How will we handle Mom's dementia-related anger when we sell her home to fund her assisted living apartment?

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After 3 years of allowing Mom to live independently with some in-home care and LOTS of care from me (daughter) and her neighbors she has moved into a lovely assisted living facility. She has adjusted well but still thinks she will return to her house when she is "better." Her dementia has progressed markedly over the past 6 months. She still knows that her house is HER HOUSE and she missed it and her neighborhood (she lived there 13 years) though she is only 3 miles away.
It is necesary for us to sell her house to pay for the assisted living facility. In the same conversation she tells me the realtor she would like to handle the sale and five minutes later says she will "get better" and come home to live there "soon."

Any suggestions on how to handle her once the house is actually sold? Guilt-ridden daughter looking for any help at all.

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Another complaint of mom's - when I mentioned the seniors in the bus - was "I don't want to be grouped with those faces!" ???
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I've got the same problem on the forefront. Mom's Primary Care Dr. said she should consider an ALF now...with her mild/mod dementia (vascular).... mom said oh no I love my house; I have my daughter.
Well the other day we were driving in the car and I saw one of those MERCEDES Vans (shuttle bus) from the retirement center. I mentioned to mom, there go the seniors.... maybe today is Bingo day, or shopping day..... and she said to me, "I can live alone just fine, I can get around and take care of myself, but if I ever fall and say couldn't walk anymore, then I would consider help."
So like everyone says, in my case I have to wait for her to fall down and be basically immobilized before she will go without a fight.
It's hard when you have DPOA but they are NOT incompetent and you are in the gray area.
She is 91 and basically her body is healthy as a horse. She only takes 3 pills a day. I don't look forward to the day coming when I sell the house and she's crying to come home.... it seems to be the normal pattern here for most folks....
I wish I had some advice, but I don't. I'll be following this thread for some, though!
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I second the suggestion to read up on Naomi Feil's communication techniques. I went to one of her seminars and her info was invaluable. Although it's harder, I have to say that it's better to be as honest as you can, but I certainly wouldn't judge someone who decided not to tell. My mom gets angry about her house being sold on a daily basis. Funny, she only asks my mentally retarded son about it, not me or my husband. That tells me that she knows the truth, but just wants to pick a fight. My son will now call out to me 'Mom, Grandma's asking about her house again' and she will get mad at him for 'tattling' on her and totter off to her room in a self-righteous huff. I usually praise my son for letting me know about her behavior, and tell him I'm sorry Grandma's so mean to him sometimes. He always replies 'She's just Grandma. We still love her.'. Out of the mouths of babes.
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Maybe this advice is too late for most, but what really helped us was that Mom decided a long while ago that her home was just too much to take care of alone. She made this decision while she was still relatively healthy...so transitioning into an apartment was actually a relief for her and she felt like she had control over the decision to sell. So if your parents are going to need to transition out of their homes into a facility, the time is now to plant the seeds and let it be their decision. That way, anywhere they hang their hats will be "home."
Right now I am doing as naheaton and others above have mentioned. Mom moved near us a few years ago and has been doing okay in a regular apt. She gets a little help from paid caregivers and a LOT from us. However, I see the need coming soon for a change. Mom is absolutely terrified of going to a "home." (of course, her impression are coming from the 50s when most homes were grim.)
I constantly feel guilty because I cannot do it all. I also think that she would benefit from being around others her own age...she used to be so social. But I can see her digging her heals in. I think her ideal situation would be for me to be there 24/7. I am at the end of my rope now...I cannot imagine if I had to do more than I am already doing. Everyone seems to need me now and I am doing my best to stave off depression.
Anyway, as I said above, having smaller conversations on a regular basis is better than waiting until the decision is made for them.
Good luck to all of us struggling with these issues....
Lilli
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This seems to be a very common problem. My mom lives in an Alf and alot of the woman say that they own a house and will be going back to it shortly. We rented out my mom's condo but she thinks we sold it even though we have told her many times that it is rented. With dementia they really can't understand from one momemt to another so it doesn't really matter what you say......I would sell her house and just let her believe whatever she wants to. Why upset yourself or your mom for nothing??
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The feelings of loss need to be validated. Mom knows she really can't deal on her own but she still wants to feel some independence and choice and dignity. It takes alot of effort to figure out how to do this but would be well worth it. There is a book on Validation by Naomi Feil. Suggest you may want to check it out. There are examples on You Tube just google Naomi Feil.
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My MIL was living from one sibling to another and yet believed she could still live alone. She finally became very ill with gall bladder and had to have it surgically removed. She was with her son in another state at the time. After the surgery, this son allowed her to go to home alone on the plane. When my daughter picked her at the airport to take her to her home, she was totally disoriented and unable to care for herself. My husband drove over to get her and some belongings and brought her to a lovely ILF here in town.
She was so angry she pinched my husband and called us and her other children sometimes 10 times a day and demanded to go home. She ranted and raved and cursed and threatened suicide. We did not give in. Was it pleasant? No, but we knew it was the only decision for her. She was 87 and her macular degeneration has left her nearly blind. We finally got her into a good geriatric specialist and her diagnosis was demntia. It was like living in Hades for about 3 months, but we knew that we had to exercise tough love. We still have to do many of the common things for her, take her shopping, do her laundry, but she is getting three nutritious meals a day and the most important, daily activities and ALL of her medications on time.
All of her children still work full time and lead active lives. Even when she would live with us, she complained of being alone and bored. Finally, after nearly 6 months, she is happy. Yes, it was tough but we did not give in and take her home. She still talks about moving back home-300+miles away, but we just change the subject. We tell her that because we love her and care about her, she cannot go back and live alone. She fianlly feels like the staff are nice and the people she lives with are nice. She thinks the place is a "dump", but she cannot really see.
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Hi guys,

Wow - me too! My uncle wants to move back to his apartment of 42 years which he adores. He is an 88 year old bachelor and somehow out of the blue, after a heart attack and two strokes, I have become his health care proxy and power of attorney. He has been through extensive testing and his doctors recommend that he stay in assisted living. His remaining brothers and sisters agree and believe that letting him go back to his apartment (500 miles from all of us) is a death sentence. His landlord sent me a letter that says he can’t come back without medical clearance because they don’t want the other families in the building to be at risk. I called his medical team and they assure me that based on the cognitive testing that has been done - he should not go back. The two social workers that care for him agree. Everybody agrees that I am doing the right thing, against his wishes, but on his behalf. None-the-less I can’t help feeling that I am betraying him. I am taking a week’s vacation and am going to clean out his apartment and move his belongings into storage. I think I will take the “sell don’t tell” route. He changes the subject whenever I try to talk about it so I guess I can start doing the same thing. Even after four months of seeing example after example that prove he is incapable of independent living, I fear he will have a miraculous recovery and I will have ruined his life. GUILTY I AM.
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I too am in the same position. My mother went to assisted living in Oct 08 and we have kept the house as rental income that is used toward the expense. She asks every conversation when she is going home. In the last couple of months her dementia has become overwhelming and she is verbally abusive to everyone. Currently she has been placed in a mental health facility in the hope that they can find the right combination of meds. In the midst of the screaming she still believes she would be better off in "her house". It's an awful disease!
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Thanks naheaton, it's always nice to know I'm not the only person dealing with this. Like you, I've been told by multiple doctors and case workers that Mom cannot live alone any longer.
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