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Old 02-18-2017, 07:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
While every person/family is different, this worked well for several elderly people that I have known. They packed up (or told someone else what to pack/move) what they wanted or needed for their new apartment or room in the nursing home or wherever they were moving to, left their home and never stepped foot in it ever again. Family members (sometimes with friends or with paid professionals) handled all of the down sizing and cleaning before putting the house on the market.
Okay, that's good to know this works. I'm thinking we give her a date that the U-Haul will be there for her stuff that she wants to keep, we'll load it up, then take her to my sister's for a week while the rest of us clean and clear out the house and list it, then bring her down to our house. I want her to get the most money she can for the house, so hoping to get it listed this spring.
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Old 02-18-2017, 01:18 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
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My mother was left in the same position when my step-father died. Just enough on his life insurance policy to pay for the cremation and small second mortgage. She really should have sold her 2000 sq ft house but she didn't want to leave her home. She has a pool she never uses but pays to keep up and a large yard that she pays someone to cut. So she took out a reverse mortgage and that has kept her afloat for only 5 years. Now it's back to her trying to live on Social Security which is only $1200 a month.


I wish we could have forced her to sell and get a small condo but she was adamant. She was not used to not having a good income.


I'm sorry you are having to deal with all this when you, too are grieving. Please let us know what you and your mother decide to do.
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Old 02-18-2017, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Cary NC
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I agree with the advice you've been given to just take charge and start the process of moving her out. She's indicated this is what she really wants but she is just too tired and sad to do all the work.

Pat yourself on the back for being such a caring daughter ( I think you're a woman), hopefully in the future when she is through the grieving process she will thank you.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:58 PM
 
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So sorry you're dealing with this. Don't forget to take care of yourself too. You've gotten good advice and at least you do have siblings which is helpful both emotionally and logistically. My husband & I have dealt with similar so I can say it is true you have to act even if Mom doesn't think it's what she wants right now.

Grief takes time which is something you don't have. So, you and siblings need to fashion the whole plan and basically implement it. Financial issues down the line will only make whatever is wrong emotionally many times worse. Since you're all grieving if funds are available you may want to outsource as much as possible. I don't know if Mom has friends who can help but there are professionals that can help with downsizing, selling any furniture & things not wanted, getting the house ready for sale, financial planning for the future etc.

You'll need to figure out the best place for her to live. Sounds like she can live on her own. But you'll need to decide where and what kind of housing. You mentioned her health issues so does she need to live in one of the retirement type developments that offer care as you age. These have communal dining areas as well as kitchens in the individual apartments and lots of activities. Or can she live with someone in the family? That didn't work for us but I know people who have put on an addition to their home or created a private apartment space. Should she just rent for a while to see if she likes the location as it sounds like their are choices based on siblings in different locations.

I wish you all the best. There are no shortcuts when dealing with the grieving process. Sometimes it can even help to have concrete things to do to take care of the survivor. And fortunately it sounds like you have a very functional family ready to step up and do their part. And be prepared for Mom to not always be happy with you & your siblings. While obviously she is competent and legally able to manage her affairs you will find yourself in a different role vis a vis your Mom and it can be uncomfortable and stressful at times. But you'll need to do what you know is in her long term best interests like your Dad would have wanted.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:08 AM
 
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Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, you are all giving me strength and comfort in dealing with this. I actually think mom will be generally okay with this. My only concern is one sibling who likes things to stay the way they are, doesn't think there is a problem either financially or emotionally, who just told me this morning, yes mom says she's having a really hard time but I think she's doing fine.
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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OP, I had a similar situation very recently with my mom. My dad passed away unexpectedly. They had been married 57 years. My mom has some stroke damage and some mild dementia. She insisted that she could stay in her house, and one of my two brothers (who wanted to "move in with her to help her" - yeah, right) was encouraging her to stay where she was.

The big house was too much for her to handle, but even worse than that - she was surrounded by memories. She was also isolated, because even though she lived in a neighborhood, it was winter time, wet and cold outside, and she simply wasn't used to getting up and getting out by herself to walk and that sort of thing.

I live nearby but it was very draining to me to try to go over there to check on her every day. I mean, it would take at least an hour every day and usually more than that.

Things immediately began to happen with the house. The first thing that happened was a wasp infestation in the eaves. Then some sort of plumbing issue. Then one day I went over there and went back into her bathroom and realized the light was out - and had been out according to her for DAYS. She couldn't replace it and didn't want to ask me to do it.

Plus her utility bills were high because she was heating the entire big house.

And she couldn't handle their three dogs - they were constantly getting out. I guess my dad was rounding them up or managing them most of the time.

She is very unsteady on her feet due to the stroke damage, and yet she refused to wear an alert. She felt like it was "monitoring and controlling her." OMG.

Anyway, my reasonable brother and I just sat down with her and laid out the benefits of moving to a senior housing apartment. Then we went and toured them, taking her with us after we had narrowed it down to two. She was pleasantly surprised. We just moved forward quickly, without giving her a lot of time to react negatively.

We moved all that she is going to keep into her new apartment, and family came in and got out heirlooms, family photos, etc. We are having an estate sale and putting the house on the market next month.

It helped TREMENDOUSLY to have her out of the house. She was overwhelmed and just couldn't do what needed to be done.

She did go through a period of depression - which is normal considering all she's been through. But the weather has lifted now, and the sun and warmth are becoming the new normal. After a period of not getting involved in anything and not sleeping well, she began to adjust. Within the past month, she's gotten involved in a bible study, she's gotten interested in shopping and eating out with me, and she's smiling and laughing again.

We also got her a kitten. I was only able to find a home for one of her three dogs and unfortunately had to put the other two down (they were all old, and one was a biter and none of them were housebroken). But she wasn't involved in any of that.

It has been very difficult for everyone, but now I know my mom is safe and that the house situation is going to be resolved soon.

My point is that we adult kids just had to take the bull by the horns and make decisions for HER safety and wellbeing, and then we had to just TELL her what was going to happen, and then we had to make it happen. She was utterly incapable of handling any of the details herself.
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Old 02-19-2017, 08:10 AM
 
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Thank you Kathryn. There are issues with the house too, it's older and things are breaking left and right. The winter and lack of sunshine is definitely more difficult for her too. The first time she spent a night alone in her lifetime was the day I left, two weeks after he was gone. I still can barely think of that day.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
Thank you Kathryn. There are issues with the house too, it's older and things are breaking left and right. The winter and lack of sunshine is definitely more difficult for her too. The first time she spent a night alone in her lifetime was the day I left, two weeks after he was gone. I still can barely think of that day.
It's such a difficult time. I know your mom is overwhelmed - mine was. I was too. My dad passed in October and it's only been the last few weeks that I haven't felt like freaking out constantly!!!!!! It was like my dad died, and suddenly I inherited ALL of his responsibilities as well as my own because my mom simply can't handle her business. So now I have my own life and her whole life on my plate and believe me, it freaked me out.

I am getting some counseling because I felt so sorry for my mom that I was not taking care of myself and was getting so raw and stressed out that I didn't like the person I was becoming. I feel a lot better about things now but November through January were rough months.

I also felt so sorry for my mom that I was allowing her to be rude and weird with me - I kept making excuses for her behavior. That's mainly what pushed me to get some counseling. I needed some help establishing healthy boundaries with my mom while still being empathetic - and processing my own grief.

I encourage you to consider getting some counseling as you navigate all this. It's a very difficult time.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:12 AM
 
3,272 posts, read 2,340,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
It's such a difficult time. I know your mom is overwhelmed - mine was. I was too. My dad passed in October and it's only been the last few weeks that I haven't felt like freaking out constantly!!!!!! It was like my dad died, and suddenly I inherited ALL of his responsibilities as well as my own because my mom simply can't handle her business. So now I have my own life and her whole life on my plate and believe me, it freaked me out.

I am getting some counseling because I felt so sorry for my mom that I was not taking care of myself and was getting so raw and stressed out that I didn't like the person I was becoming. I feel a lot better about things now but November through January were rough months.

I also felt so sorry for my mom that I was allowing her to be rude and weird with me - I kept making excuses for her behavior. That's mainly what pushed me to get some counseling. I needed some help establishing healthy boundaries with my mom while still being empathetic - and processing my own grief.

I encourage you to consider getting some counseling as you navigate all this. It's a very difficult time.
I will have a huge breakdown once I get mom safely out of her house. That's how I roll, I keep most of it inside until things get somewhat resolved. I'm juggling way too many stressful things right now and trying to keep healthy and sane. I am in two small groups at our church and that has been extremely helpful.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Wonderland
40,984 posts, read 32,696,264 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaraG View Post
I will have a huge breakdown once I get mom safely out of her house. That's how I roll, I keep most of it inside until things get somewhat resolved. I'm juggling way too many stressful things right now and trying to keep healthy and sane. I am in two small groups at our church and that has been extremely helpful.
I crashed and burned myself, and got a terrible case of bronchitis that forced me to do nothing but rest and try to get better for two weeks. Sometimes our body does what it has to do to force us to get the rest we need.
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