Accepting an offer on my parents house...feels very final

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Bessieb, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    My parents have been in a CH for just over 4 months now. They went in on respite after a long hospital stay for my Dad and it was pretty clear that they weren't going to be going home. Both have AD and my Mum has severe mobility issues. They were barely coping at home with the support of carers before Dad's illness and they need 24 hour care now. Dad scored really badly on the last memory assessment they had - almost severe.
    Most days they think they are in a hotel and have just arrived that morning. Sometimes they are a little more lucid and understand they are in a care environment - and can get quite cross about it. They ask about their house quite a lot (never quite sure which house but 'their house') - mostly whether it's still OK, when they are going back and if anyone is living in it.
    I put the house on the market back in August. We're going to need the money for care fees. We got an offer yesterday and I'm going to accept it I think but I suddenly feel absolutely dreadful about it. It seems so final. I suppose whilst the house still belongs to them I can delude myself that there is a chance they might go back to it. But I know that they can't. And at the moment when they ask about the house I can truthfully say "it's just how you left it". But when it's sold I'm going to have to be more creative and I'm not sure how I'm going to look them in the eye and lie to them
    The house is 150 miles away from me, a burden and cost to run and I know that I need to do it but I hate doing things that I know are essentially against their will and wishes. But I don't feel I have a choice. Guilt, it's just guilt isn't it? What if I'm doing the wrong thing - everyone around me says that I'm not but I just don't feel convinced.
    I hate this illness...taking major decisions for other people.
    Sorry this is a rant but feeling very rubbish about this today
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Bessie it may be against their occasional memory of life as it was once upon a time but you know only too well that is gone never to return. Concentrate on the here and now by getting the funds to make them comfortable. You and your family have kept them together and in a sense they are making a new home as they may well have done several times in their married life. Encourage the hotel idea and eventually the house memory will fade. We have been in this house five years and my husband still doesn't know the address as he is forever in the house he lived in fifty years ago. I guess PWD just create the scenario they like best.
  3. Stresshead

    Stresshead Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    Bessieb is know how you feel as I sold my dads house in September. I was heartbroken packing up my childhood memories and like you I felt guilt and also a sharp pang of realisation that he would and could never go home.

    You have done the right thing and now can use the money to make your mum and dad more comfortable. I console myself by thinking that at least now it's done it's one more thing that I won't have to face when the inevitable happens.

    When dad asks about the house (which is now rarely) I just skirt around the issue and say everything's fine.

    I do feel for you but once it's done and all sorted I'm sure you'll start to feel better.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
  4. looviloo

    looviloo Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    Oh Bessieb, I have a good idea how you're feeling right now since I'm currently clearing out my dad's house with a view to putting it on the market in the new year. It's heart-breaking, having to go through all the memories (the house is cluttered and like a museum in some ways), but the bit I'm dreading most is the day the sale is final :-(. Dad asks about his house every time I visit his care home and there will come a day when I have to lie. Sigh.

    I guess we just need to keep reminding ourselves that they are safe where they are, and this wouldn't have been the case at home. Horribly draining and distressing for everyone, but it is the right thing to do and with time the situation will get better (I hope). Big hugs.
  5. loveahug

    loveahug Registered User

    Nov 28, 2012
    Moved to Leicester
    Heartbreaking doesn't come close does it? Mum's house was sold last month. Sorting out everything, arranging clearance of the rest and dealing with the sale itself was punctuated with the occasional bout of crying but now it's done I am at peace with myself because it was the only thing to do and the right thing to do. I'm still ensuring her needs are met, but in a different way. And it's needs NOT wants I have to focus on. Yes the guilt monster rears its head occasionally but I'm learning to bat it away :)

    I can't imagine how tough it is for you to have to see both your parents in care, Bessieb, and I wish you strength and peace of mind for the what the future brings x
  6. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    Sorry you are having such a difficult time, Bessieb. You are right though, you really don't have a choice, you have to sell the house.

    Please take some comfort from how you will look on this time 6 months from now. You will be so glad you made that difficult decision to sell the house, I promise you. Yes, you may still feel sad from time to time, and the guilt monster might nip your toes every now and again, but deep down you'll be glad you made this decision, and I'll bet you'll feel proud of yourself for seeing it through, too.

    Be kind to yourself today. You've achieved something remarkable. Bon courage! xx
  7. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    Bessie, I don't know if it will help, and I do hear you are struggling mightily with this, but please let us tell you that you are doing the right thing to sell their house. It can be very difficult to do what is in their best interests, rather than what they want, even when you know how impossible that is. You're human, you have emotions, you are trying to do the right thing: of course you are conflicted.

    Of course you know, intellectually, that your parents' health will not improve and they will not be able to return to their home and live independently. But of course you may also have a hard time convincing your emotions of that! Please try not to beat yourself up too much.

    When your parents ask about the house, perhaps you might say:

    -the house is fine
    -it was fine the last time I saw it
    -I haven't been to the house today, but it was fine the last time I checked

    It is possible that eventually they will stop asking and maybe, given time, your emotions about having to sell will settle down. I assume you've also had to clear it out which is a massive, thankless, horrible job.

    We applaud you for doing a good job of taking care of your parents, making sure they are safe and cared for and that their needs are met. I'm going to say, one more time:


    Please hang in there and be as kind to yourself as possible. I'm sorry it's so terribly difficult.
  8. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    Thank you all. It really does help to know that there are others that understand.
    Logically and objectively I know it is the right thing to do but the whole situation is so hard and riddled with guilt and difficulty and this is just another thing that needs to be sorted I know.
    To be fair I felt as bad as this when I moved them to the CH in the first place and I'm fine about that now (almost). And I felt pretty bad when I moved their furniture to them a few weeks ago and I'm fine with that too. So I think I just need to get on with the house sale and know that once that is over another burden will be lifted and I can just get on with supporting Mum and Dad in the new life they now have - 10 minutes down the road from me and not 15 miles away.

    Thanks again all x
  9. Johnny Five

    Johnny Five Registered User

    Nov 9, 2015
    South Yorkshire
    My home is stuffed with boxes of Mum's stuff as we've emptied her bungalow in readiness for completion on the sale.
    Every single item seems to hold memories that are hard to let go.
    My car knows its way to her local tip and charity shops without me. It's been agony, but at least when I'm there I realise there is no way she could cope there alone now, only 4 months after moving into her care home.
    Yes, she still wants to go home, a lot...... but I have finally realised "home" is just a concept, a place and time where she feels safe (and probably more important to MY mum) IN CONTROL!

    Sadly, as yet, it is not within her grasp.

    Ensuring your parent's well being is the most important thing you can do and that includes finances. At the moment the house is just one more burden on you. The sooner it's gone the better.

    It is a positive thing you are doing not a negative one.
    As Lisa Tarbuck would say, Give yourself a big UP for a job well done. x
  10. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Get rid, an empty house over winter *when it does arrive) is a nightmare, heating, security, weather damage, squatters...It is a milestone and an admission there's no going back but it is the right thing to do.
  11. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    What a great response.
    Sadly these decisions which you can't '"run by" your parents are the hardest I find.
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    South coast
    Yes, indeed. Thats one of the reasons why TP is so great.
  13. Onlyme

    Onlyme Registered User

    Apr 5, 2010
    If you usually say 'The house is just as you left it' can you change it to 'The house is just WHERE you left it' without them noticing? You aren't fibbing, it's true as the house hasn't moved.
  14. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Hi Bessieb
    your thread has really been helping me - I am clearing dad's house ready to sell - just hit a bit of a hiccup but still hope to have it on the market this year.
    May I ask a question of you?
    How are you going to deal with the proceeds of the sale? I'm mindful that the guarantee for monies in any one 'bank' is way below what dad's house is worth and I'm just not sure what to do with the money - spread it out over several institutions, I guess (being careful as some apparently distinct banks are part of a group).
    (I believe there was a thread a while ago about this - but can't find it.)
    I'm feeling a bit weighed down with this too - and agree, no matter how tough at the moment, it will be a relief not to have to worry about the house.
    Very best wishes
  15. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    #15 nitram, Nov 12, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
    "I'm mindful that the guarantee for monies in any one 'bank' is way below what dad's house is worth"

    You would be covered for up to £1,000,000 per bank group for up to 6 months.

    Temporary High Balances

    From 3 July 2015, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) provides a £1 million protection limit for temporary high balances held with your bank, building society or credit union if it fails....

    ...Temporary high balances are the result of specified major life events that lead to a large amount of money being held in a person’s account for up to six months...

    ...Proceeds resulting from the following life events are categorised as temporary high balances:

    Sums paid to the depositor in respect of:

    Real estate transactions (property purchase, sale proceeds, equity release)...

    ...Proceeds of a deceased’s estate held by their Personal Representative...
  16. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    Hi Shedrech,
    I'm going to see my bank manager about this next week for advice. The same issue you have with bank guarantees. At the moment I'm thinking that I'll put some into their existing accounts and then open other accounts to hold the rest but I'm going to take advice. It can't be an uncommon problem and hoping the solution is easy. I'll post when I have info on this.
    Such a tricky time isn't it and feels very wrong in many ways but I know it is the right thing to do really and that it will be a burden gone. I hope that clearing your Dad's house isn't being too difficult
  17. Bessieb

    Bessieb Registered User

    Jun 2, 2014
    Oh thank you nitram that is really helpful
  18. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Don't forget when redistributing that the limit is actually €100k and will change on 1[SUP]st[/SUP] January to £75k as the pound has strengthened.
  19. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    Thanks Bessieb and nitram - that's really put my mind at rest, to know that there will be time to make an informed decision as to what to do with the proceeds.
    Due to an enforced delay in putting the house on the market, I've had quite a bit of time to do the clearing slowly, which has helped me, as I could stop at any moment and walk away from it for a while. I didn't want to just chuck things in case I threw away something I would think about later - I know it's daft to be attached to things, but some have been in my life all my life and remind me of different times with mum and dad. Luckily it wasn't the long standing family home, so the house itself means little to me, and actually meant little to dad - which is why I'd like have it sold and all the worry about it gone.
    Keep up the good work, Bessieb, you're doing a grand job :)
  20. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    Surrey, UK
    Shedrech, Bessieb,

    It may be an idea for you both to seek some financial advice. Assuming you hold financial PoA, then my understanding is that as long as you are acting in your parents' best interests, you can invest the proceeds from the house sale however you wish. There are specialist advisers belonging to SOLLA (Society of Later Life Advisers) who can help with just this sort of issue. There is always a balance to be struck between putting money at risk and the return you will get on your investments, but there are suitable alternatives beyond just keeping and renting out a house, or selling up and putting all the money in a bank/ building society.

    One option, for example, is to invest the money in investment trusts. These are relatively low risk investments compared to single company stocks and shares, but can give a higher return than the (pretty poor) interest rates offered by most high street banks. They can also be sold fairly quickly, giving you access to cash when you need it. But I'm not a financial adviser, so please don't just take my word for it! I just wanted to flag up that there are alternatives out there - nothing is ever 100% guaranteed safe, but some types of investment are more suitable than others, depending upon your parents' cash needs, timing thereof, and your attitude to risk. It's a complex subject, but there are experts who can help you.

    Good luck. xx

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