Follow
Share

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.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
Another complaint of mom's - when I mentioned the seniors in the bus - was "I don't want to be grouped with those faces!" ???
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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??
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

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.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Mom has been in assisted living nearly 3 months now and we are packing up the house to sell it. Her facility is EXCELLENT. She has a 2 room apartment with her queen sized bed and most of her favorite furniture from her home. I have taken her back to her house a couple of times and the anger and aggression towards me has been awful so I will no longer take her back there.

This week I took her to her beach house about 2 hours away thinking she would have happy memories and enjoy a change of location. IT WAS HORRIBLE. She was angry, hostile, even threw things around. She was verbally abusive to me and my husband about "putting her away." We only stayed 24 hours rather than the 4 days we planned to stay. She did not even eat for the 24 hours!! Yet...she tells friends that it was HER decision to move to the ALF and she "loves" it.

Selling her car and her not being able to drive is even more contentious. I try being truthful but she gets so angry and aggressive at me when I do that. I know that being independent for 28 years after my father passed away makes the loss of that independence more difficult to bear.

I have been counseled to not even visit her for a couple of weeks now. I hope I can do that. I am more callused to her verbal abuse now after about 3 years of it; but it still hurts not to be able to make her happy.

Still dealing with selling the house and dreading the day I have to tell her it has been sold.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother-in-law and her husband lived in their house for 50 years. They raised three boys (I'm married to #3) and up until 2008 all was fairly well.
Then her husband suddenly got sick, 6 months later he's dead and the beginnings of her dementia at that time were thrown into full tilt. Her memory suffered first (short term is gone) and because of the macular degeneration, she couldn't take care of herself anymore. We found out that he had been covering for her for years with the memory decline and eye sight. At that time my sister-in-law started looking around for asst living places. We did not tell her, but we had money on two places to hold them open for mil. She and I knew it was only a matter of time, but m-i-l was determined to stay independent. BUT we had to dispense her pills, take her everywhere, I washed her hair, sis-in-law washed her feet, it was on going. Plus I felt terrible that she'd sit there day in and day out by herself with nothing to do but watch TV, so I started a regime of visits/trips/movies etc. When she fell (again) and this time broke her hip, we seized the moment and she never went home after rehab. What saved us being the 'bad guys' was that all the doctors at the NH that evaluated her, said she could no long live alone. Anyway, making a long story longer Nan, she has been there for 6 months at least now, and has NEVER stopped saying she wants to go home. But after us repeating that she can't go home again, maybe 10,000 times or so, she does remember THAT, it just doesn't make a difference. She wants to go HOME!! period. nothing can be done about how she feels, but it doesn't change the fact that she can't go home.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

My mom was forced to move out of her home because she lost her job and after a year could no longer make the payments. She moved in with me and was diagnosed with Alz a few months later. Initially she was very upset over losing her home. But now she has decided that my home IS her home. Maybe you should try telling your Mom that she is home now and that is where she is living.

In my case I am frustrated because I fell I have lost my home. Mom is in a great program where we pay a flat fee and she gets home help for 3 hours/day and can also go to day care and respite (all for the same price). If she ever needs it, they will pay for assisted living too. But since she has told her social worker that she wants to stay in "her" home as long as possible, that is their goal. As long as that is her wish, assisted living is not being investigated. Never mind that it is MY house and she has only lived there a little over a year.

Some days I don't mind, but on others I have a much harder time. I lived alone for years and now I can never get time alone (except if I send Mom to respite - have done this once and she hated it and cries at the thought of going back).

Sorry this got off topic. Basically, my Mom eventually forgot about losing her home and isn't even upset now if my brother and I talk about it. Do what you think is best. In the end, that is all we can do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Has abyone kept their parents in their home and hired a live-in to care for them? My brothers and I are trying to make the best decisions for my parents with Dementia and other health concerns.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I don't know which is more sad - Trying to get better so you can go back to your house or giving up hope and not mentioning it anymore.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

In dealing with individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer it is important to not lie to them because it damages the relationship and trust. In their fragile state they are scared and frightened and need validation of their emotions. They may understand logically they need to sell their home or they can not live independently but emotionally they can't deal. For their sake you need to forget the guilt and step back to figure out what they trying to express emotionally but can not due to the dementia or Alzheimer express it. Naomi Feil has written a book on Validation which I suggest to understand the the technique. Redirection is another method of assisting with individuals who have memory impairment. Communicating with your loved one changes when dementia and Alzheimer's attacks.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is such a common situation. My mother, now deceased, told me once of how she, at one time, had had to sell her father's car "behind his back." Then twenty-five years later, she and her husband ( my parents) found themselves in THEIR golden years, and then it fell to me to get Dad to stop driving, convince them they needed to move from their home to assisted living, etc. etc. The cycle continues with each generation. We all do the best we can at the time, guided by our love for our parents. I trust my children will treat me the same way when my time comes......
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is somewhat on the subject, and somewhat not. We brought my hubby's mom over to our town-she lived 5 hours away and we could not keep an eye on her there. She had been living with all three children off and on, but had decided to go home and live alone, again. She had a disasterous episode and ended up with my daughter who has two babies. Her dementia or delirium overwhelmed all of them and we simply went and got her and placed her in a retirement home. Of course, her other children went ballistic, how dare we do this? Of course, their daughter was not the responsible person and they refused to believe mom was that bad. None of the other children could "get away" to help, so we did what we needed to do. My hubbys sister went crazy-without even visiting her mother, she promised her mother that she would take her home.
Of course that was nearly a month and a half ago. She finally had some pretty ugly interactions with grandma on the phone-5-6 phone calls to her place of employment, screaming, out of control anger, demanding she be taken home.
We, of course, are taxed with the day to day mangement of an angry, resentful dementia patient who cannot care for herself and even forgets what day it is and how long she has been with us. She is out of control-always. She has hit and pinched my husband, and cannot even hold a peacable conversation. We have tried to see her every other day, but all she will talk about is "getting out of this place", never anything else. Yes, we have taken her to the Dr. and she is on medication for depression and memory loss.
The other sibling write us emails-but do not visit. However, the daughter still is telling her mother that she will arrange to take her home...soon. So the anger never ends. We have decided to try not visiting so often. We are emotionally drained. We do not have guilt, because we cannot expect a granddaughter to care for her grandmother-and we will not allow my husband's siblings to expect this scenario either.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

One minute she tells us and everyone within ear shot that she is giving the house to us, next minute she says she's called a realtor to sell her house... sad thing is, as dpoa effective, her house is already renter with possible option to buy. I must agree with 'sell but did not tell'. I find that if you simply gently agree with them during their moments' musing, whatever the crazy idea she has at the moment will pass and you won't have agitated, irritated or hurt her feelings. .. just softly tread and do your business without doling out details to her. I continually am amazed at her overestimation of her abilities and underestimation of her inabilities. It is troubling how much upheaval there is when she has a phone in her hand. ..also loved the one about the queen size bed. Seems that you and I are dealing with nearly the same issues - our loved ones are experiencing the most painful operation of all: having their wings clipped.
Peace love tranquility education clean air pure water and strong coffee.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This is an interesting thread and I'm looking forward to what others say.

Seems like the smart thing to do, but I can see how a lot of mixed emotions would go with the decision to sell.

My mom kept saying "when I get better" too but I think she realizes she just won't. She said she is going to bring her queen-size bed back in her room too.....yeah right.

I don't see anything wrong with selling the house because they don't need all that xtra worry that goes along with the upkeep. I have always said they need peace.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I have talked to several residents at my Dad's senior home who tell me that they still own "their house". This must be a relatively common situation....
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I am in the exact same position!! We moved my Mother in assisted living in October and she still asks about going home and that she "is better now". We have sold her car and she still thinks she will "get her license back" and drive when she "gets out". I do hope others respond that have been through this!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I've sold and not told, and no matter how many people tell me it was "the right thing" I still feel awful about it. Sorry no help just sympathy! Hoping others will have and share more insight...thanks...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.