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How to broach the subject of selling house.

sarahviolin

New member
Jul 7, 2020
4
My elderly friend with Alzheimer's is settled in a wonderful dementia unit. Now that things are opening up a little I need to start planning to sell her house. My father has EPA but I do most of the organising. How do I go about having this conversation with her? Clearly she's not going home and the house needs to be sold, but I don't know how much to involve her or ask her. She has some understanding and on a good day will be very pragmatic about these things, but can also be paranoid and was always very independent with her finances etc in the past.

Anyone got any experience? It's not the actual selling I'm concerned about, it's how to involve her in what's happening without her feeling that I'm taking her home away.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,418
South coast
I didnt involve my mum at all @sarahviolin . However much she appeared lucid at times, I knew that the reality was that mum had no real understanding of her own situation. She still thought that she would be able to go back home, although when she described it , it was her childhood home that she was describing and once I took her back to her bungalow to choose some things for her room in the care home, but she got very distressed as she did not recognise it and thought she would be in trouble when the owner caught her!

So you see, she had no true understanding of her situation and if I had asked her about selling her home or trying to involve her in it she would have accused me of trying to steal it, become angry that I was selling it, or anxious, or any of a range of other emotions, but she would not have been able to help because she was no longer capable of it. This is the reason why there is POA, so that someone else can sort out their finances for them.

It feels terrible to have to do this on your own - as if you are going behind their back and somehow betraying them, but its the only way.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,779
Kent
I didn`t involve my mother either.

It was a most upsetting experience to act behind her back by selling her precious home but it had to be done. I knew there was no chance she would ever be able to go home so there was little risk of her finding out. It didn`t help stop me feeling like a thief in the night but my mother remained unaware.
 

sarahviolin

New member
Jul 7, 2020
4
I didnt involve my mum at all @sarahviolin . However much she appeared lucid at times, I knew that the reality was that mum had no real understanding of her own situation. She still thought that she would be able to go back home, although when she described it , it was her childhood home that she was describing and once I took her back to her bungalow to choose some things for her room in the care home, but she got very distressed as she did not recognise it and thought she would be in trouble when the owner caught her!

So you see, she had no true understanding of her situation and if I had asked her about selling her home or trying to involve her in it she would have accused me of trying to steal it, become angry that I was selling it, or anxious, or any of a range of other emotions, but she would not have been able to help because she was no longer capable of it. This is the reason why there is POA, so that someone else can sort out their finances for them.

It feels terrible to have to do this on your own - as if you are going behind their back and somehow betraying them, but its the only way.
Thank you for that reply - It's what I already know - I just needed to hear it from someone else. It's just what I needed you to say. I'll deal with the house and spend my time with her doing nice things instead.
 

sarahviolin

New member
Jul 7, 2020
4
I didn`t involve my mother either.

It was a most upsetting experience to act behind her back by selling her precious home but it had to be done. I knew there was no chance she would ever be able to go home so there was little risk of her finding out. It didn`t help stop me feeling like a thief in the night but my mother remained unaware.
Thank you for sharing your own experience. It really does help to hear from others who have been in this situation.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,350
When my mother-in-law was in a care home I didn't involve her in any way in the selling process. I didn't discuss it with her, never spoke about what was happening. She would have never understood and after a few weeks, she had no concept any way of where she was or where her old home was.
 

sarahviolin

New member
Jul 7, 2020
4
You are all right about this. It's not her responsibility to worry about this now. I feel much more settled with the decision - it's inevitable so I'm just going to get on with it.
 

Bunpoots

Volunteer Host
Apr 1, 2016
4,764
Nottinghamshire
I didn't talk about it with my dad either. I felt terrible clearing out his bungalow and re-homing his fish but he wouldn't have understood. I don't think he recognised his bungalow as home either so it hurt me more than him.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
867
Hi @sarahviolin, I didn't involve Mum either, it would have caused too much distress. Like @Bunpoots Mum no longer recognised the bungalow. She did ask occasionally how we were going to pay for this hotel, and I just used to say don't worry about it, we've got it all in hand and changed the subject. It will only cause unnecessary distress. I have to say it doesn't make the process any easier, but it is the right thing to do. All the best
 

Susan11

Registered User
Nov 18, 2018
2,426
I didn't tell my Mum either. It would have upsetted her and there's no point in doing that. There was no way she can go back there to live and i was worried about maintaining it in the winter from 200 miles away. If the thermostat had not turned on the heating and a pipe had burst we could have had water running through the ceilings for up to 2 weeks.
 

anxious annie

Registered User
Jan 2, 2019
418
Hi @sarahviolin
My sister and I are just starting the process of selling mum's house as she is in care and won't be able to move back. We don't intend to involve mum with the process, and if she asks about the house will tell "love lies" about the heating / decorating still being sorted.
You mentioned your dad has Epa so he would have to be the one signing legal documents for solicitor/ Estate agents