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WE have POA's and executorships in place. Dad has a moderate dementia that increases every week, is disabled in that he cannot walk far unassisted after several falls, and is now a memory-care facility. The cost of this is rather high, as you know, and though he has savings, it likely be depleted paying for his care. He talked about selling his house and moving into a Senior Apartment before his mind started slipping, but he never did do it. We need to sell the house, not only to pay for his care, but to get his assets in the Trust. We, as a family, and having a hard time mustering what we need to do to talk to him about the selling of his old home. Please help us with suggestions on how to talk to him about this. We could sell it, legally, but we don't want him to feel as though we are doing something fishy 'behind his back.' Suggestions??

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AlMarch, when your father - going back a bit - talked in principle about selling his house and moving to ALF, was he generally in favour? Was it just that he never quite got round to doing it?

Assuming that it wasn't something that he dreaded, that he wasn't saying "over my dead body will this home ever be sold," then perhaps you could pick up the conversation where he left off and present it as the family's acting on his previously stated intentions.

Or you could just wait a bit, and then he really won't have a clue what's going on and there'll be no need to tell him anything; but I'm impressed that you want as a family, as far as possible, to include him in the decision-making process. I applaud the attitude: if it's possible to maintain it without distressing him, go to it.
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I am glad I was on title of house and POA.... It went through like clockwork...and is paying for her care....When my child is old enough, child will go title on evrything.
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Good luck with this one. Sometimes a stroke will change a person's temperament and make them angry and irritable. Do you think he might have had a stroke?
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sherryfanne-He crossed over into Type II Diabetes about 8 years ago, the blood sugar issues don't affect his moods: if his blood sugar drops he gets dizzy and weak. All the better that he is not living at his home and snacking on junk food any more. Some days he just gets all worked up about some minor things, something will stick in his mind like a thorn in his toe. However, nothing seems to be able to remove the 'thorn' once its in his mind, only time and waiting until it passes over. Per advice, we are getting the house into the Trust.
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Holy cow, dirtydimensia01, relax a bit, will you?

You asked: "I still wonder how a highly educated woman that taught her entire adulthood into her 80th year, could develop this dirty disease."

And GardenArtist took at stab at explaining that this can happen as a result of conditions totally out of the person's control. That is just a fact. We've seen it again and again in posts. It is certainly not a criticism of you or of your Aunt. I've read the beginning of her post, which refers to your situation, three times and I cannot see any judgmental attitude or anything offensive. Did you think she meant that your aunt had no control over going to your home? No. Your aunt had no control over getting the "dirty disease." Surely you do not think that she chose to behave this way?!

Please, we are all friends here (well, mostly) and there is no need to rush to judgement and to tell people to "sign off." If you don't have anything nice to say, could you at least present your displeasure in a civil manner?
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DirtyDimensia, I think you misunderstood my comments, but I respect your right to react in a manner you feel appropriate. It was not my intent to upset or insult you.

As VStefans observed, it was in fact not my intent to be negative but rather to offer an explanation how your aunt slipped into poor living conditions. And as she also observed, it happens to a lot of elders.
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I found about 5 or 6 large bags of sugar in my mother's kitchen drawer - the kind that's supposed to seal shut to keep out the vermin. We couldn't figure out why we couldn't get rid of the ants. Well - when I went in to clean up and paint the kitchen cabinets viola - sugar she had intended use to make jelly and had forgotten. She was just getting forgetful back then. It's amazing the stuff that she didn't throw away.
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DirtyDemensia, I doubt GardenArtist meant that to be negative. It's just the reality; one of my aunts had been fastidious and had a lovely home her whole life, but when the vascular dementia set in, the buying of excess stuff despite the inability to clean up or organize it any more was overwhelming for my poor cousin. I cleaned bathrooms, and she cleaned mouse poop. Part of the problem is they forget what they just bought or can't find it so just buy another...while the old stuff tends to be hidden away and possibly rotting. I think we both mean to sympathize! Its awful, and they won't typically let you do anything about it until it really becomes a disaster area and you really have to and have the opportunity to take over. They naturally hang on to what they have as they are losing their mental abilities and independence; they hang on to untenable living situations just out of fear of moving, changing, and going into care whether that is assisted living or with other family.

PS- I can still "debrief" from when we cleaned MIL anf FILs house out after she was in care and he passed away...it was nearly as bad as your situations, other than no pets were involved.
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My father was this profile back when I was a kid until he died at age 58. He was diabetic and could go from Jolly to an Angry Lunatic from zero to 59 seconds. Good luck with that. I never was able to reason with him. Has he always had mood swings?
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GardenArtist, you don't know what you're talking about when you say, "And, I doubt she chose that path willingly or with enthusiasm." You definitely assume one hec of a lot by saying, "....your aunt possibly morphed into the situation..." Wrong. You people with your unsolicited negative comments ought to sign off. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. Least of all judge. You have no idea what my situation is and I obviously take offense to what you said. My aunt was thrilled to be invited to come and live with my husband and me. She was simply a little scared of the change, as anyone would be. You seem to see yourself as quite an authority, I've noticed. Garden variety, I suppose.
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He already settled the items he wants to keep personally, and gave us (family) permission to choose the items we want to keep, all before moving into the memory care facility. He gets B12 shots, has done so for many years. We will look into getting the title into the Trust. His moods are quite variable, he can go from happy to argumentative in seconds. Trying to have any sort of conversation with him can be difficult when his mood shifts. I guess I need to get an appointment with someone that specializes in dementia care on how to have the House conversation with him.
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With your father's memory slipping weekly, it sounds like something other than dementia or Alzheimers. Please have his B vitamins checked. If he is low on B12, B6, or B9 that causes dizziness (I was finally diagnosed after 2 years of vertigo that the doctors kept blaming on an inner ear infection). That can also mimic dementia the vitamin deficiency that is. Elderly people often don't eat the right things and if you think he is getting good nutrition in a facility, think again. It's the same as restaurant food - mostly fillers and food with all of the nutrition cooked out of it. He needs firstly a good physical with blood work to rule out the B vitamin thing, then a thyroid panel to rule that out then think of selling his home. My mother was able to live alone until age 97 when a stupid doctor missed a hyperthyroid condition in a "routine(15 minute)" annual check up. She had a stroke due to it going into atrial fibrillation. Low thyroid can cause dementia symptoms also.
At the point that you know he won't be able to go into assisted living when he sells his home because he can't talk with you intelligently any more, then its time to take matters into your own hands. As for transferring the home into a trust, I would do that tomorrow if not sooner.
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DirtyDimension, your aunt possibly morphed into the situation you described because of her dementia, cognitive dysfunction, refocused priorities, infirmities and other issues that accompany old age, most of which were probably beyond her control.

And I doubt that she chose that path willingly or with enthusiasm.

None of us really know how we'll handle old age and mental decline, even though we think we're prepared for it. Stress changes us in ways that we would never predict.

I have to constantly remind myself that people in this situation didn't choose it voluntarily and that compassion and understanding are more appropriate than criticism. Still, I find myself getting irritated when I find it and have to remind myself this could be me in 20 years.


Almarch, I think your father is entitled to be part of the plan to sell the house, if he's able to grasp the concepts and especially since he addressed the idea at an earlier stage.

I would choose the family member to whom he's the closest, spend a relaxing day doing something he enjoys, then gently raise the issue. I wouldn't do it as a family group; he may feel overwhelmed and pressured.

Tell him you've been thinking about HIS idea to sell the house, and have a potential solution that you'd like to discuss with him. Give him an opportunity to participate; some part of him is still there despite the dementia. Help him feel that you're acting on his idea rather than that the family is collectively viewing the sale of the house as something they must do.

If it upsets or confuses him, stop and reassess. If he's able to understand, gently segue into the issue as being part of his care plan that HE originally thought of to enable him to live comfortably going forward. And let him be a part of choosing what he wants from the house.

I know others will disagree, but I think he's entitled to have the choice to select which items he wants to keep. It may that there will be too many, and in that case, you can always agree to save them for him, store them in a garage or basement and gradually dispose of them without him knowing. But at least he doesn't feel as though you're going through his house and disposing of things he might still cherish.

You're testing the waters to determine how much he's able to participatae in the decision making and resolution process. If it seems overwhelming for him to consider disposing of his assets, offer to have the family do it for him, saving certain things like photo albums, etc. That way he doesn't feel as if the things he's accumulated and cherished are being removed from his memory bank.

If he doesn't understand, then at least you've given him the opportunity to participate. And it may actually be that he'll be relieved the family is handling the task for him.

Best wishes for a peaceful and successful project to help your father.
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"We need to sell the house, not only to pay for his care, but to get his assets in the Trust."

If you already have a Trust, you transfer the house as an asset into the Trust by retitling and recording the Deed, something best handled by an estate planning or elder law attorney. There's a specific statute (in Michigan) which is cited to avoid transfer taxes.

It would be retitled from something like "AlMarch, a single man", to "AlMarch Revocable Living Trust dated .....".

Other assets can be transferred into a trust through a Bill of Sale, also prepared by an attorney. Mutuals can be transferred by retitling, often with specific forms the mutual fund will provide. Bank accounts can be retitled with change of signatory accounts.

Perhaps you know all this - it's not my intention to insult your intelligence, but I just wanted to clarify that selling a house is not required to get the funds into a trust.
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Oh, and I failed to mention that she had two dogs - she got rid of one before I got there. She demanded I allow her to bring her dog to my house or the deal with her coming was off. I have two dogs and that was a MAJOR hardship for an entire year. Then, she got tired of him whining and allowed me to take him to the pound. H*ll, he was 13 years old and had had a good life. Via Con Dios, dog.....The backyard was covered with dog crap. We also hauled 15 large, black garbage bags of junk out of her house....the kitchen was full of outdated food in the cabinets and the frig and freezer wese atrocious. My sister pulled out a mayo jar with very little in it that looked to be drying up in there. She says to me to make me laugh, "Now, this looks like a science project in HERE!!"
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Right on, Pam, for your absolutely correct answer to AlMarch. I had to do the same thing with my aunt. She was exhibiting signs of D and I had to talk to her over the phone many times to get her to concede to selling her home and coming to Florida and living with us, the people she loved and loved her the most. At times, she would say 'yes' and be all over the idea. A day later, she would get nasty and call it all off. It was a roller coaster of a time for us, but, after using the super nice, sugar sweet way of doing things, we got her permission. I at that time was not POA, as I am now. Thank God she agreed. When my sister and I got to her house in Portland to bring her home to me, it was a nightmarish scene of hidden hoarding, dog hair and putrid smell, peed in mattress over and over again, and so on. We nearly lost our guts many times over the coarse of three days getting all of that stuff out of her tiny, 800 square foot house. I'm talking three SUV loads - Goodwill benefited from all of that. There was mice crap everywhere.....poor baby. It was the saddest thing I had ever witnessed. I still wonder how a highly educated woman that taught her entire adulthood into her 80th year, could develop this dirty disease. We sat her in a chair in her kitchen and as we pulled her belongings out of closets and cabinets we asked her if she wanted it or didn't want it. Pam is correct -do the right thing by him by selling his home and liberate him from all that he no longer needs. Tell him you will keep all valuables for him forever, no fear of really losing anything dear to him. Try telling him, Dad, it's just a building and you don't need the building any longer. You need the money from that investment. Good luck, it can be a very trying time of it.
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You sell it and don't bring it up to him as it will upset him and he will not remember the conversation. So sorry it gets to this point. Mom is in ALF and we simply didn't tell her that 28 cubic yards of her stuff went in a dumpster. Some things are better left unsaid.
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