What has been your experiences with moving parent(s) out of their home into senior retirement housing?

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Mom has recently decided to sell her home and move into senior retirement apartment building. Her reasons have finally dominoed onto her because for the last 5 years she's been against this idea even though I and my siblings have been telling her she needed to do it before she encountered the domino repair issue. Well, her pride and stubborness has now been crushed by multiple repairs in less than 6 months and more are mounting. She simply cannot afford them. Also the bigger emotional/mental reason is the fact that she is lonely. Needs same generation companionship because she's lost a lot of her neighbor friends and classmate friends over the last 25 years. Dad passed 16 years ago. This last year has been brutal for her emotionally at the rate of speed she's lost many friends. 4 within days of each other. She has a few senior center volunteers who call her, one comes over when she can-at least once a month. Another that use to come nearly daily has moved out of state because her hubby's job transferred him. She sends pretty cards with great messages, though. All that is taking an emotional toll on her, too.

What have been your experiences with selling your parents home "AS IS"? She doesn't have a morgage, owns the house outright, and has for many decades. Someone mentioned to me about a 'reverse mortgage' but I don't think mom would go for that? I don't fully understand that concept, either and would like to know of anyones experience with that.

As for the relocation process: There's a beautiful place locally but it's monthly rent is at least $3000. This complex serves not only as a retirement apartment community but also a nursing home and assisted living centers all on the same grounds/complex/compound, whatever you want to refer to it as. Hence, the hefty expense, I am guessing. Mom said that even after the sale of the house that would be gone in less than a year. She doesn't want to go there because she wouldn't be able to continue paying such a monthly fee. What senior/elderly programs, aid is available to apply to for senior retirement apartment rental assistance? I don't know if this specific location is under the HUD senior program but from what I understand from mom talking about it that it is likely not a HUD property. Still, being that she's on her last decade of life, I would think that such seniors would have quite a listing of rent assistance programs to choose even for such an expensive place. Am I wrong?

Other locations are based on income(HUD), which she felt may better suit her, however she's very picky about the outward and inward appearance of the place she will select. Which will limit her choices greatly.

Her yearly Social Security income doesn't go above the poverished level for a single person. What senior programs are best to apply for to help her with this transition and the ability to be able to have her rent fee subsidized including at that expensive complex that may not be HUD applicable? How long the waiting period may be? Can you move into these retirement complexes and still temporarily have ownership/be going through a house sale that hasn't been sold yet? Or, should the sale of home(and estate belongings) be finalized before her move into the senior home to avoid the home and property being considered asset income? I don't quite know exactly what all her assets would total on top of her social security income. Though she has told me they are not much. What should she liquidate first?What should she not 'liquidate' at all? She doesn't drive so there is no car to worry about.

What have been your experiences when your parents made the transition from a large home in a neighborhood to a 1 bedroom apartment at a senior retirement complex?

My siblings and I have been grateful that our mom still has her wits and mind about her at her age and doesn't need round the clock care. She's slowed down a great deal but can still find strength to cook small meals, clean a little bit, make herself look super presentable, and do her own laundry. However, that said, she has recently stated that she wished someone would cook for her more often now cause her slaving in the kitchen is getting more daunting a task for her. I also think she may benefit more from having laundry on the same floor. She has a heart condition and finds it difficult to navicate stairs going up. as well as holding a full laundry basket worth of clean clothes. The ideal apartment unit would have laundry hookup in the apartment. Or perhaps apartments on the first floor so she can take that short walk to and fro.

Thank you in advance for your input, comments, advice, and stories of your experiences.

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I am currently going through this whole experience. I am 59 and still raising kids a 20 yr old in College, 15 yr old just started Highschool, my 32 yr old married and on his own. While visiting my parents this summer I arranged for a Home-Instead health care nurse to visit my parents. My father has dementia and had stopped driving for well over a 1 1/2 yrs, dad till mowed the lawn, got the mail, but refused to change clothes, shower daily and had not been to the Doctor for over 10 months ( abruptly stopping the Aricept). Mom was basically running the household and overseeing my brother's home, and she does not drive. My brother drove them to appointments etc. The Nurse greeted my Dad who ran in the house while mowing the lawn and pointed to the door and promptly told her she could go right out that door if this involved money! The Nurse took one look at me and said your Dad's not going to let anyone come in and give assistance or drive your Mom to appointments. I recommend you take him to the emergency room at the hospital and have an evaluation done. After a visit to the emergency room per the Nurses advise, to get Dad a geriatric psych evaluation, everything spiraled down..We immediately began looking for an Assisted Living facility in their area, Dad was not coming home. Nothing was available under a 2 hr drive. The hospital kept pushing us to get Dad out ASAP. I spent 3 weeks researching and visiting facility after facility, being told Dad was accepted there only to have them change their mind because they were concerned about his ability to walk out. My husband and I decided to bring my Dad to our state 600 miles away, along with Mom and my brother. Since we were unable to find something locally I convinced my Mom the best solution would be to have them near me, as my brother is Learning disables and needs help also. I stayed for almost a month listed my parents home for sale, updated their Will (POA), cars donated and towed away, trips to the hospital, doctors for Mom who had missed appointments, various repairs (Air conditioner broker, (the home was immaculate can't complain) had extensive much needed landscaping done.. finally at 4:30 am and Dad on no medication, I boarded a plane and flew home with my Dad. We were unable to find a facility in our hometown so several times a week I drive 104 miles round trip to see Dad in a facility in a town over an hour away. I did in the last 2 days get him into a facility in our town which will be so convenient. We needed the lockdown memory care facility which they do have. They also have (AL) and Independent Living. The Independent cottage style apartments are older but very well maintained and run $1,900 per month which includes 3 meals a day, laundry right on your floor. The apartments are a livingroom, 1 bedroom, bath, and small kitchen complete with full size refrigerator, cabinets, and small stove. The memory care unit will be $3,700 + service fee (level of care) for a large private room. One thing I was not aware of is the community fee these facilities charge. I am currently paying $2,500 for the first facility..been there 5 weeks. We now will be moving in 14 days (again) and I will need to pay another $3,500 commitment fee at the facility in our town. My Mother will not be charged this fee once she moves in (thank goodness!!). She will be near Dad and can see him anytime and eat any meals with him as she chooses. I sent my Mother a detailed financial list of every expense, furniture (my husband purchased and had delivered), Facility charges, personal toiletries we had to purchase, linens, our airline tickets, luggage fees. My husband warned me about doing this and he was so right..my Mom is extremely trusting of us and actually has never questioned our decisions. She understood that I AM the daughter in the family who will be there, even though I do have a sister 2 miles away from my parents, who has no children at home, widowed, doesn't work, and is younger than me.. (do I need to say more??) However, seeing this in writing ..was well, quite the shocker. I had taken one check to reimburse myself, and Mom kept insisting don't pay for a thing, write yourself a check! Mom was quite shocked at how expensive it really is..but what choice do we have? If your loved one is at risk of elopement (wandering) and they will not bathe or take their medications, they will go into memory care. My wonderful, sweet Mother got shingles and I could tell she was mentally and physically exhausted, something had to be done. I was met with some resistance from family members, who knew I had been trying to help them even though I live 12 hrs away. They offered no solutions, just complaints "Your putting my Grandparents in an old folks home to die"..oh yes, we have the drama. When it was all said and done most everyone came around especially those who saw Grandpa at the hospital..it was so hard. Somehow we find the strength..I have cried my tears and silently mourned the loss of the Daddy I loved and who I always called my hero. On my visit a day ago a man yelled out "get me some water"!!! Dad sternly said to him "hey don't talk to a young lady like that, she's my oldest daughter..then Dad handed him a Werther's caramel (I always bring him a few treats)...and told the gentlemen it's going to be alright. Yes it is Dad....one day at a time.
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sunflo2, wouldn't be wonderful if all seniors could benefit from the upscale retirement communities.... I would be willing to have my taxes raised if that raise goes to the benefit of the seniors, unfortunately the majority of tax paying workers would vote *no* to raising taxes :(

That is why we need to drill into the minds of the younger generation to save for those rainy days... too many rather spend their income on what is happening today.
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Rockn is correct and thanks for correcting me! I was thinking of home and community care based program which can supplement if the resident can't afford whole amount anymore...but again you have to check with your facility first and make sure you understand what happens so she can't be forced to move. This should be done well ahead of the money running out.
It's a shame, but a lot of these facilities are to the point that only wealthy seniors can afford.
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There is one fantastic 55+ retirement community in my area that is quite popular, every year it is building a new large apartment building to keep up with the demand. I think there are now eight 4-story buildings. It's like living in a 5-star resort.

In this complex you don't rent or buy an apartment, you put a huge down payment depending on the size apartment you want... starting around $190k for the smallest unit, up to $700k for the largest unit. Once you move out, you or your heirs will get back 90% of what you put down. Every month there is a fee around $1800-$2500 which includes one meal in one of their two formal dining room rooms, utilities, cable, trash collection, property tax, 24-hour security and emergency first responder team. On campus is a bank, library, medical center, in-door pool, putting green, gym, computer lab, woodworking shop, pharmacy, hair salon, barbershop, gift shop, etc.

The above retirement community recently put in a *continuing memory care* facility. It's within 10 minutes of a regional hospital, and 15 minutes of an international airport.
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Medicare does NOT pay any rent at indep living OR assist living. It pays very minimally for rehab only under circumstances and limited days.
There are no good solutions. All indep living in my area are at least $3500, not including all the extras (did you know they charge for medications help?).
Other hidden expense is like communal laundry--you won't have your own W/D in your unit (some newer places have them). Maintenace help to replace light bulb you can't reach--$45 min charge. Stuff.like this reeeally add up,
fast.
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I'm retirement age but still working (I run a small business), and my husband has been gone for 10 years. I stayed in the house, had a friend sharing, but finally decided I needed to get out while I was still healthy and active. Originally planned on finding a smaller rental house, but decided to get rid of almost everything so my kids wouldn't have to do it later. Everybody helped--kids, kids in law, grandkids--went through everything, they took what they could use, had a house sale (didn't make a whole lot, tools went first), called a thrift store for what we had left, and what's left is at my store or my daughters'. I spend my days at my store, nights and one or the other daughter's, glad I did it while I was still able to adjust and adapt. One daughter-in-law kept suggesting senior housing, but most of my friends are younger, and fortunately we're all getting along well.
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blannie, how I wished my parents would have done the same thing, moving when they were in their 80's to a retirement community. Recently I gave my parents a brochure on a really fantastic retirement community just down the road.... Dad liked the brochure and said it may be a good idea a couple of years from now.... Okkkkkk.... guess they will move there when they are in their 100's :P

My parents were also very frugal, I think my Dad still has the first dollar he ever made and the first GE stock he bought back in the 1940's. And they taught me well, too. I had my very first saving account when I was 5 years old :)

Now I worry about the younger generation, are THEY saving like we did? Probably not.
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My parents sold their home of 35 years (which had been well maintained) in central IL and moved into their first retirement facility about 16 years ago, when they were both in their early 80s. My mom welcomed the change - meals cooked every day, smaller place to care for, weekly housekeeping, nice neighbors (around their same age) nearby. What my parents didn't like was having to get "dressed up" for each meal in the dining room and the quality of food can really differ from place to place or when ownership changes hands (that's happened 4X in the 15 years).

After living in Central Illinois for a few years, I moved them to be near me about 13 years ago. Fast forward to today and my dad is gone 5 years and my mom still lives in an independent living facility in a suburb of Chicago (with a LOT of help from me). In the last three months of his life, we moved my dad into the skilled nursing section of the same facility, which was great for all of us.

My mom pays $3,600 a month and doesn't get meals, as she no longer wanted to walk the distance to the dining room and didn't want to get dressed every day. She's still very happy with moving from their home to a retirement facility. She can be as social or reclusive as she wants to be. At 94, she's more into staying by herself than going out to meet new people. She's one of their longest-term residents, so virtually everyone she knew has either died or left because they ran out of money. Thankfully my parents, who started with nothing, were very wise and frugal and she has more than enough to stay there for the rest of her days.

I've recently added having girls come in 2X a day to give mom medicines and I could add more services (dressing, food preparation) as needed. So I'd say in our case, it's been only a blessing to get them out of their house and into a place with the kind of care they need for different stages of their lives.
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My MIL sold her trailer, with a great deal of help, from us and moved to assisted living. it is like you describe and is also $3,000 a month. We are in Tucson.

It seems to me that she needs to liquidate her stuff, sell the house and quickly evaluate what she can afford. Talk to the administrator, to get the right information.
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beachwitch, wow, you are luck your Mother is doing the deciding on moving, so many of us are still trying to use a crow bar to get our parents out of the non-elderly friendly homes. Once she find an affordable senior complex, look at all the new BFF's she will make :)

Yes, sell the house totally *as is* which means if the buyer has a professional inspection on the house, and depending on your State, your Mom may not need to make repairs, or limited repairs. Investors love these properties, they buy the house below market because it is "as is", they do the fixing and updating, and flip the house for a higher price. Find a Realtor who works with investors, or on a Sunday go to some of the Open Houses in your community and chat with the Realtor, get a feel if they have experience with investors who buy homes.

I would vote *no* to the Reverse Mortgage, as the house will still continue to need fixing year after year.
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