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So Mom is now living back in NY, in a nursing home. She still thinks she is going home to Florida someday, but her health has deteriorated far beyond that possibility.

To pay for the nursing home pre-Medicaid, first we have to spend down all her assets and sell her house. She gave us about as much of a go-ahead as we expected to get, so we put the house on the market last Wednesday and I planned to tell her right after Thanksgiving. To our surprise, the house sold within about eleven hours. Now, not only do i have to tell her we put the house on the market, but I have to tell her it is under contract and i need her signature on the papers.

I think she is going to have a meltdown no matter HOW I handle it tomorrow (Sunday 11/29), but if anybody has any suggestions as to how to do this and not leave any casualties, I'd love to hear them!

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Soooo good to hear that it went fairly well. Sounds like you know which times to use your proxy authority and which times not to. I would also agree that keeping your mother informed is not only healthier but wiser and more considerate. It's a question of discretion and balance, I think, and always a learning experience.
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I like that term "therapeutic fibs!" I find I am constantly using them with her, and they work like a charm! I think I will adopt that phrase and use it from now on.

Anyway, I just came back from having "the talk" with her and it didn't go so badly at all. I'm glad I didn't pull the POA card on this one, as I think keeping her in the loop on SOME things is healthier than going behind her back. Things like changing her address/insurance or cancelling credit cards can be done without the need for her to stress out about them.

Your advice is well taken. No need to explain the "sneakiness" part. I know full well what you were suggesting,
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Tom, it wasn't my intent to suggest sneakiness; far from it. You asked about addressing her reaction on being told of her house being sold, anticipating a "meltdown" regardless of how you handle the situation. I made a suggestion which I thought would avoid trauma to your mother.

I don't advocate "sneakiness".

If you're on this forum long enough, you'll find the use of "therapeutic fibs" and/or omissions as opposed to full disclosure has been used by others to smooth the path and/or deal with changes which elders sometimes just can't handle.
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We have a POA, but we do not want this moved to be perceived by her as "sneaking." She still has enough of her faculties to be angry.
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I'm assuming that there's no durable power of attorney in place? If there were, who ever is named as proxy could execute the papers without her having to be told.
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Why not present the reason for selling was that there was too much upkeep and cost to keep the house sitting vacant. The house was looking so sad.

And the house was sold to a young family with children and now that family can develop their own memories in that house... that might be stretching it a bit but it might make Mom happy knowing a young family is moving in, even if that isn't the case.
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