Taking care of mom with dementia.

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Six weeks ago my two sisters and I , along with her doctor.decided that our mother should not drive or live alone. I am the middle sister, my older sister is POA and lives eight hours away. Our mother owes on her house, so we know if she sales it there is only enough money for assisted living for a year. My sister suggested that if my husband and I were financially able for me to quit a great paying job and take care of mom, we could sell all her belongings to pay off some of our bills . My husband also has a great paying job, so we agreed, because my litttle sister said she couldn't do it. We are still waiting for test results coming back this week. I have taken a family medical leave but dont think mom will be able to go back to living alone. If she don't sell her house she can't afford in home care. I would like suggestions about emotions and legal advice. I just don't want hard feelings in our family or I am afraid of after a several years will my mother love me as a daughter or despite me as a caregiver, also we take her where she wants to go on weekends to make her happy, but I have no time for my kids or grandkids unless they come here.

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I know what you mean, I am so undecided on what to do right now. My main concern is telling everyone I have changed my mind and don't want to do it. Will that cause hard feelings now for mom thinking that I want strangers to take care of her. Any suggestions.
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If you do decide to go ahead with giving up your job (and future retirement benefits, and other benefits like paid vacation time and insurance, etc.) it is absolutely essential that you consult with an attorney who specializes in Elder Law, to make sure the transaction is set up in such a way to minimize any adverse impact. You wouldn't want to be applying for Medicaid for Mom down the road and suddenly discover the compensation you received is considered a gift!
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I think it is going to be a big mistake for you to quit a a great paying job in exchange for selling some of mother's things. You already can see that you will have no life of your own -- no time for grandkids, etc.It also seldom works well to be the one with all the responsibilities while someone else has all the authority (POA). Your mother's house and possessions would only cover a year or so in ALF. How long will you be expected to put your life on hold for this same amount? 2 years? 5? 15? And what if your mother gets dramatically worse, or you develop a health problem after 9 months, and Mother has to be placed? Will your sisters expect you to return some of the money? I'm afraid this situation looks to me like bad feelings waiting to happen.

Dementia gets worse over time. Sometimes very slowly and sometimes quite fast. Keep that in mind.

My take is, sell the house and all the possessions. Use that money for the assisted living as long as it lasts. Toward the end of that period, apply for Medicaid. Try to find an ALF that will accept Medicaid after a period of private-pay, if you can. But who knows what kind of care your mother will require after a year or two?

All of you should love your mother, visit her, advocate for her, brighten her life. All of you should be able to be loving daughters.
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