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.
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.
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?