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Mum is thinking of residential care - Carers UK Forum

Mum is thinking of residential care

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My mum is increasingly frail, she's never had good health, too many problems to list. Last night, she told me that she is thinking of selling her house and going into residential care. Mum is so frail that she can't even brush her own hair, so needs someone else to do all the work. I would like to hear from anyone who has been left the job of sorting out their parents house, in preparation for sale, when a parent is still alive. I'm OK with the process of looking at care homes etc. (40 years ago I was a social worker for the elderly) BUT my mum has a huge bungalow absolutely crammed full of "stuff" which she has hoarded for 65 years, and is very emotionally attached to. On one occasion I even had to sell some of her furniture before she was discharged from hospital just so that she could get round the house with a Zimmer frame. I'm widowed, have a son with LD; and I am not supposed to do any caring for mum at all, due to some serious health issues. I have two brothers, one is seldom in the UK, the other is a single parent running his own business. My eldest son and his partner live with me, expecting their first child any day. He has spent the last 5 years sorting things out after his dad died with an enormous workshop crammed full. After 10 years of people being ill and dying, I so want him to spend this year enjoying fatherhood, not sorting out mum's "stuff". This is my absolute worst nightmare!!!
a lot of charity shops do house clearance,i know you wouldn't benefit from selling the stuff in the house but it would go to a good cause and save you the job of sorting it out.i wish we'd done that when mother in law died because it was never ending,8 transit van loads out of a small bungalow.
Alternatively it might be worth asking for an auction house to take a look at the contents of the property, they would be able to point out anything of value and may well be willing to auction other less valuable items as well in lots, you would be able to agree a reserve on the more valuable items, I am not sure about lots.
If mum wasn't here any more it wouldn't take me long to organise everything on a practical level, that's the easy bit. If you've ever seen any of the recent programmes on Hoarding on TV you will have some idea of the emotions involved in collecting "stuff". My biggest concern is more how to support mum emotionally through the process of parting with her things, choosing what to keep and what to get rid of. Everything is really clean, thank goodness, mostly in two plastic bags with a masking tape label saying what it is and when it was last cleaned (OCD?!). She thinks everything is so valuable and she has been saving all these things as some sort of legacy for my brothers and I. I don't want to hurt her feelings or lie to her, but I don't want her stuff in my little cottage either, there simply isn't room.
i always reckoned my mother in law was like mr treavus out of life of grime,she even had a dead budgie in a box which never quite got buried,i 'd clear out a bit at a time on the pretense of getting the house ready for sale,sneak it out if you have to,but if you try and sell the property cluttered it could cost you £1000's,or wait till mum's in the care home,it's not easy doing it but needs to be done.
Thanks Malc,
Is it going to be kinder to mum to just move her out first, and deal with it afterwards? The potential problem with that is mum saying "What did you do with....?" I just want to be able to be truthful, but not hurt her emotionally.
tell her you've sold what you've sold and the money can pay for trips out for her and the rest tell her it's either gone to help a poor family or a relevant charity relating to her illness,i know lies aren't nice but sometimes a white lie is the best way,she'll then feel good because she's helped people.this is a difficult time for anybody i remember clearing my dad's place out with my sisters when he went in a home,dads memories were also our memories and then there's the feelings that this is nearing the end of somebody's life and all you want to do is turn back the clock and everything be as it was.
I'd sort out the care home first so that Mum knows what she can take with her and that once she has chosen, with perhaps the things she especially wants her family to have (preferably things the family want!) given out, everything else will be gone.
Then when she is settled you can have everything valued and sold separately or lots of firms do house clearances and give you a 'job lot' price.
Alternatively, if you can persuade her before she actually leaves, do the valuation and selling so then she can have the pleasure of giving out her 'bequests' whether material or financial. She might prefer knowing where her treasures went, then the rest of the contents can be sold or given away after.
Thanks Myrtle,
There are so many different aspects of this to consider, and I am keen to do the right thing, so I don't look back with regret in years to come. Since my last posting I've driven a round trip of 100 miles and this has been valuable thinking time. I think first I'll have a chat with mum to try and find out the reason for her change of heart. She's always been very brave but I think the constant pain, disability and strong medication are now taking their toll, I can quite understand that she's fed up with struggling. Her prognosis is so poor that it would be kinder if she fell asleep and didn't wake up one morning. I have very mixed feelings, especially as she is the last of her generation. Fortunately, her financial position is fairly secure, so she could stay in a home for almost 2 years without selling anything at all (I have POA). Day services might be an option, but travelling is so uncomfortable for her. All ideas gratefully received.
Would she consider a live in carer.....company and care at the same time? Image Image