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Mom moved into assisted living in Aug. At the time she seemed ok with selling her her house. After she had been there a month, she told me I did not have permission to sell. I know she would like to live in her own home, but she needs more care than I can give living in a different state. I have POA and could sell the house, but it feel wrong to do it without her permission, but it also seems silly to pay for an empty house and have the responsibility of its' upkeep. I know selling is the right thing to do do, but I'm afraid telling her will get her really upset and she is finally making peace with being at the AL. She has short term memory loss from a stroke, she might not remember that I told her ( or that she won't forget).

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This is easy.....
Follow your heart/ your gut-it will not lie to you-your head will lie all the time.
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Ijust put my mom home on the market I went and took photos of rooms otside of house flowers everything and had a memory book made with photos of home and family in or around home with captions of what it was and when
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I never quite told my mom, and never needed to tell me dad at all, his dementia was more advanced by the time I did it and mostly I would just come sit and watch TV/keep him company at that point. Mom kept hoping she could go back and be all by herself again except maybe a helpful neighbor and a Lifeline, but she threw out several home health people and rejected that idea entirely. She thought if she could walk again she could do it, adn yelled at me for moving furtniture so she could get around there with a wheelchair, but did not work real hard in therapy. But the real issue was not physical, it was her cognition and her going into delirium with every minor infection or any medical problem at all. I kept showing her pictures of the house to let her know it was being kept up, which was very important to her, before and after selling. The expenses of maintaining a house and the risk that the insurance people would realize no one was living there, just me using it instead of a hotel room every 4-6 weeks when I came up, were too much and taking away money we needed for her care. And though events had to hit me over the head with it pretty hard, and I had to hear her neighbors (some of whom considered her "sharp as a tack" because she recognized them and could chit chat a bit) say they didn't think she could ever come home again either. After I moved her to Pgh, it came up, since she realized I was not going up there anymore, and the closest I came to "telling" was explaining that a nice couple had moved in and were paying all the bills and taking really good care of it...which *was* true as far as it went! She then decided she would get an apartment here in Little Rock when she could walk again, she didn't want to push the nice couple out - but also felt a little pushed out BY them....arrgh. If I erred I erred on the side of letting her hang on to some hope that would have been harder for her not to have, even though not very realistic.

I did have to have a little more documentation beyond just having POA - I had to get incapacity letters and have her formally resign as Dad's POA and get it notarized, and that was actually almosot too easy. The hard part was emotional for me. I felt like a traitor going to the real estate guy just for starters. Then the last time I stayed in the house after we'd emptied it out via estate sale plus a lot of hard work was gut wrenching, heart wrenching, and I felt like I was saying "take it apart" to my mother's whole world. But it had to be done. One alternative would have be either me uprooting/abandoning the rest of the family and my sole colleague in peds PM&R in Little Rock to try to care for her at home, or one of our near adult children going to live with her, with whatever help mom would not have thrown out; only other alternative was continuing to have her stay in Pgh with me in LR and maybe not able to be there when she passed on, and continuing to tell Medicaid her intent was to return (my dad had Medicaid and she was "community spouse" which they will actually let you do.) So that's what we did. It seemed best at the time but I have second guessed all those decisions a few hundred times each. A lot of people reassured that whatever we did, if we did it with loving thoughts it would be right...yeah, it helped, but still...things could have been different; not sure whether any other way to have played that bad hand would have been better.
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Thank you all for your helpful suggestions.
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my son lives in my in laws house he just has to pay the expenses of the house - like he owned it and didn't have a mortgage on it. if he didn't live there I would rent it but be very selective to whom we rent it to. doing due diligence on prospective renters wit background check, references required, and proof of employment wit last 4 weeks of pay stubs etc. being in another state you can hire a management company to keep that local eye on the property etc. if your mom hasn't been declared incompetent yet then you poa isn't active yet and you can't just sell the property without written permission from her making you her agent for the sale of the house.
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I am even wondering if perhaps there are trustworthy relatives in the area who might rent the house? Of course, you will need a legal rental agreement with them, just like with any other renters so there is no misunderstanding that they must take care of the house if they rent it and they must pay rent - it is not OK to not pay because they are family.

The question of if you have other relatives(or even family friends or neighbors) who might tell you mother if her house is sold is a good one and something you should be very concerned about.

It may be that in a few months, your mother's situation may change and selling the house will be far less of an issue as she will no longer be in a position to ask about it or question the sale of the home. It is hard to predict the future but a time will come when your mom won't be able to have any input on selling her home and that will be the easiest time for you to make the decision to sell. However, if the expenses of upkeep are outweighing the value of keeping the house to keep your mom happy or you need the money for her care, then you must sell the house and try to inform any neighbors or family who will know about it NOT to tell your mom and hope they agree not to tell.
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It's a difficult decision. As you're in another state, if you rent it you're not around to keep an eye on it and the tenants may trash it and skip without paying so I wouldn't do that. You could sell it, invest the money for her care, and tell her it's still there. That's assuming you don't have relatives who will tell her different, then you'll have a nightmare on your hands.

If there's absolutely no way she can ever go home again consult an elder care lawyer for advice on what to do. Good luck.
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Keeping the house while it stands empty seems like a waste of money and resources. As you said, even an empty house needs attention (the lawn, the thermostat, the cleaning, etc). Logically there's no sense in keeping it.

However, that was your mom's home and out of respect I think she should be told that her house needs to go on the market. Does she harbor goals of getting back to her house and living there? Many elderly people who are in facilities are told by family that they can't live at home until they 'get stronger' or some other excuse. It's a way of not upsetting the person and it lets the family off the hook and away from a stress-filled battle that never ends. Maybe your mom thinks that she's in AL temporarily and will return "home" soon. In order to have the house discussion your mom will need to understand that she can never go back "home".

If she's capable of seeing reason you can begin to discuss selling her house. Of course your reasons are solid and understandable but maybe not to her. If you try and try to have this discussion with her and you find yourself getting nowhere you'll have to sell it yourself. You have no choice.

After my mom died my dad "ran away from home" and went back down south where he grew up. He put the house in mine and my brother's hands to sell. We got it on the market ready to go. We put a lot of my dad's money into fixing up a neglected house and the realtor had staged it beautifully. Then my dad, being down south, got homesick and wanted to come home. We tried to explain to him that he had no home anymore, that we had cleaned out 40 years of stuff, gotten rid of everything that was left when my dad moved down south and that his moving back into the house was not an option. He couldn't process this. As long as the house was standing it was HIS home. I tried to tell him that there are no dishes in the home, there are no sheets, blankets, pillows. There is no silverware, and on his orders we had gotten rid of everything we didn't need and that meant the 40 year old furniture too. The house was full of the realtors staging furniture! Then he said he'd "pitch a tent in the backyard!" He just could not get it. He was coming home by God and that was that! He was poised and ready to get a plane ticket at any moment. It was such a colossal mess that I can't even begin to describe here.

The pull of "home" must be very strong for our elderly parents even when they willingly move away as my dad did and as your mom did. In trying to understand I think "home" means that nothing has changed, things are ok. Our parents are faced with so many little deaths like the loss of their spouse or not being able to drive anymore, having to move decades of stuff because it's not safe for them to live on their own anymore...It has to be very difficult for them. And then to have their adult children like you and me and everyone here take over managing their lives.....lt's just sad and pitiful. But we know it's necessary and we do what we do because we care about our parents and want them to be safe and happy. Or as happy as they're ever going to be anymore.

I say do what you need to do. If your mom won't or can't contribute her two cents then do it without her. It has to be done.
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Is your mom now in your state? Here's the thing, not only are you paying for an empty house, but things can go wrong in an empty house - such as the hot water heater could spring a leak and flood the house or a faucet might come off. If toilets are not flushed regularly, they may need to be replaced. There could be an electrical fire that no one notices until too late. Of course, no one is cleaning the house and who knows what condition the yard is in. So...there are a couple of options here:
1. Rent the house to someone.
2. Sell the house.

The decision to sell, requires some thought. Get a realtor to come out and do an appraisal and tell you what needs to be fixed/done to sell the house. The other question is if you are in a buyers market or a sellers market. I would also look at past appraisals of the property through property tax records and zillow dot com. This will give you some idea of the property's value and if it has gone down significantly. Interest rates are rebounding and property values should be going up since home building has been down the past few years.

Of course, for many, a powerful reason to sell is that the money is needed for a parent's care until they go on medicaid, but it doesn't sound like that is the case in your mother's situation.

As to whether or not to tell your mother...I don't think that you should distress her, so I would not tell her anything about her home at all other than you checked on it and it is fine (even if you have sold it years ago.) Sometimes the belief that a home is waiting for them is important for seniors to hold on to. Sadly, since your mother has had one stroke, she is likely to have others. Telling your mom distressing news could even bring on a stroke, so, in your position, I wouldn't tell her at all and I'd do all I could to keep her calm and as happy as possible in her AL.
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