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Pros and Cons of moving DM...help please!

(12 Posts)
Teecup Mon 23-Jan-17 16:38:53

So DM is in her early 90's, fairly good for her age but very gradually losing mobility and independence. DB and I have to decide what we are going to do about her final years. She currently lives alone in the family home (been there over 60 years), over 300 miles away from me. DB and SiL live not too far away from DM and go to visit twice a week, get shopping, helps with house etc.

Ideally DM would like to stay in family home until she dies. It's likely she will need someone to care for her. DB cannot move in with her or increase his visits. He is in his mid 60's and has life limiting illness. He's also a bit crap at sorting stuff out TBH! His house is very rural, a complete tip, and there is no way DM could move in with him (nor does she want to).

DM is getting very lonely ATM. Her social circle is decreasing as her friends pass away. It's not good for her mentally. She wants me to visit more often but it's difficult as I am single parent with 2 small kids (one school age) and full time job.

We all own our homes but do not have much in savings. As far as I see it we have three options:

1.DM stays where she is and moves into home as she gets less able to care for herself. Her house would have to me sold to fund this.
2.We get carers (paid I guess?) to visit/support her and keep her in her own home until she passes away.
3.She sells her house. We use money to extend my house so she can move and live with me.

I don't want her to go into a home. I want family to care for her in her final years. Realistically I'm the only one who can do this (although I too have had health problems, I'm a lot younger than DB). My work and kids at school means I can't relocate. I know it would be a lot extra work for me but I think Option 3 is our only choice. DM has visited me and likes my house and it situation is ideal for elderly (lots of shops and facilities close by). It would be very hard for her to leave the family home though...

What do you think? Are there any other options? Is there anything I haven't thought of?

OhMrDarcy Mon 23-Jan-17 16:50:01

What about Option 4: Move your mother into sheltered housing/care home near you. You can visit a lot, there will be companionship and entertainment on tap and you will not be a carer but her daughter. Caring for an elderly parent is extremely hard and not for everyone - its easy to say you want family to care for her, but in reality this will be you caring for her on top of your young family and full time job. Holidays will be difficult - who will care for your mother? Medical appointments take up an increasing amount of time during the working week, shopping and errands encroach on family time and it doesn't get easier as time goes on.

picklemepopcorn Mon 23-Jan-17 16:50:28

An au pair type person? I believe such a thing is available for older people, too. It wouldn't solve it but might keep her in her home a bit longer.

Teecup Mon 23-Jan-17 18:28:32

Thanks for the messages.

I could try and find sheltered housing near me...but I think she'd find it harder to move if she wasn't actually moving in with me. It would be a big upheaval for her.

I was thinking that if she lived with me it would be in a granny flat type arrangement. She would be independent to a degree (which she wants) and I could keep some of my life separate too. I would probably end up paying someone to do a lot of the caring, as I'd struggle to manage everything, but at least I'd be right there to supervise it all and make sure she was being cared for well.

Getting someone to care for her in her home could work, but I'd worry about being too far away to keep an eye on everything. My DB (love him to bits) is not really able to organise things very well. He and DM do argue a lot....

picklemepopcorn Mon 23-Jan-17 18:56:47

He would only be keeping an eye on the competence and honesty of the carer, though. The carer would be doing everything else. Limited care, just oversight. They would/could have another job. In an emergency they would call out your brother.

picklemepopcorn Mon 23-Jan-17 19:01:16

There is definitely a time limit on moving people as they age. If you leave it too long, then they can't make new friends and find it hard to adjust. What about selling her home and buying another property in your area? Something like a large three story, where she has the ground floor bedroom (study) and a sitting area, you have all the upstairs rooms and a kitchen diner.

I've been looking at similar, as that is similar to the arrangement a friend has. She has the top and bottom floors, her mum the middle floor (through lounge and bedroom/bathroom).

Teecup Tue 24-Jan-17 13:54:55

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Just thought of something...

If DM sells her house and we use money to extend mine so she can move in with me, what would happen if she did need to go into a home in the future? Would the council have some sort of claim on my house? Maybe the value of her house? Or would they not try and get any money back?

Sorry for all the questions...I'm hoping someone with legal knowledge will answer!

picklemepopcorn Tue 24-Jan-17 14:04:58

Ooh, maybe post in legal, or ask age uk?

whataboutbob Tue 24-Jan-17 21:33:21

Teecup- the council might try and recoup some of the money. When Dad was looking at needing care , and was living with my brother who is a vulnerable adult, they weren't shy in saying the house could be sold, bro could go and live somewhere smaller and the remainder would be spent on care home fees. In a same vein they might say you need to sell the enlarged house, move somewhere smaller. If your mum needs care within 7 years of moving in with you, the home extension could be seen as a deliberate deprivation of assets. Maybe run over the implications at your local citizens' Advice bureau, or pay for a one off consultation with a solicitor. when I was having to look at Dad's finances and care, I found a Solicitor for the Elderly via the law Society website and it was a very useful consultation.

hatgirl Tue 24-Jan-17 21:45:18

Well really it's your mum's decision not yours? You haven't written anything suggesting that you don't feel she is capable of making decisions yet?

It isn't inevitable that all older people need care or go into care homes. She's doing pretty well so far by the sounds of things!

Does she have any care needs currently other than shopping? Your local adult social care department will be able to point you in the right direction for low level care and support for her to remain at home for as long as possible once she needs it.

Care Homes these days tend to cater for people with fairly high needs, and sheltered accommodation is unlikely to offer much more in the way of 'care' than what she can currently get at home.

Teecup Wed 25-Jan-17 08:37:19

Thanks again everyone.

DM realises that she will need help soon, so moving, or having someone move in now (before she actually needs them) is the plan. She is very keen to move in with me if she can't stay in her own house.

I've made some enquiries about the financial side and council claims and apparently she can sell her house to fund the extension, as long as she is currently fit and well.
If she does need to go into a care home after she's moved in with me, the council can't claim anything until my youngest child is 16. They also can't claim once I've turned 60.
Luckily my youngest will turn 16 when I'm in my early 60's so it seems that we don't need to worry about this part. 😁

picklemepopcorn Wed 25-Jan-17 14:41:36

That's good news! We're making similar enquiries, as we have elderly relatives approaching the need for care. There will be an adult child left living in the house after one PIL moves out, and we need to know how to protect him.

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