Should we wait until my mother in in a nursing home before selling her house?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 27, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My siblings and I are considering moving our mother (who has dementia) in assisted living. However, we need to sell her home in order to help pay for her assisted living expenses. Our mom is still living in her home right now, so I'm wondering if we should wait until she's moved into assisted living before selling her home to avoid any negative emotional reaction from her?

Expert Answers

Kay Paggi, GCM, LPC, CGC, MA, is in private practice as a geriatric care manager and is on the advisory board for the Emeritus Program at Richland College. She has worked with seniors for nearly 20 years as a licensed professional counselor, certified gerontological counselor, and certified geriatric care manager.

Your mother has dementia, so she is going to be upset when you sell her house, whenever that is. Best to move her now, then tell her it is temporary, just until the plumbing or the roof or whatever is repaired. And NEVER tell her that her beloved home is gone. She doesn't need to know.

It will be terribly difficult for her to watch strangers come in and look at her house and her possessions. Better for her not to be there during the time the house is for sale; the hassle of keeping it perfectly in order is enough to drive most people crazy; she really does not need that hassle.

Move her into a comfortable, safe place now, and let her have as much time as possible to make a good adjustment to the new place and residents while she still can.