My mom is running out of money and we need to sell her house to pay for AL. Advice?

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Mom got diagnosed with ALZ/vascular dementia in 2012. She is 85. Last August, she was at the nadir of her disease and got tested to quantify the dementia's progression. She was deemed incapacitated by two MD's based on this testing and 2 letters have been written. At the time, we placed her in a very expensive residential care home (ARCH) where she has absolutely thrived. All meds were withdrawn and she is now eating, sleeping, reading, winning at Cribbage, etc. Bottom line however: She HAS lost most executive functions and no longer manages her accounts/bills.
The question is: She is quickly running out of money and we need to sell her house in order to pay for this excellent care. She is refusing. Is it ethical to continue with declaring her incapacitated in view of these improvements? I've asked for her to be re-tested but the medical office is refusing due to insurance restraints. I've thought about retiring to move back to her home to care for her, but that would put me in financial jeopardy and would add to the burden of the emotionally difficult aspects/isolation of full-time care-taking.
I talked to her yesterday about selling, explaining her financial situation. She hung up on me! She lives 2,500 miles away, so these are huge obstacles to overcome. Add to that my own attachment to her house, fear of losing my identity as a working, productive member of society.. It's so complicated! Lawyers are advising me to have her declared to make paperwork easier if we chose to sell. I just cannot imagine having to tell her that her house is gone. Any advice would be most appreciated. By the way, I haven't described how angry and hostile she can be when she gets told something negative.

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First of all, sounds like you are coming to terms with the 'role change' we all have to go through with elderly parents who can no longer make sensible decisions. It took me over 2 years to get there with my Dad. I am also an RN (now retired at 71)...and our education prepares us for some, but far from all we need to walk this path! Secondly, I do NOT recommend stopping your career to become Mom's caretaker! It only gets worse....and she will get worse, and need more and more....and it will soon be far more than one person can handle. If you upset all your future financial planning, and your health....and then your Mom must use all her resources, your future will be destitution or you'll be ill or die before Mom does, and then what?? I am a coordinator of my Mom's care. My parents lived in another town...5 hrs away driving. After Dad died last Aug, there was no reason to leave Mom alone in their home so far away, so the lawyer told her that she was going to run out of money trying to stay home, and he gave her the available choices. I helped her find a nice assisted living here by me. It is full service, so it has Memory Care when she's needing that next due to her Alzheimer's. Thirdly...you said it yourself....and it took our lawyer and a funeral director to get it through my head, so you are ahead of me.....but when Mom doesn't have higher executive thinking abilities, then Mom IS incompetent to be responsible for herself. You need to move on that, so that you can make the financial decisions. With my Mom, we moved her into AL, and then emptied out her house. She got to where she understood we were going to sell the house, and she's adjusted to that, but all her 'stuff' is in storage, because she wasn't going to have anything given away. Well, when incompetent, the time comes for fibbing....and as someone else suggested, we were going to do if Mom did not come around.....you tell her that someone else is moving in to take care of it, and that will help you get enough money to take care of Mom where she is. And then you sell it. A fib....because, in reality, is Mom going to go back into that home, to find out that the nice people living there actually bought the house? NO. And did those nice people arrange for her to have enough money....YES. So that's what you say. As with my Mom's 'stuff'.....I just say....it's in storage. Never mind, that all the junk and old clothes and things she had hoarded for 60 years living in that house, have all been donated or tossed out..... the clothes she mostly wore, and family pictures, other momentos and certain furniture ARE still there, so a FIB....not a lie. Her car is with her granddaughter. She specified that her granddaughter would someday be given her car. We've transferred the car to our daughter that was promised it, but since Mom has not yet said 'give it to Michelle', we just say, that the car is being stored in Michelle's garage, to keep it out of the snow and ice up here, where there is no garage. She periodically asks, " Where is MY car?" and I give her the same answer and she says, "OK" and goes on to something else because she is getting worse. There was a time she would have fought and argued and asked 3 million questions or tried to make me 'prove that it was not being driven' or other assorted things. Not any more. This technique is taught....for Alzheimer's patients....and it does work. Don't tell them things they don't need to know or you know will upset them....and if they ask you....you fib in order not to upset them. But, bottom line, is you have to get things arranged such that you can do the financial things that must be done to care for Mom and to keep her as long as possible in the place she is now happy in. You have become the parent and she has become the child that needs the safety and care arranged by you.
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Kristen, my heart goes out to you, because selling my mom's - my childhood home was the hardest thing I ever did. I never actually told Mom we sold, just that we had another couple move in and they were taking care of everything and paying the bills so she would not worry; this was quite a bit after we actually sold and after my dad died and I finally moved her here to Arkansas closer to me. If your POA is like mine, those two letters are basically what you need to be able to sell without her participation. And then you put the proceeds in a special account and do nothing but pay her care bills with it, but you probably know that.

I have to admit that my first thought was that regaining the ability to play cribbage was impressive, but probably does not constitute her becoming un-incapacitated. She sounds like she has more of a vascular than Alzheimer's type dementia, with poor judgement a prominent feature more so than memory loss. And I was told that renting, besides saddling you with landlord duties, would result in any funds going to Medicaid in my mom's situation anyways. If she is very happy and well cared for where she is, and wants to stay there but just needs to hold on to the idea that when she is better she will return home, and of course her docs are clear that this is not going to happen, then you are doing the right thing as POA. I know I had a lot of doubt because Mom wanted to go home and I tried a couple or three times to find enough help to make that possible, but she threw them all out - her idea was she could go home when she could walk again, and be by herself...never mind that she did not work real hard in therapy and kept getting d/c'd for lack of progress...it took a couple episodes of delirium with minor infections plus ongoing delusions to make me realize that, despite a few people saying they thought she was "sharp as a tack" (i.e. she recognized them and carried on a conversation) it was a pipe dream. But she needed to dream it. Even here after I told her about the couple "taking care of" our house, she said she thought maybe it would be best to get an apartment nearby when she could..she did not want to feel like she was "pushing them out." This was just a couple weeks before she was on hospice, and maybe a month before she passed on.

I am not saying the way we did it would have been right for everyone, but I think back and despite all my second guessing, think it was probably right for us. Hugs.
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Also, I'm realizing that her complete denial/awareness of her incapacity is by definition, incapacity. I'm felling better about moving forward with everything. Thanks for your good advice and insights.
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Yes, Babalou, still with you all.
I had "The Talk" yesterday which didn't go well. She actually tried to strike me with her cane!
Renting is not an option, for we need ~ $8,000/month to pay for everything. I'm coming to terms with the process and gradually accepting that this is our fate. -Grateful that we even have an asset to rely on at this point.
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Kristen, are you still with us? Any updates?
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Angelsrespite, your Grandmother still has her assets, or do you? That is the question! You are taking Granny for a ride, packing her off to cheaper accommodations, so that her monies will be yours when she dies! Pull the other leg! FFS!
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In my state, the rent income has to meet a certain minimum to be allowed. This stops family from "renting" it to a friend for $1/month simply to avoid having to sell.

Medicaid and property rules vary by state, so it's really important to either know the rules & law yourself or have an attorney who does to advise you.
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As DPOA I opted to rent out my grandmothers house to pay for her care as opposed to selling. $1200 plus her SSI. It has been three years now; it seems like the right move. Angels Respite Program allowed us a financial and emotional break. Yes, I have to manage a property and tenants but she still has the income and asset.
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I also was wondering about renting out the house instead of selling it. We rented my inlaws' house and the tenant covers a good chunk of the cost of independent living. Is your mom's house in good condition? Is it in a great location? Does it have a million dollar view without the exorbitant property taxes? Would you rent it furnished or unfurnished? I'm not familiar with the Hawaiian real estate market but pretty much everywhere (except San Francisco) it's a buyer's market. And rents are always higher during a buyer's market.
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Should have said,

Don't guilt trip myself about it..........
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