Selling a Home to Someone with Dementia - What Would You Do?

By
Real Estate Agent with Aspen Lane Real Estate

Today I Googled “Selling a Home to Someone with Dementia” and there were dozens of articles about WHEN to sell the home of an elderly family member who has dementia, how to prepare them for a move into a nursing home or assisted living facility, but NOTHING about selling a home TO someone that has signs of Dementia.

 

This topic has really put a lot of wheels-a-turning in my head and I am sure that the comments I receive from this blog will be completely mixed. I myself have not decided what I think is best.

 

We were recently introduced to a lovely woman who has been working in the same job for almost 20 years. She is probably in her mid to late 60’s (perhaps even early 70’s) and has a great smile. She wants to buy her first house. She is single, no children, and has some cash stashed away that she would like to invest in her very own real estate. We love this new client and enjoyed our first showing outing with her. The thing is … I think she may have a little bit of dementia. I can’t quite place my finger on it, but there was just something a bit “off”. She repeated herself a number of times, asked some odd questions that really came out of left field, and just seemed to be a bit dazed and confused during SOME of the time we spent together.

 dementia

Yesterday I left her a message telling her we had found another property for her to look at – she just called me back and seemed slightly confused as to who I am and why I was calling her with potential homes to buy. Once I reminded her she was so eager to get out to the place and check it out! She is really sharp most of the time as we have seen so far, but has this small moments. 

 

Finding myself in this situation is very difficult and very sad. My grandmother had dementia and as she grew older it became worse and worse – eventually she was unable to identify her family members, was not sure where she was, had terrible daymares and nightmares and could not care for herself. My family stepped in to help her as best they could, eventually selling her home and moving her into a nursing home was the only option. She passed away about 2 years ago now.  It is estimated that more than 5 million Americans are living with dementia/Alzheimer’s and 1 in 3 seniors will pass away from it.

 DEMENTIA

I know that our new client is not at this stage of the sickness, or maybe she doesn’t have it at all, but something is just telling me it’s not the best idea for her to buy a home at this stage in her life. On the other hand, who am I to make that call .. maybe this is just part of her natural character and I would feel remiss for assuming something different.

 

 

What would you do if this were your client?  

Posted by

Erin Bates

Aspen Lane Real Estate

Marketing and Business Development

“A thought is a Cosmic Order waiting to happen” – Stephen Richards

ErinBates1204@gmail.com

 

 

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Topic:
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dementia in america
selling a home to someone with dementia
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Rainmaker
311,002
John G. Johnston
An Exclusive Buyer's Agent ~ Westcliffe, CO
John G. Johnston & Associates, LLC

Erin  WOW!  What a great question.  I disagree with almost everyone above as a family member without power of attorney might have 'other' interests at heart.  The ONLY person I would accept their advice is their doctor.  I have taken closing docs to a hospital room only to listen to family members begging the person not to sign a contract.  Their doctor said their patient was competent and the patient (my client) signed with medical staff as witnesses.  The patient commented "I may never leave this hospital but I like the thought of knowing I have someplace to call home".  Think about it!

October 04, 2013 02:19 PM
Ambassador
651,881
Debb Janes
Realtor, Camas, Washington EcoBroker
The Carl Group, LLC

Oh boy, oh boy. This is a tough one for sure Erin. I'm not sure what the right answer is for this one. I do think I'd try to find out if she has family around. They might be helpful - or not. One never knows!  Be sure to follow up on this one - I'm curious as to how you resolve it.  A true dilemna.

October 05, 2013 12:17 PM
Rainer
64,373
Jerry Lucas
Colorado Springs Mobile Notary, CO Notary Training
ABC Legal Docs LLC

Medical records are confidential and protected by HIPAA laws.  Be careful not to violate any laws out of curiosity or detective work.  Medical professionals should not be releasing patient information without written authorization.

October 05, 2013 05:08 PM
Rainmaker
460,163
Elyse Berman, PA, ABR, GRI, Realtor
Boca Raton, Delray & Highland Beach - 561-716-7824
Realty Associates Florida Properties, Boca Raton, FL

Erin,  I read through all the answers and there are some very good suggestions, but I am most inclined to agree with Cheryl.   If she has no family but holds a job and is approved for a loan, I would talk to her attorney.  If she doesn't have one, she needs to get one.   My mother has dementia.  It is possible that she's having a negative reaction to medication.    We just don't know.  I would give her the benefit of the doubt until you've probed further.   Good luck!

October 14, 2013 06:14 PM
Rainer
64,373
Jerry Lucas
Colorado Springs Mobile Notary, CO Notary Training
ABC Legal Docs LLC

In Colorado, the definition of an incapacitated person is:

  • Incapacitated person-  An adult person who lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning that person's physical health, safety, or self-care, even with appropriate and reasonably available technological assistance.

There is some good information on dementia and Alzheimer's disease at the Alzheimer's Association website www.alz.org

 

October 16, 2013 04:39 PM
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Rainmaker
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Erin Bates

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