Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

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BlindPursuit
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Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BlindPursuit »

I want to start by saying how much I appreciate this community and all that I have learned from so many of its wise, conscientious, and generous members.

I have a situation that I hope you can help me with. Please bear with me as I lay out the details.

My father is 91 years old, physically in good shape, still in possession of most of his marbles but starting to show signs of slipping cognitively (forgetting words, repeating himself, that kind of thing). Up until a few months ago he was living with my brother, who passed away.

I am not sure I want dad living on his own. He can manage now but I'm thinking about the future. We (wife and I) are considering the possibility of him coming to live with us.

It would entail buying a bigger house. For the size and location we would need/want, we are looking at houses that run about $600k.

The finances:
Wife and I are retired, mid-60s, collecting social security and supplementing that with approximately 2% draw from our retirement accounts. Not much in savings otherwise, but our house is paid for. If we sold our house we could likely clear $275k-300k to put toward buying the bigger place.

Dad lives in 55+ "manufactured home" community. He owns the house free and clear, but could probably only clear $150k on the sale. He also pays $1600/month HOA (it's a pretty exclusive place, and he can walk to the beach, so yeah...)

Dad also has about $800k in savings, about half in a portfolio of individual muni bonds and the rest in a very conservative mix of stock/bond funds. In the past he has talked about "giving you kids/grandkids your inheritance now," but I consider that money to be his long-term care insurance, which he is almost certainly going to need.

If you've read this far, my questions are:

What is the best way to finance the purchase? I am thinking we combine the sale price of both our houses $450k, leaving us around $150k short. Where do we get the rest? A mortgage, possibly using dad's current $1600/month HOA to pay for it? Or do we use dad's savings?

Whose name(s) go on the deed? Joint ownership sounds iffy to me, but if we buy the house in our name, could we even get a mortgage just showing our income? If we use some of dad's savings, how does that work?

What happens in X years when dad starts to really decline cognitively, which is almost certain (family history of dementia), and he needs to move into some kind of assisted living/memory care/nursing home? Considering that "X" is likely sooner rather than later, is this whole "buying a house together" idea smart?

And of course:
What am I not considering that I should be?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.
thewizzer
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by thewizzer »

Maybe I missed it, but any other living siblings?
Lalamimi
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Lalamimi »

A few questions: Do you live near him now? Does he want to move in with you? Could he live with you in current home as a test before you spurge on a larger home you won't need later? Could you find someone to live with him, perhaps to prepare meals, be company, etc. in exchange for room and board?
BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

Comingling funds with a parent who may need Medicaid in the future is a terrible idea.

Please consult with a certified eldercare attorney asap and make sure dad has assigned someone as DPOA for finances and healthcare.
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mkc
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by mkc »

BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:14 pm
What happens in X years when dad starts to really decline cognitively, which is almost certain (family history of dementia), and he needs to move into some kind of assisted living/memory care/nursing home? Considering that "X" is likely sooner rather than later, is this whole "buying a house together" idea smart?

And of course:
What am I not considering that I should be?
BarbBrooklyn beat me to it. Co-mingling funds and also having your residence a countable asset of someone likely needing Medicaid in the future is a bad idea.

I would think not having his name on a deed would be best, but this is something an estate planning attorney in your state can answer better.
Last edited by mkc on Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02nz
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by 02nz »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:23 pm Comingling funds with a parent who may need Medicaid in the future is a terrible idea.
I highly doubt OP's father will qualify for Medicaid, given $800K in savings, although I tend to agree on not commingling funds.
mkc
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by mkc »

02nz wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:26 pm
BarbBrooklyn wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:23 pm Comingling funds with a parent who may need Medicaid in the future is a terrible idea.
I highly doubt OP's father will qualify for Medicaid, given $800K in savings, although I tend to agree on not commingling funds.
Long-term care eats into savings pretty quickly, especially in some parts of the country. We dealt with 6 years of LTC at roughly $150K per year.
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BlindPursuit
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BlindPursuit »

Lalamimi wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:21 pm A few questions: Do you live near him now? Does he want to move in with you? Could he live with you in current home as a test before you spurge on a larger home you won't need later? Could you find someone to live with him, perhaps to prepare meals, be company, etc. in exchange for room and board?
Dad lives in California, wife and I are in New Jersey. Dad moved to CA a few years ago to care for my brother. Now that my brother is gone there is no reason for him to be out there. We have a sister who lives near him now and checks in on him regularly. Dad is currently very self-sufficient and capable of caring for himself but the question is for how long?
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

With regard to Medicaid, my mom had a low 7 figure portfolio, dad's pension and SS. After 4.5 years in a CT NH at 11K per month, we were within a year of Medicaid when she died. I know whereof I speak.
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CAsage
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by CAsage »

The question of how long, and in what condition is quite important. I'm assuming your house really isn't big enough for another person (true?), so if you plan on Dad moving in, you may need to ensure his space is all first floor, accessible etc. Possibly a modified bathroom or doorways (I'm thinking ahead here, when he needs more help). Would you keep him at home with a visiting aide? And after he is gone, what are your plans for this house? Would it make sense for you to buy this on your own and have Dad pay rent? You really need to be able to define an exit plan.
Last edited by CAsage on Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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KlingKlang
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by KlingKlang »

Does the current 55+ "manufactured home" community that your father lives at offer any assisted living services? Some older people do not handle moving that well. My brother-in-law sold his 92 year old mother's house and moved her in with him, four years later she's still complaining about it.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

Does someone have DPOA for finances and Healthcare?

Have you gotten an accurate, professional assessment of what dad's level of need is with regard to caregiving? You can get this through the local Area Agency on Aging, or his doctor can order an assessment.

A neuropsych evaluation is the "gold standard" for figuring out if a person is just a bit forgetful or if they no longer have the ability to manage, plan and sequence the steps that are required to pull off day to day living independently.

I will tell you that we were flying blind until we consulted professionals about what moms needs were.

www.agingcare.com is a great caregiver's website for the medical and social/emotional support that are beyond the scope of Bogleheads
Last edited by BarbBrooklyn on Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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muddlehead
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by muddlehead »

Would not entertain idea of jointly buying home w/Dad. You need to answer the following before I can opine. Anyone else - siblings - whoever -inheriting from Dad at his passing? How expensive a home are you looking for?
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Dottie57 »

muddlehead wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 6:46 pm Would not entertain idea of jointly buying home w/Dad. You need to answer the following before I can opine. Anyone else - siblings - whoever -inheriting from Dad at his passing? How expensive a home are you looking for?
+1. It is possible remaining sibling(s) would object because you look like you are taking inheritance now. No way would I do this.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by rotorhead »

I would not buy the house jointly. Many years ago we were faced with similar situation. To accommodate my disabled father, and my mother; at our insistance, they sold their home and put the money in the bank. My wife and I purchased a house in our names, and concurrently had an attorney draw up a contract granting them the right to live in the house as long as they wished, to cover the eventuality that something happened to me or my wife. The attorney was my brother-in-law, so all the family were in agreement with what we were doing. It was a separate dwelling from our home.

Over time we learned a lot about being an "absentee landlord"; and wound up owning the house for 20 years. It all worked out OK in the end. It kept my parents finances separate from ours. We actually realized a gain on the house at the end; and paid the appropriate income tax; but financially we would have been better off investing the same amount in an index fund. But it was a good thing that we did; and I'm not sure what other course we could have chosen that would have helped make their lives more comfortable.

I guess my main point in this post is to keep the finances separate.
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BlindPursuit
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BlindPursuit »

Very interesting and helpful replies so far, thanks.

I am hearing clearly don't commingle finances or ownership, and keep Dad's savings for his own long-term-care needs.

Estate planning obviously something we'll need to work on.

Dad's will currently lists me, my sister, and our deceased brother as heirs. Wife and I have no kids, sis has two, and brother has two who I suppose are now heirs?

Suppose we do this:

Wife and I buy new home in our names for ~$600k: ~150k from sale of Dad's house, ~300k from sale of ours, and ~150k mortgage. If/when Dad passes or needs to go into "facility," sell house for say ~600k, ~150k pay off mortgage, ~300k back to wife and me, ~150k left for heirs. Obviously all with legal documents in place.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by dodecahedron »

In some parts of the country, a duplex (side-by-side) town house arrangement might be ideal. Your dad could live in and own his own unit, you and your wife could live in and own your own unit. Fee simple ownership for each of you.

I grew up in a brick duplex in DC. My folks owned one side and a parade of various completely unrelated people owned the other side. No HOA dues or anything. My parents did cooperate with their neighbor on some projects where it made sense to do so. E.g., when our neighbors wanted to hire a painter to repaint their wood trim, my parents decide to join in and have our side painted by the same guy at the same time, who gave them a discount for the joint work. We got along well. Pretty much everyone on our whole block lived in duplex units like ours and it seemed to be a very harmonious arrangement in general. (There was one oddball single family home at one end of the block and a high rise apartment, maybe 10 floors, at the other end. But otherwise, just a long row of duplexes.)

Later when I was a married grownup in another city in the northeast, my husband and I bought a townhouse unit fee simple in an end unit in a triplex. The other two units were owned independently by unrelated parties. Again, no HOA or anything. But when we all decided it was time to have homes restained, we negotiated a contract with a painting contractor that was probably cheaper and simpler than if we had independently contracted three separate jobs. Next to our triplex was a duplex like I had grown up in.

Things seemed to work out quite copacetically in general for everyone in our neighborhood.

It seems to me that such an arrangement could be ideal for you and your dad. No financial entanglements but you are right next door and each of you can have a modicum of privacy and independence but you can easily monitor everything with something like Amazon Echo Show devices or whatever. After his eventual passing, his unit can be sold off and you can stay in yours or sell it and move to something that suits you better at that point.

In some places, an upper/lower flat condo arrangement might make sense, with your dad being on the first floor (no stairs for him) and you and your wife upstairs. But again, each of you owns your own unit and has some independence and autonomy and privacy.
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dodecahedron
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by dodecahedron »

BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:14 pm Dad lives in 55+ "manufactured home" community. He owns the house free and clear, but could probably only clear $150k on the sale. He also pays $1600/month HOA (it's a pretty exclusive place, and he can walk to the beach, so yeah...)
Hmm, another thought. If dad´s place is so nice, why don´t you and your wife sell your home and buy (or rent) another modestly priced manufactured home in his community?
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Your father is 91.

I think this situation screams rent an apartment!

The thing is your father may have a short time before you have to perhaps move him into assisted living.

Then you and yours have a way too large home to deal with, unless you want a larger home for yourself.

He might be just fine if you can find a small apartment near where you live. You can check on him easily, and you could help him. As well if he needs a little more help you can hire health aides for a few hours.

He has to move anyway, but if you rent him an spartment, you don't have to move at all.

This would be a cheaper option by far, IMHO.

I think co-mingling finances would be a bad idea for all.


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mkc
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by mkc »

BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:31 pm Estate planning obviously something we'll need to work on.

Dad's will currently lists me, my sister, and our deceased brother as heirs. Wife and I have no kids, sis has two, and brother has two who I suppose are now heirs?
Dad's will should be updated now. Even if his intention is for your deceased brother's kids to inherit his share, this needs to be made explicit. Otherwise you are relying on the law of the state he lives in.

Also, no, to using $150K from the sale of your dad's house to purchase one in your name. That would be considered a gift from him to you and you will need to file a gift tax form. The $150K would continue to be countable as his assets for up to 5 years (depending on the state) for Medicaid lookback. And in your proposal, when you sold, distributing that $150K would be a gift from you to whoever you gave it to, again requiring gift tax filing. Likely there would be arguing if the home sold for more (who gets/how to distribute the profit or if you sold at a loss, who was responsible for absorbing the loss). Don't go down that road - lesser issues have torn families apart.

You really need an estate planning attorney before making any of these decisions.

The suggestion of renting Dad an apartment near you (if that's where he wants to be) is a good one. And keeping his financials completely separate from yours.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by muddlehead »

@BlindPursuit


So. Dad's estate divided by 3. Your dad has 800k savings plus 150k from sale of his home. 950k divided by 3 is 316k to you and your wife.
Take the 316k with all the money you muster from elsewhere and buy a house for all of you in your wife's and your name only.. Sounds like he has the income to pay for himself in his new home with you and your wife.
Sounds easy to me.
What am I missing?
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Stinky »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:48 pm Your father is 91.

I think this situation screams rent an apartment!

The thing is your father may have a short time before you have to perhaps move him into assisted living.

Then you and yours have a way too large home to deal with, unless you want a larger home for yourself.

He might be just fine if you can find a small apartment near where you live. You can check on him easily, and you could help him. As well if he needs a little more help you can hire health aides for a few hours.

He has to move anyway, but if you rent him an spartment, you don't have to move at all.

This would be a cheaper option by far, IMHO.

I think co-mingling finances would be a bad idea for all.


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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Sandtrap »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:48 pm Your father is 91.

I think this situation screams rent an apartment!

The thing is your father may have a short time before you have to perhaps move him into assisted living.

Then you and yours have a way too large home to deal with, unless you want a larger home for yourself.

He might be just fine if you can find a small apartment near where you live. You can check on him easily, and you could help him. As well if he needs a little more help you can hire health aides for a few hours.

He has to move anyway, but if you rent him an spartment, you don't have to move at all.

This would be a cheaper option by far, IMHO.

I think co-mingling finances would be a bad idea for all.


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This👍👍

Also, Dad should seek legal counsel for estate planning.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by go_mets »

BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:32 pm Dad lives in California, wife and I are in New Jersey. Dad moved to CA a few years ago to care for my brother. Now that my brother is gone there is no reason for him to be out there. We have a sister who lives near him now and checks in on him regularly. Dad is currently very self-sufficient and capable of caring for himself but the question is for how long?
Keep as is since your sister is near him.
Set up some sort of in-the-home cameras for your sister and you to "check in" on him.
A co-worker does this.

Move into assisted living when the time comes.

Neither California nor NJ will be "cheap" when it comes to assisted living or memory care.
delamer
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by delamer »

BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:31 pm Very interesting and helpful replies so far, thanks.

I am hearing clearly don't commingle finances or ownership, and keep Dad's savings for his own long-term-care needs.

Estate planning obviously something we'll need to work on.

Dad's will currently lists me, my sister, and our deceased brother as heirs. Wife and I have no kids, sis has two, and brother has two who I suppose are now heirs?

Suppose we do this:

Wife and I buy new home in our names for ~$600k: ~150k from sale of Dad's house, ~300k from sale of ours, and ~150k mortgage. If/when Dad passes or needs to go into "facility," sell house for say ~600k, ~150k pay off mortgage, ~300k back to wife and me, ~150k left for heirs. Obviously all with legal documents in place.
At the height of the Great Recession, our house would have sold for about 25% less than its previous maximum value.

So what happens if the house is only worth $450,000 when you sell? How does the residual get split?

Your father is 90, with a family history of dementia. It would be one thing to buy a house together if you wanted to keep him at home as his cognitive abilities decline. But you say that you expect to move him to an assisted living/memory care facility when that happens.

So find a place where he can move now which offers higher levels of care as needed. Better to be in a familiar home as he continues to slip than to have to adjust to a new place as he gets more and more confused. With $800K in liquid assets plus the house, he should be able to afford a decent facility.

Good luck.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by TN_Boy »

delamer wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:24 am
BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:31 pm Very interesting and helpful replies so far, thanks.

I am hearing clearly don't commingle finances or ownership, and keep Dad's savings for his own long-term-care needs.

Estate planning obviously something we'll need to work on.

Dad's will currently lists me, my sister, and our deceased brother as heirs. Wife and I have no kids, sis has two, and brother has two who I suppose are now heirs?

Suppose we do this:

Wife and I buy new home in our names for ~$600k: ~150k from sale of Dad's house, ~300k from sale of ours, and ~150k mortgage. If/when Dad passes or needs to go into "facility," sell house for say ~600k, ~150k pay off mortgage, ~300k back to wife and me, ~150k left for heirs. Obviously all with legal documents in place.
At the height of the Great Recession, our house would have sold for about 25% less than its previous maximum value.

So what happens if the house is only worth $450,000 when you sell? How does the residual get split?

Your father is 90, with a family history of dementia. It would be one thing to buy a house together if you wanted to keep him at home as his cognitive abilities decline. But you say that you expect to move him to an assisted living/memory care facility when that happens.

So find a place where he can move now which offers higher levels of care as needed. Better to be in a familiar home as he continues to slip than to have to adjust to a new place as he gets more and more confused. With $800K in liquid assets plus the house, he should be able to afford a decent facility.

Good luck.
OP, I agree with delamer. Buying a larger house and moving him across country for a stay which might be pretty short (91 and dementia developing?) seems like a terrible idea for a boatload of reasons. And your last suggestion of using money from the sale of dads house to help pay for a new $600k house is just another way of mingling finances. All those house transactions cost real money -- moving costs, closing costs, lawyer costs and so forth. Does that come out of your pocket or your dad's pocket?

Unless you are willing to take your dad in and care for him even if he requires a great deal of help for a long time, buying a house doesn't make sense. I think that is the main point people are trying to make. And that's true whether you mingle finances or not (and it doesn't sound like you can avoid intermixing the finances).

If his dementia gets worse - and it may already be worse than you think, if you don't see him every day and observe carefully his ability to do things - he will need somebody around 24x7. Which is why a care facility is the option most families take with dementia if at all possible.

If you wait until he gets worse, everything is harder and you'll have to make all the decisions. Or you and your sister. Why not consider, as delamer suggests, moving him to a nice facility -- maybe near where he currently lives, with your sister managing things (you always want a family member keeping up with things, no matter how good the facility is). I would suggest making really sure you understand completely his ability to manage things now -- bills, taxes, medications ..... does he still drive? If so, should he be driving?
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by egrets »

mkc wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:56 pm
BlindPursuit wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:31 pm Estate planning obviously something we'll need to work on.

Dad's will currently lists me, my sister, and our deceased brother as heirs. Wife and I have no kids, sis has two, and brother has two who I suppose are now heirs?
Dad's will should be updated now. Even if his intention is for your deceased brother's kids to inherit his share, this needs to be made explicit. Otherwise you are relying on the law of the state he lives in.
Maybe the will already says that. Mine does. The OP should read the will before forking out money for a new one.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Why have you not considered an assisted living facility either where he is now or near you? Ideally, you'd want one with a step into nursing home. My wife's aunt is in an assisted living facility now. Once moved there, with the help of the elder attorney's office, the house was sold (which was asbestos held together with lead paint, DDT and knob and tube wiring. That money is now being used to private pay the ALF. The facility requires a number of years private pay and then will accept the retirement income she has (a state pension, and an annuity payment). This is common in facilities near us but you need to ask.

I find the idea of selling your house and buying one twice as expensive as sort of "out there".

If he's not yet ready for an assisted living facility, leave him where he is.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Camp Shore »

Question: What does Dad want to do?

My own mother just turned 94. She lives alone (part time caregivers come in most days) in her own home, despite being unable to walk. Brother and I live in neighboring states, a 5 hour drive for him and 9 or so for me. She refuses to come live with DH and I. So, until she really can't get out of bed, or until there's some obvious dementia, she gets what she wants.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Gnirk »

Your dad lives in a nice 55+ community in California, and your sister lives nearby, and can check in on him. I think these questions should be discussed with your sister, and your dad:

is your dad happy where he currently lives?
Does he have a good circle of friends in his neighborhood?
Does he want to leave his friends and environment and move across the country?
How does your sister feel about your plans to use his funds to help you buy a larger house, and move him across the country?
Has he been diagnosed with dementia by a neurologist specializing in dementia? If so, a move across country could accelerate his decline.
Who has Medical Durable Power of Attorney for him?
Who has Financial Durable power of Attorney for him?

IMHO, it would be better to find him assisted living near him when care is needed, rather than move him across the country. Your sister could still check in on him, and visit regularly.

My mom had Alzheimer's and lived in a private care home with two other residents, which specialized in caring for those with dementia. It cost less than a nursing home, and I was able to visit her often.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by alfaspider »

Gnirk wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:25 pm

My mom had Alzheimer's and lived in a private care home with two other residents, which specialized in caring for those with dementia. It cost less than a nursing home, and I was able to visit her often.
That seems like a nice environment. The larger memory care and nursing facilities I've visited always seem so cold and institutional.
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Poor Rod »

I recently went through this with my own father. In his case, the family started to see small signs of real problems about six or so months before it was clear that he just couldn't stay at home. And when that happened, things happened quickly. If you plan on one certain thing (such as buying a house and having him move in) it will be overcome by events and you may find that what you were planning on isn't going to work. One thing that was a bit of a surprise was the waiting list at some assisted living facilities. And people with dementia really need 24/7 care. You may think you can do it, but I would bet that you would quickly find out otherwise.

What you are planning is a half-measure, very likely to be of use for a short amount of time, harder to do than you expect, and only delays going in to a long term care facility. Rather than do that, I suggest concentrating on finding a facility that will be able to take care of him and securing a spot there, even if it just puts him on a waiting list. Then let him live where he is now, until it is clear that he just can't any longer and make the move then to the long term care facility. Until then, make sure he gets daily visits from family and health care workers.


Edit: the last line about daily visits is for when the dementia starts to be detrimental to his well being.
Planner01
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Planner01 »

Would having one more person move in really trigger for a bigger house? If so, why don’t you just purchase it yourself, instead of trying to take your dad’s money (possibly future inheritance)?
Is it really necessary to move him across country when he’s comfortable in California in a place he likes with your sister checking up on him?

In your posts it sounds like the main objective is to distribute the inheritance sooner than later and your dad’s care as an added benefit, rather than the other way around.
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BlindPursuit
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BlindPursuit »

Wow, I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of all of your replies. Thank you all for your help.

I personally feel that Dad already has the ideal situation, as many of you have noted: small, manageable place of his own; sister nearby for help as needed; and a good chunk of savings ready for when the time comes.

The wrench in the works is that Dad misses New Jersey and everything he left behind here. He has only been in California for a few years and it's not really "home" for him. My sister is more than willing to go on with the current arrangement but feels sorry for Dad. So we are scrambling to figure out a way for him to come back here if we can't convince him that he's better off there.

I thought by pooling our resources we could come up with a comfortable arrangement for all of us, but you all did a good job of talking me off that ledge!
megabad
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by megabad »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Wed Jul 22, 2020 7:48 pm I think this situation screams rent an apartment!
I actually agree with this if father is amenable to it (that is a big if). That way it would be a much simpler process if he wanted to move back to NJ.
Broken Man 1999
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Maybe the sister could look for an apartment near to her, and she could keep an eye on him.

No idea if an apartment in NJ and later on when needed an assisted living facility in NJ would be financially a better choice than the same setup in CA.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go. " -Mark Twain
Gnirk
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by Gnirk »

alfaspider wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:56 pm
Gnirk wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 12:25 pm

My mom had Alzheimer's and lived in a private care home with two other residents, which specialized in caring for those with dementia. It cost less than a nursing home, and I was able to visit her often.
That seems like a nice environment. The larger memory care and nursing facilities I've visited always seem so cold and institutional.
She received amazing care, almost one-to-one. We were very fortunate.
BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

BlindPursuit wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:27 pm Wow, I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of all of your replies. Thank you all for your help.

.

The wrench in the works is that Dad misses New Jersey and everything he left behind here. He has only been in California for a few years and it's not really "home" for him. My sister is more than willing to go on with the current arrangement but feels sorry for Dad. So we are scrambling to figure out a way for him to come back here if we can't convince him that he's better off there.
As a long time member of an elder care forum (www.agingcare.com, awesome folks) I am always struck by the large number of elders, very often those just starting to develop "cognitive slippage" who talk constantly about "going home". "Home" is often this idealized place, likely the place where they were young and strong and vital.

I would be wary about making a move like this without a more thorough and professional assessment of your dad's day to day needs and cognitive capabilities. Moving, even a highly desired move, can be very disorienting to a person with cognitive decline.

Best wishes to you; you sound like you have a wonderful family that works together. That is precious.
BarbBrooklyn | "The enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."
MrsBDG
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by MrsBDG »

Be aware that when seniors are losing their grip, things can change quickly. My mother lived with us for nearly a decade, it was the right thing to do, but if she'd lived much longer I would have had to move her to a board and care home. Her dementia issues became overwhelming the last 18 months we only managed because I work from home and because I had just handled the in laws in assorted care homes and fully understood that them being in a care situation does not necessarily make things better for the caregiving child, just different. Having had upwards of 30 calls a day some times, I was quite aware I would be expected to drive to see my mother near daily and get lots of calls.

Changing a known environment can cause the dementia to appear to accelerate, but I think it is just that in their familiar space they could cover many ADLs without thinking, once they have to think about where the bathroom is, where the dresser it, just a new way to do everything, then others can see how the senior was barely holding it together.

I've seen many on senior care chat forums jump through all sorts of hoops to make things work for Mom or Dad only to have everything change before or soon after they fully implement the new plan. You have no way to know if he might die in months or last to 100 remain independent for years, or lose his bearings quite soon. Stay flexible and ready for change.
TN_Boy
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Re: Buying a House with Elderly Parent: Many Questions...

Post by TN_Boy »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 9:04 pm
BlindPursuit wrote: Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:27 pm Wow, I am overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and generosity of all of your replies. Thank you all for your help.

.

The wrench in the works is that Dad misses New Jersey and everything he left behind here. He has only been in California for a few years and it's not really "home" for him. My sister is more than willing to go on with the current arrangement but feels sorry for Dad. So we are scrambling to figure out a way for him to come back here if we can't convince him that he's better off there.
As a long time member of an elder care forum (www.agingcare.com, awesome folks) I am always struck by the large number of elders, very often those just starting to develop "cognitive slippage" who talk constantly about "going home". "Home" is often this idealized place, likely the place where they were young and strong and vital.

I would be wary about making a move like this without a more thorough and professional assessment of your dad's day to day needs and cognitive capabilities. Moving, even a highly desired move, can be very disorienting to a person with cognitive decline.

Best wishes to you; you sound like you have a wonderful family that works together. That is precious.
I agree with BarbBrooklyn. It's unlikely your dad can really "go home" again. His past friendships and relationships probably can't just be picked up. He'd be living in a different place in a different neighborhood. I suspect he would need a lot of help getting around (which means BlindPursuit and family might wind up doing a lot of driving).

You really need to figure out where he is at. He is going to need an increasing amount of help. A family member should be involved in managing day to day stuff. That could be you or your sister in CA. Nothing said in this thread makes it sound like moving to NJ is a good idea. His wishes are important, but honoring those wishes might not make a darn bit of sense. Unfortunate but reality.

And yes the "want to go home" request is a sad plea from many with dementia. No place they are at feels right.
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