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She has dementia, the house is empty and mom wants to move back. Mom has dementia,she moved into a lovely assisted living facility 5 months ago. The family home is empty, no-one can move in there, and it must be sold. A brother living in another city tells mom that it is her decision to sell, even though he knows she is not cognitively capable of making that decision based on reason.When he visits, he brings her back to the home for up to a weeks visit. She constantly talks about moving back home and his refusal to get on board with us is causing a lot of anxiety, unhappiness and confusion in mom. We have no other option, we must sell the house. How do we impress on him that we cannot give in to mom's feelings about moving back home because it is not possible, and his attitude is making it more difficult for her?

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The decision to sell a home can bring out many emotions, some of them very painful.

If your Mom has an elder law attorney, consider talking with her attorney about how planning for the changing care needs in the memory loss journey.

What is the prognosis from your Mom's physicians? How long will Assisted Living continue to be suitable?

With this information, and knowledge of your Mom's finances and resources, the attorney can give you some insights on how the house (a valuable asset) fits in with long term care planning.

If your Mom might need Medicaid to pay for nursing home care in the future, there are several different approaches to the real estate ownership that can be considered now.

Once you talk with an experienced elder law attorney about the Medicaid regulations in your state, in the context of your Mom's financial situation and her potential eligibility for other benefits, you'll have more facts and information to offer your brother on the decision to sell or hold on to the property.

That could help you and him manage the very real emotions that go with this time of transition.
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Nelson, sounds like your Mom wants to move back to her home, that is common. Life in Assisted Living is easy for the patient, per say, so they think life back at home would be the same... except they forget they can't bring home all the nurses, aides, housekeeping, and the chef.

Empty houses are a very high risk. Have you or your brother checked with Mom's home insurance carrier? Is the carrier ok with the house being left empty? Some of the major carriers will cancel the insurance, and/or if there is a broken water pipe will NOT pay for coverage if no one had notified the carrier the house is empty.

Just yesterday I noticed the water condensation pipe from the A/C was bubbling inside my own house.... oops... I caught it just in the nick of time, otherwise if this was my Dad's empty house, I wouldn't have noticed it until I checked the house a couple days later, by then the basement would have been flooded. I was lucky with my Dad, he wanted to get rid of the house ASAP after he moved to senior living.

Empty houses have to be tended to like someone was living there... lawn mowed, property taxes paid, home owner insurance paid, maintenance and repairs. House has to look like someone is living there.
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Exactly Jeanne, plus the Brother would have to move home to help care for her, unless costs include round the clock care! I'll just bet he is not prepared to do this? Does Mom have the money to afford all this, I'll bet it would cost much more than she is spending, getting good care at the Assisted Living place she is currently established in! It's oh so easy, to breeze into town, and placate to Mom who of course says she wants to go home, and tell her it's even a possibility, when you've gone to all the trouble of researching and finding her a nice place to live, she has dementia, of course she wants to go home, they always say that!

And No Nasmir, its no longer Mom's Choice, she has Dementia, and can no longer manage her own Life, let alone reason out all of the potential problems and care that it takes to live in said home! The OP stated, that it's no longer a possibility for her to live there, and they have done their best to find her a safe and comfortable living situation. Now it's time to sell the home, so that she can continue to afford living ther.

It is sad when this happens, and the family home needs to be sold, but we all eventually must face the facts that when we reach a certain age, the best thing to do is what's best for our LO, no matter how emotional we are about selling up the family home.
Perhaps the brother would like to purchase it, at fair market value!
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While I hope to never have the need to ever have to live anywhere but in my own home this experience with my parents has taught me we don't always get what we want in the end but rather - what we need. Hubby and I are in our early 50's and again, due to this experience we are already having discussions on how to stay in our own home as long as we can. That said, we agree that if the need arises we would be fine living in any one of the places my mom has lived based on what's appropriate for our related stage of mental and/or physical health. Yes, my moms IL, AL and NH have all been "lovely" places. Especially the NH - in comparison to industry standards it is by far the nicest nursing home I have ever seen. It's a shame some people seem to want to make already guilt ridden adult children feel even worse for doing what's best for their parents safety and wellness.
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You say you have no option but to sell the house. I understand what you mean. But I think Glad's approach is sound. Cost out the option your brother thinks would work. Perhaps even talk to the AL staff and see what kind of in-home services mom would need. Find out what they cost in your area. Be sure to include costs of maintaining the house -- even if it is fully paid for, living there won't be free.
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Nasmir, just curious. Do you have any experience at all caring for a person with dementia?
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Whack your brother upside his head with a 2x4. Just kidding - although I bet the thought has crossed your mind, right? Hard to believe he can't see that what he actually is doing is being cruel to your mother. So, back to - who has POA? If no one does and your counting on your mother to sign on, you might have a fight on your hands. Is the money from the sale of the house needed to pay for the AL? That might be one approach. Does your brother actually think it's possible for your mom to move back? If so, ask him what his plans are to see she has 24/7 care - and how he's going to manage all her needs while she's living back home. I have this theory that the sibling holding out for the most difficult course, gets to be the one taking care of things. Sounds like he doesn't even live near by - just breezes in and mucks things up. Do you have other siblings?
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Nasirs profile says their mom lives in a hospital,, I just checked it out...
Around where I live many ALs are quite nice, and the residents have outings, companionship, etc. Quite different from a NH.. As for things being on a schedule, I know my house is on one..LOL we tend to eat, get ready for bed, etc at about the same times every day. And as for sitting around all day watching TV.. check out some recent posts on here..LOL My mom and my ILs all watch TV and nap alot all day, and they are in our homes! Most of my friends with elderly parents also notice this. Perhaps you thought Josie meant a NH? In AL you have your own "apartment" or room.. your private space that is only for you (not that some don;t wander)
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Wow, brother has some real emotional issues, he can't let go and he brings her home to assure HIMSELF she'll never die. So assign him to totally care for the house, get the mail, mow the lawn, make repairs. Pile it on until he can't keep up the pace. Your mom is playing on his fear, obligation and guilt and he is succumbing. Dementia knows who to whittle down.
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pamzimmrrt, except for not having her own apartment, my mom's nursing home provides many of the same benefits of an AL. (She needs more care than an AL could provide.) The NH is "lovely" given my mother's needs.

I think we all need to be careful not to characterize all facilities as if none have them have improved over the last generation. I'll bet some ALs are less than lovely and some NHs are more than lovely and Memory Care facilities are all over the map.

All we can do is select from what is available to best meet our loved ones needs.
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