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A couple of things. NUMBER ONE: My 95-year old mother refuses to stop driving. Six fender benders in five years, plus a recent "hit and run" (she sideswiped a neighbor's car and kept on going ... acting like she didn't know but later confessed that she did), translates into: get my mother off the streets! I've just written a second letter to the CA DMV (first one was in 2010). All they did last time was to give her a special test for senior drivers. Unfortunately she managed to pass. Don't think she will this time. So...any other suggestions besides, or in addition to, the DMV "unsafe driver letter" route? NUMBER TWO: Mother should be a multi-millionaire but due to poor financial decisions now has only 75k left, plus a house worth about 600k. She is in fairly good shape physically, has no dementia, but has knee and forgetfulness issues. Walks with a cane and walker. Lives alone and needs a caregiver. I live in a different part of the state and have no room for her. Nor would I want her to live withi me ... she's very prideful, stubborn and hard to get along with. Nor would she want to move here ... or anywhere. Wants to stay in own home. Besides she will probably live a long time and would run out of money in an assisted care place anway. They are $8-12 per month in Northern CA! Other sisters can't help, though one has POA. Don't want her to do a reverse mortgage but she has no choice if we are going to pay for a part-time caregiver. I recently inherited money from my father (they were divorced when I was five) but I need to invest/save that money for my own so-called "golden years." I have no intention of supporting my mother unless I'm forced to. That may sound callous but you don't know my mother! She has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder.) Besides being foolish with her money, she stole my inheritance from my grandmother. It came back on her after she lost a million dollars in a Ponzi scheme. My (my sisters and I) are afraid that she will take the reverse mortgage money and do something foolish and then she won't have any money left for a caregiver. Plus, what if she falls? Or gets into another car accident if the DMV doesn't take her license away? These are all big concerns for us. I believe there is a kind of RM where the bank doles the money out in monthly payments rather than one lump sum ... which would be far better in her case. Any help with this would be most appreciated!

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Easy answer on "how do I stop mom from driving?" TAKE AWAY THE WAY TO START THE AUTOMOBILE AND HER DL!
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Reverse mortgages are not what people think they are - they have changed. They may not be for everyone, however for some people its a wonderful solution. You simply need to be honest with your lender and find a reverse mortgage AND eldercare attorney who can advise you properly. Eldercare not Estate planning. The short answer is yes you can. As far as driving - if you feel it's time then either ask the Doctor to do it, or have a respectful heart to heart. Your intentions are good and out of love.
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We're here to help give advice.
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Piperlori, I can understand your Mom preferring to stay in the house when her mortgage payment is much lower then what she would pay for renting. Are her property taxes and home insurance included in that mortgage payment?

With renting one doesn't need to worry about interior and exterior maintenance, such as a roof leak, or the air conditioning unit needing replacing, or an appliance breaking down and cannot be fixed. Plumbing seems to be a constant issue.

So one has to balance the pros and cons. Maybe in your Mom's case, a reverse mortgage might work, just make sure you and your Mom understand everything in the paperwork.
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One thing though ... my mother really couldn't afford to move anywhere as where she lives in NoCal is VERY expensive. She pays far less on what's left on her mortgage (about 70k) than anywhere she could rent. But I still think she could sell the house vs. do the RM and find a one-bedroom to rent as then, even if she would have more a higher rent than her current mortgage, at least she would have the proceeds from the house to pay for a caregiver. For now, she only needs one a couple of days a week, a few hours a week. But as we all know that could change in a second if she fell. RE: taking the car. Any suggestions on exactly HOW to do it. Not sure my sister who is POA will agree to do it, so what do I do then since I'm not the POA?
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OK, wow. All of you have so very helpful! Thanks. :) I think this comment from an elder law attorney (directed to same driving question that someone else asked about their parent l) was also helpful ... and a bit scary! This attorney wrote:

Take his keys--you both have knowledge of his driving issues and could be liable if he goes out and hurts someone. So, take the keys, then call the local DMV and advise them of the issue. Next, sis as POA, can cancel his insurance and sell his car. Harsh, but sometimes necessary if you are looking out for his best interests. If he squawks about it, the consider bringing a guardianship.
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Yes. That's exactly how we were going to pay for my late mother's in-home care until that plan went sideways! Be prepared...the reverse mortgage is a lengthy app, requiring notary public. However, I stuck with the app and turned it around in a 24-hour window.
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Reverse mortgages depends on the situation. If there is a spouse left behind that can become a desperate situation, especially if the spouse is healthy and active. My boss was that spouse, after his wife passed, he had to either refinance the house or sell the house. He wasn't given any time to grieve as the mortgage company was at his door before he knew it. This was before new reverse mortgage rules had changed to allow a spouse to remain in the house.

My boss thought he had one year to stay in the home. Nope, he had only weeks to remain in the house. Either refinance or sell now. He tried to refinance but couldn't, so he had to put the house up for sale. The mortgage company would call him daily asking if the house had a contract, if not, why not. It was like being called by debt collectors.

In those few weeks he can to quickly decide what to do with all the furniture he and his wife had collected over all the years. There wasn't time to have an estate sale, so he had an auction company come and collect the furniture and misc items. He got very little for the auction. Sad as he had very expensive furnishings, etc. Each piece held a special story.

Now it is like he is starting all over in his life, before he was married. He wished he never heard of a reverse mortgage :(
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I disagree with everyone about the reverse mortgage. If my father had not taken out a reverse mortgage mom would have ended up in a nursing home. With the reverse mortgage in place, we were able to bring a caregiver in to help. Yes, it can be used to pay for a caregiver.
After she passed away because we had spent all of the money in the reverse mortgage for her care we simply turned the property back to the mortgage company. Easy peasy! We had the option to put it up for sale but the economy was depressed at the time so home prices had fallen.
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My mother-in-law got a reverse mortgage on her house about 14 years ago. She has always wasted money but needed the reverse mortgage in order to stay in her home which he has owned since 1959. I wouldn't recommend it if your mother is irresponsible with money because she's just going to blow it all. Then there wouldn't be any money for her care. I think that's what's going to happen with my mother-in-law. She only has about $80,000 left to draw on, if that much, and I guess as long as she stays in the house she can still collect her monthly amount but she's 83 and really needs assistance now. So like I said unless your mother is responsible with her money I wouldn't get the reverse mortgage. Selling and going into something smaller would be best but she probably won't do that.
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Wow! There's a lot going on. You have gotten some good advice. For the driving issue I would agree with the other commenter who encouraged you to get your mother's doctor to write a letter to the DMV stating she should not be driving. Also, you may have to just TAKE the car. Yes, get the keys and have it towed away. Now your mother may be savvy enough to get another car, but maybe she'll take heed.

I'd say no on the reverse mortgage also. I've seen people do reverse mortgages and still end up cash strapped a few years down the road. I think people are assuming that because your mother's home is $600k it must be big. She's in California and that doesn't necessarily have to be true. The prices of homes are astronomical there. She could be in a modest home actually. I think your mother's best bet is to meet with a financial advisor who can map out her financial situation and make suggestions on things she can do to preserve her wealth.

Approach the topic of getting a caregiver when your mother is at ease and in a good mood. Don't tell her she needs one, but rather that it might be helpful to have a caregiver periodically. Enlisting the support of a trusted friend (like pastor, lawyer, doctor) may be helpful too so that it is better received. She can start out with a caregiver visiting once a week maybe. Once she gets used to the caregiver--and hopefully likes him/her--she should be more willing to increase the service frequency. Good luck!
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Chances are she's going to end up in a nursing home and Medicaid will take whatever assets are left. I'm surprised a home that size she can afford the taxes and home-owner's insurance/flood insurance, and has to hire a team of people to do lawn service. She could SELL her home, because it's too big, and get into ASSISTED LIVING providing the monies are not wasted on trips, and other nonsense. You the money strictly for living purposes. Of course if she keeps on driving she is going to end up killing someone and have vehicular manslaughter to deal with and the legal fees will eat up all of her money and she could spend the rest of her life behind bars. I also wonder what the court system would think about the family who is letting her drive. I would have taken away her keys. There may be an issue how competent she is and my need a medical evaluation for that. It sounds like the POA has her work cut out for her.
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Regarding the reverse mortgage. I am dealing with the financial company who holds the reverse mortgage on his home. He passed away in February and it still hasn't been cleared. There is so much red tape involved in these mortgages. I DO NOT recommend a reverse mortgage. I also had another brother who had a reverse mortgage in Long Island and his home is still owned by the company - 8 years later and we have court papers because the company would not take the house. Many liens on the property, etc. etc. Too many headaches! Don't do it!!
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Since your sister is POA, if your Mom have a doctor that she is seeing you can get the doctor to take away her license. Also your sister can do a reverse mortgage as POA and open an account for the reverse mortgage money that your Mom does not have access to. If your Mom has been diagnosed with NPD you and your sister sure have been through a lot, that is a very challenging diagnosis. If she challenges the POA you can attempt guardianships.
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The driving has to end before she kills herself and maybe someone else. It's not easy, she will be pissed, scream, yell, but it's got to stop. If the DMV, her doc are no help get someone to disable and/or remove the car.

You says she doesn't have dementia but clearly her executive reasoning is very bad in several ways.

I agree, reverse mortgage is not a good idea. If the house is worth 600 large she should sell and get someting more modest.

But from your description of her I doubt she'll agree to anything. I'm going through some similar issues with my folks, incompetent but not legally so, and I can't force them to do much of anything that makes any sense. So like many caregivers I'm just waiting for the crisis that forces the issue for getting them in home care or facility care depending on the issue that ends their delusion that everthing is just fine.

The sister with POA should get involved and use her POA as much as possible to get control of things. I do as much as I can get by with using my POA, bills finances etc.
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Good heavens, sounds like you and your sisters have a lot of sleepless nights worrying about Mom, I know how that feels.

Regarding the driving, where the six fender benders her fault? If so, or half of them, I am surprised her car insurance hasn't been cancelled. That is one way to get Mom off the road, tell her because of all the accidents her car insurance was cancelled.

As for the financial issue, no grown child should be paying for ones parent's lifestyle. Never, ever. If Mom made a mess of her finances, that is her problem alone.

Majority of elders want to stay in their own home no matter what. My parents were the same way, they were in their 90's and a team of wild horses couldn't budge them. Once a crises happened and my Mom passed, Dad was ready to pack and get out of that house immediately.

I would not recommend a Reverse Mortgage in this case. Those mortgages are good if someone is younger, healthier, and want to travel or fix up their homes, and have the ability to repay the loan. Ask your Mom if a couple years down the road, will she be able to pay off that Reverse Mortgage? Maybe she doesn't understand it is a "loan" that is due and payable.

There is a choice, Mom can downsize to a senior living apartment. My Dad [94] really likes his 2 bedroom apartment. And with the money coming from selling his house, Dad can live there a long time, plus have caregivers come in daily.
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