Mom (85) lives alone in AR, She has gotten to the point where she is having difficulty with the house. - AgingCare.com

Mom (85) lives alone in AR, She has gotten to the point where she is having difficulty with the house.

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The house is getting to be to much for her and she wants us to move out there and live in the house and she'll get an apartment. My husband probably won't be able to transfer his job to Ar. and my mother refuses to relocate. I think she would be wise to sell her home, their is a beautiful assisted living center just miles from where she lives. How to I bring this up with her in a caring way? She has given me the house in her will and wants so badly for us to move there now. She is becoming depressed. There are no relatives near her all live in Az. or Ca. so she is alone. If I tried to get home care for her she would still have to deal with her house, repairs etc. This is causing me so much stress and I want so much to be there for her. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We would be able to put her things in storage and hope the house sells. What to do.

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Your mom wants to stay in her house, which she can't maintain, and wants you and your family to pull up stakes and move to where she is so she can stay in her house?

I understand your mom's desire to stay in her own home. Almost all elderly people do want to stay in their own home but most cannot after a certain point. If it's her independence she's afraid of losing encouraging her to get an apartment in an assisted living facility might serve her needs IF she can afford for the house to remain empty, possibly falling into disrepair, and live in assisted living at the same time. But again, most folks can't manage that financially. Usually the house has to go in order to pay for the new living arrangements.

Try to get your mom on board about the assisted living by reassuring her that she'll remain independent. Don't mention the house, don't mention the finances, just get her thinking about the assisted living facility. No more home repairs, no more worrying about the lawn, no more crisis if the there's water in the basement, whatever will enable her to see assisted living as an option.

If she comes around and decides that assisted living would be OK, then you talk about finances. Your husband would probably be the best person to discuss this with her. Continue to stress and reinforce her desire to remain independent. When elderly people insist on remaining independent sacrifices and compromises have to be made, there's no way around it. If MIL moves to assisted living she gets to maintain her independence but the compromise and sacrifice is that she'll have to sell the house to pay for the assisted living.

If she doesn't have dementia than she should be able to understand. Maybe not at first but it's a process. Decisions like this usually aren't made in one conversation. After my mom died my dad returned to his birthplace down south and told me and my brother to sell the house. Do whatever we want with the contents but just sell it. So we did. By the time the house was staged and on the market my dad had had a change of heart and wanted to move back into HIS home. He could not understand why that was impossible. He had no dementia but he just could not think clearly when it came to this. He was on the verge of buying a plane ticket any minute and coming back to a city where he had no home. I almost went crazy.

It's unreasonable for your family to pack up and move to where MIL is so she can maintain the house. Other arrangements are going to have to be made and it's not going to be easy for her or for you. I'm sure she loves her home but I think she probably values her independence more. If you all can come up with a solution that MIL agrees to and that preserves her independence sign those papers as fast as you can.
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Deb, we're in a lousy transition with the two generations, where parents are planning on leaving homes and money to their kids. But the cost of their care often uses up these assets. It's difficult for our parents deal with the idea that there may not be an inheritance to pass on.

If the proceeds from the sale of the house will be needed for assisted living in the future, I think it would be unwise to quit jobs and uproot yourselves. Such a move could have a strong impact on your own retirement security.

It's not easy to tell our parents that what they wish to occur is not possible for us to do. You just have to remember that when helping our parents, we must also objectively factor in the impact to our own lives.
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Ah, the common problem of a parent who wants to keep their house.... they want to continue with their lifestyle.... but they want you to change yours.

If your Mom is good with numbers, maybe put together different options to show her the cost. Cost of staying at home having a caregiver [1 shift, then the cost of having 2 and 3 shifts]. Then the cost of moving into a retirement complex but having funds from selling the house. And make another cost list of what it would cost for you and hubby to move out, having no jobs, and any cost of needing to update the house.

Add in all the costs involved with your Mom staying in her home, property taxes, homeowner's insurance.... oh, speaking of homeowner's insurance, if your Mom hires a caregiver from outside of an Agency, then Mom would need to tack on a rider to her homeowner's insurance for "workman's comp", not cheap.

In the line of work that I do, I have seen cases where the grown child wants to move into the parents house but not until they see the house through the eyes of a buyer that they realize that the house needs mega updating and the floorplan is out-of-date for their growing family. And they are moving into a neighborhood of mainly older owners with no children for their kids to play with.
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