DO CHARITIES GO TO FAR?
I have been noticing a disturbing trend lately when it comes to charities asking for donations. I have found that when certain charities realize they are talking to our older loved ones they are crossing lines that I don’t think they should be crossing.
It started before my mom moved in with us, back when she was still able to live on her own. She had just had hip replacement surgery and my husband and I stayed with her for three weeks to help her while she was recuperating. Obviously, with a hip replacement she couldn’t do much those first couple of weeks and we felt she would do better in her own surroundings.
The phone would ring, I would answer and they would ask for mom. I would explain that she was unable to come to the phone and could I take a message. They would never leave a message, but within hours they were calling back again. Because I have been mom’s caregiver for many years I know everyone she knows and anybody that would call her would be redirected to me anyway or so I thought. I became curious when I noticed she was receiving multiple calls a day from people I didn’t know.
Finally, around the third day I explained that my mom was not available that I was her daughter and I wanted to know what they were calling about. That is when he went into his spiel about a certain charity. I said, “She is unable to donate at this time and to please stop calling her.” He told me she donates every month and he wanted to talk to her himself. “What!?! Let me tell you something….” and I hung up.
The same thing with different voices every couple of hours from multiple charities. So I wrote down what I wanted to say to these people and over the next three weeks I let them have it every single time. I warned them not to call back. I told them that she lived on a fixed income and needed what money she had for bills and living expenses. I told them much more than they needed to know hoping they would understand that to ask her for money was basically taking food out of her mouth.
What I learned from talking to other caregivers and other older adults is that these charities actually target our senior citizens. Often times our parents or loved ones are lonely and just want to talk. These charities take advantage of that and then lay it on thicker than buttercream icing on a birthday cake. They talk them into giving them dollar after dollar. They call day after day pretending to be friends while bilking them out of their money month after month.
I find it a disgusting business practice. I think these people are crooks whether it is a legitimate charity or not. I think every child of a senior citizen needs to be aware of this practice. Talk to your parents if they are capable of understanding, if not you may have to take measures like I did. It only stopped after she moved in with us. Even the do not call list does not protect our senior citizens against these greedy charities because they are considered exempt from the list, so it is up to us.
Appreciate the good, laugh at the crazy, and deal with the rest.
I love you momma!