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About 5 years ago my mom had a stroke, leaving her weak on her right side and unable to drive. My dad had been driving and helping her around the house until he passed away about 2 years ago. I'll admit I was a selfish 29 year old and didn't want to give up my fun life in the mountains to move to Alabama to care for her, so my brother, who already lived in Alabama, moved in with her. The issue was that my brother worked 10 hour days, leaving her home alone for long stretches. She's also a diabetic, and I don't think eating a diet of mostly fast food and takeout (because my brother wouldn't get home until around 9pm) helped. Her physical health began to rapidly decline (possibly due to diabetic neuropathy from the poor diet) to the point where she could no longer stand or transfer herself. She would call me daily having panic attacks or to inform me that her wheelchair was stuck in some room of the house and she had been there for hours. She would also sit for hours in her dirty diapers. She tried to hire home health care, but ended up having money stolen from her by one of the workers, and ultimately it was too expensive to hire enough home health care for her needs. I decided she needed to move out of that house and in with me...when I got there the house was absolutely filthy. There was dog fur everywhere, dirt all over the place, dirty diapers in the bathroom (not in a diaper pail), mom hadn't showered in about a week....she absolutely could not have stayed there. I really don't blame my brother, he did have crazy hours at work and I think just got in over his head in terms of what caregiving actually means...he's only 27 years old.


So I moved her here to my place in Reno. Now, in order for her to get benefits here in Reno (ie Medicaid), she needs to become a resident of Nevada. HOWEVER. She can't transfer her residency because when she does her reverse mortgage will come due and she must sell her house THAT MY BROTHER IS STILL LIVING IN RENT FREE. He's expressed interest in moving to Reno to be near us, but he has shown no initiative to actually move. He claims he has no money to move, yet my mom is still paying for everything related to the house. He's now tried to guilt trip me into saying it was the wrong call to move my mom out of that house, and that I am cruel for being tough on him to move. We've been talking about moving mom out here since March, and he says he still needs more time to save up money for a security deposit on an apartment. (He's living RENT FREE right now). My mom also refuses to be hard on him because "he needs her help."


I'm at my wits end because my mom NEEDS to be on Medicaid so she can get the care she needs. (I honestly think she's ready for SNF but that's beside the point). The other day I lost my cool with my brother and said we'd just foreclose on the house and have him kicked out, which I felt bad about, and called to apologize...and now he isn't even speaking to me. But seriously my mom is still spending hundreds of dollars a month on upkeep/utilities for the house, AND foregoing healthcare for him to stay in that house. It's a double heartbreak watching my mom, so young at 65, decline like this and have whats left of my little family fracture. But I have no idea what to do. HELP!

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If your brother has been living there rent free to "help your mother", I am sorry but it's time for the free ride to end. He is young, he is working, there is NO reason for this situation to continue.

Your mom needs help, it is HER house, so do what needs to be done. Of course your brother is not going to like this. He's not talking to you? You have more cause to pull that trick than he does. He's trying to manipulate your mother into not getting her own money for her own care just so he can have a free ride? He's not THAT young that he shouldn't know better than that. He's an adult, responsible for himself.

Once he knows the house is going to sold, I'm sure he will miraculously find other living arrangements. When the pressure's on, people tend to figure out what they need to do.
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Reply to againx100
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JuliaDade, kudos to both you and your brother for providing your mom's care as best you can, but, as you said, "...he just got in over is head..." about caregiving and I think you may have also. The situation with your mom's reverse mortgage is a common problem as is the problem of a sibling caregiver living in a parent's house. The most likely solution to those problems is to sell your mom's house to pay off the reverse mortgage balance. Depending on your mom's other resources, she could also pay off the reverse mortgage and turn her home into a rental with your brother paying fair-market rent, which I believe would also allow your mom to qualify for Medicaid in Nevada.
    As a start, I suggest you immediately contact Nevada's Aging and Disability Services Division to explain your mom's situation and find out what assistance and resources are available in the Reno area. With that information in hand, you could then have a family meeting (or conference call) to discuss options for providing your mom's care. After those things are done, it's likely you'll find that one of your next steps will be to consult with a well-respected elder-law attorney who is an expert in Nevada's specific Medicaid rules.
     Best wishes in navigating the difficult journey in providing care for an declining parent.
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Reply to bicycler
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Why would your brother become homeless? He has a job. He can rent a room, if not an apartment.

He should have been paid for his caregiving with some of the proceeds of the RM, but no one arranged that, so its water under the bridge.

Call the RM company and turn the house over. Get mom on Medicaid and get her the help she needs.

Your brother sounds like he is trying to manipulate the situation to his benefit. There is no way to do what he wants.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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I am sure and hopeful others will provide you with more information. From what I understand generally is that if there is a RM on the house and the owner has not resided in it for a year it has to go back to the bank. Your brother cannot stay there indefinitely. He has a job therefore he should be looking for an apartment to rent. Possibly the sooner the house is no longer in your mother's name you might be able to apply for benefits. I hope others who are so experienced with these issues provide you with more information especially with the fact of changing the state of residence for your mother. If you could afford a lawyer who might charge a reasonable rate you might benefit greatly.
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Reply to Riverdale
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As an aside, I do love my brother and definitely do not want to make him homeless!
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Reply to JuliaDade
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