My mother has stage 5 Alzheimer's and she's talking about selling the house we both share, what are my options?

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So many people come onto the forum complaining that they can not provide the level of care needed but will have to pry their parents out of the house with a crowbar! Stage 5 is fairly advanced - is your mom making a good, rational choice or is she planning to sell the house and "join the circus" (or something equally unrealistic?). And since the thought is distressing to you I wonder, do you need her income to sustain you? (That is not meant to be judgmental, I was in a similar boat not too long ago).
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Reply to cwillie
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Do have POA for your mother? Do you think her doctors would say that she is no longer competent to make her own financial decisions?


She owns the house. If she is legally competent she can sell it. But, YIKES, I sure hope you can prevent that unless/until it makes sense.


Reasoning with her isn't going to change her mind, as you've seen. Perhaps going along with her would at least buy you more time, during which we can hope she changes her mind and goes off on some other wild idea.


"Mom, you want to sell your house. If it sells very quickly you'll need a place to move to right away. Let's go out looking at some places tomorrow. Do you know what kind of place you want?" Go out and look at townhouses and apartments and retirement communities and assisted living places. Take your time, doing a one or two a day.


"Mom, when you sell the house I'll have to move, too. Are you planning on me moving in with you?"


"Mom, to get the best price for the house it may need some repairs and updates. Shall we get some expert advice and get a start on that?" No harm done to actually do this. Inheriting or eventually selling an updated house is a good thing.


"We should find out what this house is likely to sell for, Mom. Should I find someone to come out and appraise it for sale?" You can drag this out. "This is a busy selling season. The appraiser can't come out for two weeks at the earliest."


You could also try going along with her but fixing the problem. When a letter comes that causes her to start talking about selling, look it over and then say, "Hmm. The Caring Life Insurance Company. I wonder why the think you should move. I'll call them and see what's up." Either make a phone call in front of her or tell her later that you have called. "It was a case of mistaken identity. CLIC has a client with a similar name who does need to move. You don't! They promise to fix their records."


Can you get to the mail ahead of her and remove all the junk mail before she sees it?


Don't argue against selling the house. Just keep bringing up practical matters to delay things. Meanwhile, discuss with the doc who is following her dementia whether she really is competent to make financial decisions.


Keep in touch here. We'd like to hear how this works out.
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Reply to jeannegibbs
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If you're mother has stage 5 Alzheimers, does she really have the mental capacity to coordinate the sale of a house?  With my mother, she migrates from one ridiculous idea to another and i've learned if I give her time, she may forget about it or move on to some other wild idea. Stage 5 Alzheimers is only going to get worse, so she may soon get to the point where she's not able to coordinate a sale, even if she wants to. What I had to realize with my mother is that she can come up with all the crazy schemes she wants, but she lacks the ability to carry any of them out without my assistance and my wife coordinating things.  So, I've just decided not to let her schemes get to me by saying to myself "I'm not helping her do that" because I know she can't do it on her own.
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Reply to rwbpiano
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If the mail is what's causing distress, get a Post Office box! They are cheap and the only thing that might get delivered to the house is sales flyers. Moving mthr's mail to a PO box was great as I ended up finding out exactly what bank accounts she had and what bills were coming to her. There was a credit card we did not know about!

I'd also run her to her attorney's office to make a DPOA, will, and Advanced Directive. I'd tell her these were needed so I could help her with her finances or selling her house (if she's still focused on that issue). If she has no will and you are the only child, it just makes things easier. Let the attorney know that she has no other relatives and if there have been previous wills. Try to name a backup POA, maybe one of your friends who likes her. For AD, mthr wanted no life-extending procedures after a 6 mos diagnosis - no feeding tube and no respirator. I'm good with those things not happening.
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Reply to surprise
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Thank you all so much. Sometimes she wears me down. I do have an older sibling, he's 77 getting up in age himself, we've discussed the issue, he's informed her that when she's ready he'll assist her with the move. He wants me to continue to reside in the home.Mother isn't lucid enough to sign any papers, he handles her financial situation. We've been trying to get a living will done but she doesn't understand the concept. Again thank you all for helping me wade through
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Reply to Loosingit
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You both share the house. Is mom the only owner? What are her plans after selling. Does she want to go to memory care instead? Where will you go? How is your relationship with mom?
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Reply to gladimhere
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Even if you don't have a formal living will you can have the conversation, or rather several conversations - having an idea what her thoughts are in end of life issues will give you confidence when you need to make those decisions in the future.
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Reply to cwillie
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How old is she? How old are you? Does she mention where she would then live? Or why she wants to sell?
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Reply to geewiz
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Mom is 97 and I'm 63, I retired, moved out of my apartment to take care of her. I think she's closer to 6 than 5. She's house bound, so it's just her and I here. Her name is the only name on the deed. I don't know how long we'll be able to keep her here. I've given up my home and life to care for her. Confusion is prevalent, any mail that comes for her she thinks that someone has told her to move, no amount for explaining has passified her. So she wants to sell before they take it. The home has no mortgage, no liens, property is free and clear
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Reply to Loosingit
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