A bit of background. I am estranged from both my parents, they divorced decades ago. After a lifetime of abuse, it is safest for me to stay away from them. I limit visits to 3-4 times a year. I am however Mum's POA, fiscal and health, so I do have some responsibility.

I do not like Mum's partner of 26 years. Never have, never will. Well I got an email from Mum (I do not answer her phone calls) the other day and the partner has been diagnosed with dementia.

Not my problem right? I wish it were so.

Mum can only afford to live in her home with his financial contribution. She owns the house and he pays towards room and board. The other concern is that the house is open plan on the main floor with the bedrooms upstairs, no place for a bedroom on the main level if he can no longer manage the stairs. So, if he moves into AL, she will have to downsize or get a room mate at 83.

Luckily we are in Canada and AL fees are based on income, only his income will go into the calculations. But it means Mum will no longer have the extra funds she needs to stay in her home. The domino effect.

I am a long range planner and because we have no way of knowing how long partner will be able to live at home, or truly how long Mum will be able to manage the home and stairs (she is fit as a fiddle and could pass for 60), I think it is best to look at moving when there is time to consider options instead of reacting at the last minute.

I suggested to Mum that she get partner using Handi Dart (local transit for appointments etc) so he is used to it before he loses his driver's licence. Also that she get partner to assign POA (fiscal and health) to someone. Lastly to have his kids get their stored items out of Mum's house, so there is no question of who owns what later, nor any need for us to move it if Mum does downsize.

Any other suggestions of what to do in the early stages of diagnosis?

Yes I admit I am more concerned about Mum that her partner. I am worried about how his diagnosis will impact Mum's finances and lifestyle. Although Mum is 83, women in the family have lived well into their 90's before having a health crisis and dying close to 100.

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Thank you for the replies.

I tried to talk to Mum a few months ago about planning to downsize (before the diagnosis). I did mention it again once I heard the diagnosis.

Luckily Mum is very aware of what housing and care options are available for seniors and she has already decided which nursing home she would want to live in when the time comes. She is no where needing care yet. But she does need to look at downsizing into a one level home where she can still have her dog.

He has 4 kids, only one of whom is reliable, but she lives about 10 hours away. There used to be one about an hour away, I have no idea if they still live there, but that son could not be trusted with any access to money.

I am in the same town as Mum and the partner.

I will follow up with Mum again in January. That will give her a month to think about things and look into her options on her own. Although I have POA for Mum it has not been 'activated' yet, as there has been no need so far.

I will also get mum to put all her accounts info together in one place.

Thank you,

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I'd start casually looking at other living options for mom right now. I didn't and had to scramble when her dementia took a fast track. I'd suggest that you and your mom have a talk about what she wants to do WHEN the situation changes. Good to get a booklet of listings for senior housing. (Here in the US, we have them in our libraries.)
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Are the kids at all involved with their father. He should certainly name one of his relatives as POA and get this done as soon as possible before he becomes incompetent.
It is correct he is not Mum's responsibility and yours is to make sure the proper provisions are made for Mum.
While Mom is healthy now is the time to start downsizing and sorting before it becomes a sudden rush job. her partner could stay in manageable stages for some years or have some unrelated illness that dramatically advances the dementia. Never too soon to plan.
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His kids? What’s the status there? I agree with Jo Ann. He is not your problem. Will the kids deal with him? Otherwise you are planning well.
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I think you have it together. I would, not Mom, his children what is going on. I would tell them they need to make arrangements for Dad. At 83 your Mom is not going to be able to deal with what is coming. Then Mom is going to have to sell her home using the proceeds to get apartment or go into independent living. Tell the his children to get their stuff by such and such date. Send a letter certified to back u up.If they choose not to respond or contact u concerning more time, you may be able to get rid of it. Check ur laws. He is their responsibility not yours. Sounds harsh but it's true.
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