Without warning, Mom’s medical situation takes a significant turn downward and she goes from being independent and on her own, to needing 24/7 care in a very short period of time. The adult children rally to find a short term and long term solution since they don’t know how this will play out in the coming weeks and months ahead.
After the hospital and rehab at a local nursing home, Mom returns home. Initially the children take shifts to address Mom’s immediate care needs. When the children need to go back to work and Mom still cannot be on her own, an in-home caregiver is located and service begins immediately.
As Mom continues therapy, it is clear that taking care of her home is becoming more and more burdensome. Cleaning, yard work, snow removal and maintenance are physically and financially too much to handle. The adult children research and visit several assisted living facilities. Although not quite like home, it feels very comfortable and a contract is signed to begin the move-in process.
Any facility contract will be lengthy and may not make a whole lot of sense to you when you get it. Most importantly, take the time to read it and understand it before Mom signs or you sign on her behalf. If you need professional advice, get it before signing the contract, not afterward.
Since Mom is moving to the facility, and doesn’t plan to return home permanently, the family together decides that Mom should sell the house. Very often this is the only home she has lived in for 40+ years. She lived there with her husband who is now deceased. She raised her family there. Even though the kids are all adults now, she wanted to remain there for the kids in case they need somewhere to go. In short, she wanted to stay in her home for the rest of her life. Mom cannot imagine living anywhere else. This decision is not an easy one to make and Mom may need some time to process this decision. The decision to sell her home can be devastating to someone for whom home ownership was part of the American Dream.
Moving tips include finding a senior-oriented real estate agent, perhaps one who has a Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation for sellers over the age of 50. Also, be sure to get a market analysis and/or financial evaluation of the home. Most importantly, do not commit to a vacate date prior to securing another residence to avoid two moves.
Very likely, Mom will need two attorneys at this point – one to handle the real estate closing and one to handle the elder law issues. The elder law attorney’s focus is on qualifying someone for benefits and maintaining the quality of life through proper planning. Some elder law attorneys can and do handle real estate closings, but it is likely not their specialty.
In the meantime, stay in contact with Mom’s physician while identifying her physical, mental, social and emotionalneeds. You want to gather as much information on available resources to help Mom’s situation while discussing care options with family members and how each can help. Consider professional assessments as needed and eligibility criteria for intermittent skilled home care.
To learn more about your options during this type of transition, Strohschein Law Group is hosting free workshops on May 21st 12:00-1:00 pm and May 23rd 6:00-7:00 pm. RSVP today by calling 630-377-3241 or email Invite@StrohscheinLawGroup.com to get answers to many of your questions and assist you in creating a plan that is valuable to you and your family.