1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

update and advice re house/furniture

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Dave W, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Well, Mum has now been in the home for 6 months, and is calmer and physically healthier. But she's still adamant there's nothing wrong with her (she has a diagnosis of mixed VaD/AD confirmed by doctors and OTs/CPNs and so on) and that she wants to go home - as confirmed to two neighbours who visited her on Monday. The home staff - who've been really good - report that she seems reasonaby happy most of the time, but that the 'going home' issue won't go away lightly.

    Unfortunately, we're now at the stage where we have to do something about the house, and have therefore spoken to three lettings agencies, having taken professional advice from a friend in the industry in our own area. Basically the house is reasonably ok - we have a minor guttering repair and some minor decorating to do. But the house will let far more easily unfurnished, so time has come to ship out the furniture (a friend can house most of it for the time being), deal with the insurance company, the utilities and Uncle Tom Cobbley et al, ad then put it in the rental market to pay the gap between her income and the fees.

    Anyone who has already been through this stage who has advice, words of wisdom - or simply of comfort - would be very welcome to chip in at this point. It's been a long hard struggle to get this far, and it's not feeling a great deal easier.

    (It doesn't help that the neighbours let slip they'd seem us cleaning the house, so Mum may well think we're cleaning it for her to go home to. Next vsit is going to be a fraught one, I can tell.)
     
  2. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    627
    Yorkshire
    Hi Dave

    Just wanted to sympathise, no words of wisdom for you, why does this blasted disease make life and decisions so darned difficult! If it was our 'normal' life we'd go with the flow and just do it! (I'll not use the acronym we use at work, might get banned for bad language:D ) But that old 'guilt monster' sits on the shoulder and digs the spurs in from time to time:(

    Glad to hear that Mum's reasonably settled. Don't think the 'going home' is one that any of us ever get used too, or will ever go away. All part of the rich tapestry that is AD:rolleyes:
    Good luck with the next visit.........and lie through your teeth if necessary:eek:
    Take care
     
  3. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    700
    Oklahoma,USA
    Hi Dave,
    My Dad and I call it therapeutic lying ! When I go see Mom I always tell her I have to leave because I have to go to work. It is the only way I can go without her looking for her handbag to go with me. That has been the hardest thing about her being in the NH. Otherwise she is pretty happy and well taken care of.
    I am in a different situation, no neighboors to let things slip and my Dad is still living so can keep the house. But, my Dad has started giving me things of Mom's and that is a bit unnerving, like she is dissapearing from the house slowly. Oh well, there is no easy in any of this. Just roll with the punches and do the best we can.
    Take care,
    Debbie
     
  4. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    3,433
    Suffolk,England
    Hiya Dave!

    I was wondering where you'd got to lately, and hoping that "no news was good news".

    Isn't it a ******? My Mum can't take a simple telephne message (even the name) but is only at a fairly earlyish stage, yet your Mum not only remembers who came to see her, but what they told her as well! Talk about selective memory.

    As May says, lie through your teeth, tell her you're making sure the house is properly cared for & maintained. Then explain to the neighbour (who probably blabbed in all innocence) that it would distress Mum to learn of someone else renting the house, so please be careful what she says next time!

    Best wishes
     
  5. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Advice Dave? Hang in there - do what you know to be right - know it is going to hurt you to do it - but know that will come out the other side.
    Love Helen
     
  6. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Thanks for the words and thoughts

    Thanks everyone - sorry I've been offline for a bit. Trying to cope with work (nightmare), paying off debts (ditto), travelling (occasional light relief) and the rest of life (gearing up for next major charity concert), and also feeling there was nothing really new to say - and not feeling like I had the strength (apologies to everyone who's posted messages where I could have offered wisdom in the meantime, but I'm sure others will have responded far better than I could have done).

    The whole 'need to do something about the house' element is stressing me pretty badly - guilt monster is back to haunt me. She's been so much 'better' in the home - whether that be the anti-pyschotics, the better meals and sleeping patterns, the care and attention I don;t know - that we almost wonder if we've done the right thing sometimes. I know we have doctors' diagnoses and the rest, but they don't prevent emotions, unfortunately. And she is absolutely adamant she wants to go home. (We're visiting less often to give me a break from it, but I can't not visit really - it has to be faced sometimes, and gearing up to it is harder than doing it in so many ways. At least when you're there you know you'll be home in an hour's time.)

    Will screw up what courage I can and press on. Thank you for listening, and for talking back - I'd forgotten how priceless this site can be.
     
  7. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    3,453
    Hey Dave,
    No need to apologise for not posting - just good to hear from you again, but sorry that you are feeling up tight. I always feel good friends are those that you cannot see or hear from for months, but when you do again, it's like they had never been away.
    Knowing the turmoil that you went through to get your mum settled, I know that you have more than enough courage to deal with this present situation.
    Mum is better because she is getting the care that she needs - she is not faced by the daily challenges of living alone, that she could nolonger cope with. Don't look back.
    Love Helen
     
  8. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    15,983
    Toronto, Canada
    Guilt Monster

    Hi Dave,
    Just to reiterate what Amy said - your mother is "better" in the home because she has all the care & meds taken at proper times etc etc etc. So YES, you have made the right decision. If she were to return home, she would probably decline quite rapidly.

    And do point out to the chatty neighbours - least said, the best vis-a-vis the home rental.

    Hang in there, it will become easier for you to deal with. It did for me. My mother still occasionally talks about "going home" (after over 5 years) but only very occasionally.

    Joanne
     
  9. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Thanks for the vote of confidence

    Joanne and Helen - thank you both. A boost to the morale when it's running our on me. I suspect there's a large part of wrestling with emotions going on too (never been my strong point - I'm fine if I can intellectualise something: Mum and me always were chalk and cheese). Those moments I can think of all this as 'an admin job', it gets easier to cope with (just frustrating, as you rarely get the helpful answers you require from those you contact, although mercifully the bank have been great).

    Will take the laptop to the boat with me this weekend and start writing letters to insurance companies, and one to all the neighbours and friends to update them all and try to keep them diplomatically 'gagged'.

    Only this evening to get through, and then it's practically the weekend. I hope himself doesn't want me scaling rigging or hauling sails too often - secretly pleased to see the weather forecast is lousy!
     
  10. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    621
    Kent
    Preparing to let

    Dear Dave,
    My Mum moved into a Care Home last year, because she was having falls. It was her decision, and we thought it best to let her house out. The furniture was given away to family, friends, the Salvation Army and she took some with her. We told her that as she had looked after her house so well, for over thirty years, now it was time for the house to look after her, by providing a rental income. Fortunately it was in good order and we just had to get the safety checks done for gas and electricity. There were a few maintainance and decorating jobs to do as well. The Letting Agents have been brilliant and the same person always deals with us, so she knows our situation. Our second tennants moved in last month and we've had no trouble so far.
    I've told Mum about her tennants and she was pleased a family with children and a dog can enjoy her garden. We've been able to keep a lot of things and I'm using the dining room suite in my study, which I use for work. The ornaments are a problem, because there are so many and most of them were given as presents. I've tried not to throw anything of sentimental value away, but we have got rather a lot of things stored in the house.
    I must say, I think it would be quite nice to have the problem of neighbours visiting and talking too much. As far as I know, none of Mum's neighbours have visited and she's known some of them for over 25 years.
    One thing we did do, was to sort out all the keys for windows, doors, padlocks etc, and only leave one set in the house, so there are spares if any get lost. My husband put a small hook at the side of each window, so the little key had a safe place and didn't get lost. I also left some spare curtain hooks behind, in case the tennants wanted to put different curtains up. My husband sorted out all the instruction manuals and photocopied them, giving a set to the agent and a set for the tennant. We've kept the originals so we can always make new copies. We also wrote down some useful information about when the dustmen came and how to use the recycling clear bags.
    Our first tennants left the house clean and tidy, although the garden was a bit overgrown. They had only used the new lawn mower once or twice.Letting out the house seems to be working well.
    Kayla
     
  11. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Feeling better

    Thanks to eveyone for the verbal tonics - they seem to be working. Visited tonight, and Mum was in a good mood and pretty cheerful, but very confused and forgetful. We heard about the nectarines she'd bought in the market over the road at least 4 times. But she was thrilled to have seen Bobbie and Peg, so the good bits stayed in the memory and the bad bits didn't.

    And somehow we turned decorating and painting into cleaning the cobwebs cos there'd been a few spiders. Two helpful letters from lettings agencies on the mat, fish and chips on the way home, raspberries and clotted cream with tea watching Big Brother (I refuse to let another guilt monster get me for that - it's not voyeurism if they're exhibitionists, is it!), finished all the sodukos, practised the guitar a little, admired the garden, so it's bedtime.

    Next steps: plan the decorating and furniture shifting, get the safety inspections done, write to the insurance company and the utilties, check my legal knowledge, speak to an accountant about income tax on the rental income and can we get it deducated at source (haven't had to deal with the IR via an EPA yet - how much fun will that be?).

    But first bedtime, and then a weekend swaying with the tide in a wet, windy marina. This time next week, let's see if I've managed to turn this into a positive resourceful thread for those acting on behalf of dementia sufferers in letting property and making sure all the t's are crossed and the i's dotted. Yep, I obviously need my pillow :)

    Good night everyone.
     
  12. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    Dave hi,

    saw the mention of 'boat' and concert... my web site is www.michaelbriant.com will tell you about my similar interests and there are links there to my email address if you feel like a boaty or show biz chat?

    Michael
     
  13. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Update

    A mixed bag of a week - Mum has had a couple of dizzy/fainting spells in the home, so was taken into hospital on Friday to have a heart monitor fitted. We went through much this circumstance about 6 months ago when she was in hospital, and no real reason could be found, but they will try again and see if anything sheds any light. Hoping this doesn't lead to another change of medication, as last time really upset her badly for a few weeks. Will keep a finger or two crossed. She does seem a little more confused and deluded the last couple of weeks, but we're getting used to this coming and going as time goes by.

    They also requested a csultation from the psychiatrist at the local hospital as she'd been low for a few days and seemed rather 'intense', although this seems to be passing - possiby again just a passing phase. Sounds like the home is also finding her complete lack of acceptance of the situation a little trying from time to time.

    Despite this, she was in reasonable spirits when we visited last Thursday night, and our friend who's looking after her dog also went in (with dog) to see her, which may well have helped. "One day at a time", as Norman has always said.

    In the meantime, we're making progress on the house. Two great friends came down with me today, and we've cleared all the cupboards, they've taken some of the furniture, we've found a taker for her sewing machine, and everything else is packed and sorted into piles for charity shops, the dump and so on. Once the house is cleared (big 'if'), we can finish decorating and then move on to prepare for renting out. Slowly, slowly, but surely ...

    Does anyone here know of charities that will collect furniture and other household goods? I know Age Concern local to me do that, but don't know about any charities in Mum's area (Kingston-on-Thames)? Any leads would be very gratefully received.

    The next couple of weeks are going to be really hectic for me (full day in recording studio this week, so day lost from work), two charity concerts, editing a programme, mixing a CD, plus a full time job, but once that's out of the way it'll be back to sorting the house. And trying to rest!!

    And the home are going to bring Mum to the concert - I've sorted them out tickets - so she'll get a night out for a good cause, and see me play. Just hope she enjoys it!

    Wish me luck.
     
  14. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I don't know about charities but have you heard of Freecycle? Basically you say what you have to give away and if anyone wants it you arrange a time for them to collect it.

    http://www.freecycle.org/display.php?region=United Kingdom
     
  15. noelphobic

    noelphobic Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    3,452
    Liverpool
    I don't know about charities but have you thought of trying Freecycle? Basically you give stuff away to whoever wants to collect it.

    http://www.freecycle.org/display.php?region=United Kingdom
     
  16. mel

    mel Registered User

    Apr 30, 2006
    1,656
    Sheffield
    Hi Dave
    Do you have a branch of Sue Ryder near your mums house.?.....although we didn't actually use them I was told by the house clearance people we used that they would take any item of furniture off our hands.....
     
  17. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    #17 Brucie, Sep 4, 2006
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2006
    We live in the Kingston area and used the local Freecycle for the first time recently. huge success.

    http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/freecycle-kingston/

    A lovely couple and three young children came to collect a huge TV that we were replacing and couldn't even move out of the room, it was so heavy. We've since had e-mails from them repeating how grateful they have been and what a fantastic TV it is.

    We will use Freecycle again!!!

    I've found charity shops to be good for small things, but not so good for books, tapes, furniture.
     
  18. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    618
    Male
    Ronda Spain
    There is also the route of 'Antique' dealers - bric a brac dealers who will come in and clear the entire house - they normally offer a very modest amount of money for the entire contents but it does get the job done in one hit. They normally advertise in 'free' and local newspapers.

    In slightly different circumstances I once went down the road of storing stuff. Mostly except for a few very personal things, photos etc none of our possessions are worth hanging onto... The replaceable society.

    This 'wanting to go home' syndrome appears to go with the AD territory. Monique constantly wants to go 'home' to a proper house! I think as Bruce once posted it is to do with wanting to be somewhere simpler. Somewhere that is more embracing and comforting than where they are.. Of course that does not exist

    Good luck with it all


    Michael
     
  19. Dave W

    Dave W Registered User

    Jul 3, 2005
    268
    Bucks
    Thanks for tips ...

    Mel, thanks for the tip - will try contacting Sue Ryder to find out if there's one locally. Freecycle is a lovely idea, but we're a five hour round trip to Mum's house, so I'm not sure how practical that might be for us - we don't have space to store everything at our house either. Any other suggestions?
     
  20. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,417

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