RETIREMENT HOME There is a Golden Mesa Retirement Community here where my husband can get his three meals a day that have been hard for me to provide due to my fragile health. I would also get housekeeping help for which now I have to hire out. There will be no yard work for which now I also have to hire out--both with a lot of frustration given the quality of help available in my city to do these jobs. Given these expenses, mortgage, utilities, food, cable, etc.--all housing expenses, it will cost about $300 more every month to live in the retirement community.

The staff are happy, the residents are happy, the atmosphere is great. But then, that is why it is expensive. The other 2 communities in town do not offer meals nor housekeeping.

THE DOWN SIDE is that if my husband should precede me in death, and my income gets cut in half, I would have to move out because I couldn't afford it anymore. But I can move into a small apartment then. I'm flexible.

Second down side is that I will not have a house anymore which makes me very nervous. Renting the house is an option we have looked into, but is not a good one.
With no equity in our current house, best case scenario is I won't have a house payment anymore. Worst case; selling it may still leave me with a mortgage balance, as the market is bad here.

DOWN SIDE: If (or when) he gets worse, I won't have the income to hire extra help for his care. That is not a service the community provides.

SECOND CHOICE: After a year of looking, I may have finally found a permanent caregiver to come 5 days a week to stay with my husband. She has worked with us for the last 2 days and has cleaned areas where the others haven't. She is a real go-getter, excellent cook, and has experience caring for elderly. And we agree on the price. And I really want to have my own place rather than rent for the rest of our lives.

DOWN SIDE TO CAREGIVER If she were to no longer be available for some unforeseen reason, I am back to square one.

The senior community is really putting on the pressure to sign with them offering me 2 weeks free. I still would have to come up with $3K move in fee and $4800 to lock in the rent for life. I can come up with that from our savings, but I still don't know.

Either way, it will cost a lot and I will have to be very frugal from now on. Both right now while he is still capable of dressing and feeding himself, I can go to my appointments, therapies, etc. without worrying about him or dragging him along when he doesn't want to go. I can also resume my senior citizen center classes which are therapy for me.

My priority is my husband, his care, his meals, his safety. And I am so tired, I cannot care for him 24/7 alone anymore. So if you were in my shoes, what would you do?

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I have a man in his 50s that is a neighborhood handy man, his parents sold their home and moved into a 3 tier facility, they recently had to leave that facility because the husband started going downhill with Alzheiemers and the facility told them they could no longer live on the level they were on and they could not afford the increase in monthly cost so they had their son look for a 3 bedroom home for them and him to live together which they did. But they lost quite a bit of money on this deal, so you need them to define what is not refundable. personally I would try to stick it out in your own home with a caretaker. Even with no equity in the house if your husband had to got into a facility at least you would still have a home that Medicaide cannot force you out of.
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Your own health makes it impossible for you to continue 24/7 care for your husband. What would happen if you pre decease him? It sounds as though you and hubby are equally disabled but in different ways so you both need to be in a progressive assisted living situation where where one or both of you can get the extra level of care as needed.
I realize you are reluctant to give up homeownership but the truth of the matter is you really don't own it now the bank does so it you get out from under the mortgage taxes etc would you actually be better off. Can you start with a discussion with the bank and find out what their attitude would be? if you have to sell at a loss you would still owe the rest of the mortgage unless you allow it to go into forclosure. A visit to an eldercare attorney might help you to sort out at least some of your financial obligations. Does the senior living facility need to be in the same expensive area? Do you have children to advise. You do not give your ages.
You have a good caregiver lined up so why not see how that goes and take your time with a final decision. the facility would not be pressuring you if they had a waiting list so relax there. Blessings.
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Tough one. What if you sell the home at a loss,then move to the facility, and hubby becomes so confused he becomes agitated. Then the facility tells you he has to find someplace else to live. We are going through similar with my Mom and L. She has lived in this house nearly 52 years, does not recognize it any longer, but for now is safe here. And the move I know will cause a decline, possibly agitation, and maybe becoming a danger to herself or others. Everybody hopes for a memory care facility, but there is a very real liklihood that it will need to be a nursing home, at additional cost.
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Jeanne, you wrote what I did almost verbatim, except that I ended up not being able to advise at all. My stuck point was the house having no equity. Fleming, if your husband needed to go into a nursing facility, would you be able to keep making mortgage payments? If this would be a problem, I would talk to someone about the best thing to do with the house.

This is indeed a tough situation. I wouldn't let the assisted living facility pressure me into making a decision that could be a mistake. If your husband needed a higher level of care soon, would the facility let you out of your lease? If they would, then perhaps letting the house go and moving into the facility would be okay.

I have no idea what I would do.
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Sounds like independent living and hubby sounds like he really needs assisted living, or you need to reman caregiver to a patient with increasing demands.
I would stay in my home with the caregiver, by the time she eventually moves on ( or not) hubby may be t a different state. I assume you can afford the house if your income is cut, should he pass away? If hubby declines, do consider a NH, you can visit and advocate, but not be hands on 24 hours a day.
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Wow. Hard, hard choices.

I can't honestly say would I would do. It is so hypothetical.

You definitely deserve someone to take care of YOU for a change. The senior community would be a big plus for that.

Your husband has dementia. It will get worse. It is really hard to say how fast and how much he will decline. But chances are very good you will need more help to care for him in the coming years. If the cost of the senior community is such that you will not be able to afford that help, then what? If he has to go into a care center, could you continue to live in the senior community?

You say that the community would cost you about $300 per month more than living in your home costs. What if you spent that much extra a month where you are now, for a cleaning service or delivered groceries or bringing in restaurant meals sometimes, etc., could you get a little relief and a sense of self-care?

The caregiver you have now lined up will provide some of the advantages the community would, but within your familiar environment, right?

I think the real unknown in this picture is your husband's health. The fact that this community doesn't have a place for a higher level of care is what might stop me.

What is to say that after you pay the $3,000 move-in fee and the $4,800 lock-in fee and sell your house (possibly at a loss) that 3 months later your dear husband won't decline rapidly? And by the end of the first year you absolutely cannot care for him alone any more? Then what?

The retirement community sounds lovely and like something you deserve. But I THINK I would stay in my own house if I were you. I can't really say for sure. I know I would be as torn as you thinking about it. But the big variable is how long your dear husband is well enough to be able to stay under your care alone. And no one can really predict that.

Do keep us informed of how you proceed. There are a lot of people here wishing you all the best!
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