Concern moving 94 yr. old Alzheimer’s FIL to new home will be dangerous to his health. Any suggestions?

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MIL insists on moving to a condo with her adult son and Alzheimer’s husband from home they have lived in for 50 years. My husband and his sisters oppose the move as they strongly believe it will further confuse their father who also has congestive heart failure. My MIL refuses to listen to their concerns or to discuss her decision at all. I must add that their house is in pristine condition and at this time needs little maintenance. We all know my FIL probably won’t live that much longer and cannot understand why MIL insists on moving now. We feel moving him will have terrible consequences. He will be confused, disoriented and upset. What can we do? His Alzheimer’s is progressing and he spends most of the day sleeping due to breathing problems from COPD. It clearly seems MIL is not willing to consider how this move will impact her husband.

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Thanks all for your thoughtful responses. I can see her wanting to downsize. She is 85 herself. Housing market is good in their area as well. The issue of her being sensitive to his adjustment is really, I think, what their three adult children are concerned about. And that has to do with witnessing her annoyance at his attempts to interact or converse with her, and the adult son who lives with them trivializing the dad’s memory issues. As with so many in similar situations, it’s more complicated than ‘just’ moving. It’s her overall demeanor with him. In this case, I believe she’s going to move forward no matter what her kids concerns are. All we can do is offer help and advice during the transition. Thanks again for the thoughtful snd differing points of view. It is appreciated.
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Reply to Empath
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How is your MIL's health? She may feel she needs to downsize now before it is too daunting a task for her. Like JoAnn29 I understand your concerns but I assume she is an elderly person as well, with her own health issues and frailties. Not everything can revolve around the sicker spouse. Also, you say FIL's time is short but as we see from this forum, extremely sick people can linger for years.

Maybe also she feels the housing market in the area is such that now would be a good time to sell the house?
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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Good points, JoAnn. I hadn't thought of the house from the upkeep angle.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Empath, like you, my wife and I were very concerned how my then 92-year-old dad would react when we moved him from out-of-state into our home, so we did so on a trial basis and posed it to him as a vacation. As it turned out, he adjusted quickly and within a week did not remember ever living anywhere else, except for his childhood home where he had not lived for the prior 75 years. I had the same worries again 3.5 years later when I moved into a memory care facility, but again he adjusted quickly and still only remembers his childhood home.

Your FIL may or may not adjust as easily -- perhaps your MIL could find a way to test how he will react to a move (e.g. a nice, extended-stay type of hotel or short-term apartment). A trial move will either show that your FIL can adjust to the move or show your MIL that the idea of moving might be more stressful and complicated than she anticipates. Bringing along lots of items and furnishings familiar to your FIL, either to the condo or to a trial location, could help him adjust. In any event, your husband and his sisters should consider their mother's needs and desires as being equally important as those of your FIL's and do what they can to support a good outcome for both -- obviously easy to say and much harder to actually do, given the situation and all the unknowns of the future.
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Reply to bicycler
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Have you thought maybe MIL is tired of the upkeep on a home. Maybe she is tired of cleaning it. I understand your concern but I see her side. Maybe she just wants something for herself. She probably has been caring for this man for a while and she is tired. Does the condo have activities she will be able to enjoy? Outings ect. Look at her side. He is sleeping all day, so he isn't enjoying life or her. She may feel she has no life and wants one before she passes. Fil will have her and son to help with the adjustment. It would be the same if she had to put him in a NH. He has probably forgotten who she is. Must be lonely for her. A son doesn't take place of a husband.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Empath, signatures have to be witnessed, by independent witnesses. And they have to be notarized.

One thing the siblings can do is step up their visits, and make sure they accompany FIL if MIL decides to take him someplace, such as to a bank or real estate office where she might find a notary to witness his alleged signature.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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Thank you for the response. I’m quite sure it’s in both their names, or maybe even just his. Even so, the siblings believe the MIL will finagle things to look like he signed. They won’t press charges against their mom.
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Reply to Empath
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A few issues to address:

1. How is title to the existing home vested? In the names of your FIL and MIL, jointly?

2. Did FIL execute a DPOA authorizing someone to act in his stead in the event he can't make decisions, b/c of dementia, such as signing a deed conveying to house as well as executing a purchase agreement for a new one? Is his dementia such that he would not be cognizant of all the factors of selling and purchase a home?

3. If title is vested in both their names, FIL would have to sign a Warranty Deed conveying title to new purchasers. And he should also sign any purchase agreements for a new house.

4. Even if signing off on the sale of the existing house were possible, and if MIL purchased another house, I'm assuming she'd have to get a mortgage. Good banks would look seriously at her assets, her age, life expectancy, and assess whether or not to take a risk on granting a mortgage to someone older. So she may not even be able to finance a new house.

If the process gets that far, make sure someone who knows how to work with good NATIONAL banks (not some of the mortgage companies often recommended by realtors), not only so that nothing untoward takes place, but so that the benefits of banks with fixed regulatory standards come into play in assessing an older woman's ability to obtain and be able to make the mortgage payments.

5. If MIL or anyone else doesn't have any authority to sign on FIL's behalf, and existing title is held jointly, that's it. If FIL can't sign b/c of dementia, the house can't be sold, no one sign on his behalf, no one can get authority under a DPOA b/c of the dementia, and no new house can be purchased unless a bank is willing to grant MIL sole mortgagor status.

The only way at that point would be to get guardianship, which is expensive.
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