped paying for it.  She has access to a land line to make calls and she has simple cable tv for entertainment, but that's it.  She complains like crazy and has threatened to sue us, but so far, so good.

Hang in there.  

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