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Moving house at 80

(20 Posts)
Foxglove77 Fri 26-Jun-20 15:05:49

My mother lives alone after my father died last year. Her house is extremely run down and also full of stuff as they lived there for 60 years bringing up 4 children. It is on a large plot and my brother has secured a buyer who will demolish and develop. I have taken Mum to view some 2 bed bungalows so that she can downsize and be more comfortable with some capital to live on. Although Mum is physically healthy her mind is not great and her short term memory is poor. She is very unsettled about the proposed move and I worry how she will cope. The bungalow is only a mile from her current home and I have visions of her going back to her current house! We don't want her to spend another winter there as the roof leaks and there is a rodent problem as well as the the hoarding by my father. Had anyone else had this issue?

janeainsworth Fri 26-Jun-20 15:12:37

No. But the one thing you don’t mention is how your mother feels about it all.
Recently bereaved, and you and your brother not only want her to move house, but you’re set on demolishing her home of 60 years. Have you actually asked her what she wants?
Sorry if that sounds harsh and impractical, but if my children did that to me I’d be distraught.

Callistemon Fri 26-Jun-20 15:21:54

Can you not help her to clear some of the hoarded stuff, especially as there are four of you - does some of it belong to the four of you? Get rid of the rats as a matter of urgency and adapt the house to suit her needs?
Can she afford to get the roof repaired?

Does she have no say in the matter at all?
Who benefits from this sale, your mother or you and your brother who is so keen to demolish the home where he grew up?

I must admit I'd be pretty upsetif my children rode roughshod over what I wanted to do without consulting me.

If the time comes when she can't manage and needs care then the house, if properly maintained, could provide the money for her care.

EllanVannin Fri 26-Jun-20 15:23:04

This is far too quick a decision and could have lasting effects. It doesn't seem to be the right thing to do at the moment, but those are my thoughts.

kittylester Fri 26-Jun-20 15:24:44

I have to agree with Jane plus moving someone with short term memory problems is a recipe for disaster unless it is absolutely necessary.

Could you persuade her to go into some sort of sheltered living if you really think she should move from her home? Could you get a lifetime mortgage on her property to do the repairs?

I would think very carefully as you could be making a rod for your own backs.

AGAA4 Fri 26-Jun-20 16:03:18

Moving someone from their familiar surroundings who has memory loss could cause more problems than just making her current home safer.

My own mum moved when she was 80 (her own choice) but never settled in her brand new bungalow.

NotSpaghetti Fri 26-Jun-20 16:16:33

I know you are asking for an opinion here on Gransnet or you wouldn't have posted.
I would say, please listen to the niggle in your own mind. If your mother's memory is such that she may go back to the site of her old home, is she safe to live alone?

Happygirl79 Fri 26-Jun-20 16:17:13

Be very careful if your mum doesn't buy in to the house move.. It may very well unsettle her if its forced upon her
Ultimately it has to be her decision
Can't you help her with the leaking roof and rodent problems?

NotSpaghetti Fri 26-Jun-20 16:18:21

She may be safer, as AGAA4 says if you could find a way to make her existing home more appropriate to her needs.

Welshwife Fri 26-Jun-20 16:49:54

I am almost the age of your mother and I would be pleased to do that - would find it very liberating!

Obviously your mum will need help with emptying the house and if that can be done then a couple of skips will help enormously.
I have a relative who is in her 60s and she has just gone through the process of emptying over 30 years of ‘stuff’ from a large house. She and her husband have used the lockdown time to go through everything and be ruthless. She has come across a few gems from things she got from the old family home and just put away. I know they filled two skips and by now it could be more!
Talk to your mum and listen to what she has to say - could you or a sibling be able to have her join a household? Does she have friends in the bungalow area? A lot to think about but financial security for her would be great.
I have sympathy with you because our children would like us to move from our house because it is getting too big - mainly the garden- to manage. DH is sort of in agreement but needs to think about it for longer and I need to stay in this area to continue with after cancer care for a bit longer. DH is also dreading the sorting out of his tool sheds etc!!!

Foxglove77 Fri 26-Jun-20 17:03:12

Mum has told us all she can't cope with the leaking roof/flooding/rats etc and said a little bungalow would suit her if it was in the same area. She also wants her dog to stay with her and is adamant she doesn't want to go into care. My brothers are not local so I see her every day and will continue to do so. The stuff is mostly heavy old furniture as my father was an antique restorer but there is no market for this anymore. The sale proceeds are being invested for Mum. We can't leave her in the house. Dad was adamant he was never leaving and became aggressive if we tried to reason. Mums doctor is very pleased that a buyer has been secured and she can move to a safe dry home.

mrsgreenfingers56 Fri 26-Jun-20 17:06:26

My mother moved at the age of 86 from a huge bungalow to a much smaller one. It has certainly been the right move for her but oh boy the stuff she had saved! People who lived through a war seemed to have saved every screw, piece of string, total junk, etc. "It might come in" You know the idea!

My husband and I had to clear bags and bags of stuff, we did 9 trips to the tip and I took all the bedding, curtains, linen etc to the charity shop which took me about 6 weeks to do every time I went into town. I nearly fell out with mum over the clearing as she said she wanted it all! What a job and to be honest I think I found the sorting out of the big bungalow more stressful than mum! But we got there in the end and she is much happier in a smaller property and nearer the shops and her friends. Good luck Foxglove 77.

Foxglove77 Fri 26-Jun-20 17:08:14

Welshwife thank you! Your words are very helpful smile

Foxglove77 Fri 26-Jun-20 17:13:11

Mrsgreenfingers56 thank you too! Mum has started sorting and found some lovely childhood photos. I am so pleased your Mum is happy now. The bungalow we are looking at is very close to the shops too.

Luckylegs Fri 26-Jun-20 17:17:44

I moved my mum after my dad died. It was the right thing as her door opened onto a main road and anyone could have walked in day or night. There were three floors which I was petrified of her falling down. No central heating, no phone upstairs, she was deteriorating and confused..... I really thought I was doing the right thing for her. I put her in sheltered housing very near her old home, with activities going on etc but she never settled, hated it, went wandering around in the night. I don’t want to worry you but I just wish I’d left her there. I’ve got millions of regrets but that’s one of them. Could you arrange to get one of the houses to be built on the plot for her perhaps?

Callistemon Fri 26-Jun-20 17:21:18

Foxglove77

Mum has told us all she can't cope with the leaking roof/flooding/rats etc and said a little bungalow would suit her if it was in the same area. She also wants her dog to stay with her and is adamant she doesn't want to go into care. My brothers are not local so I see her every day and will continue to do so. The stuff is mostly heavy old furniture as my father was an antique restorer but there is no market for this anymore. The sale proceeds are being invested for Mum. We can't leave her in the house. Dad was adamant he was never leaving and became aggressive if we tried to reason. Mums doctor is very pleased that a buyer has been secured and she can move to a safe dry home.

Thank you for the further information which puts a different light on things if your mother is keen to move.

It's so sad about the antique furniture, that everyone prefers soul less modern stuff these days!

Sparkling Sat 27-Jun-20 05:07:42

Is a bungalow not going to involve gardening and maintenance? I would think it's easier than an old house in need of loads of work, but even a bungalow needs to be looked after. I would have thought a retire the sportsmen with someone on site would be better mid eighties.

Calendargirl Sat 27-Jun-20 08:17:03

Just read this thread for the first time. I understand about your mum’s memory etc., but I don’t agree with others saying to try and renovate the house for her to stay in. From how you describe it, it needs gutting.

Far better to help her de junk and de clutter, then move into a small, manageable bungalow. Someone raised the issue of a garden. Well, she could have a gardener to do the work, and she could enjoy it, if she had a bit of capital behind her.

I hope it all works out well for you all.

Foxglove77 Sat 27-Jun-20 18:39:25

Calendargirl thank you. The new bungalow has just enough garden for her dog, laid to lawn. Mum currently lives on her state pension with no capital so it should be a blessing for her to buy all new furniture and fittings for her new venture without worrying about bills. The old house is fit for nothing but demolition.

lemongrove Sat 27-Jun-20 18:48:46

Sparkling

Is a bungalow not going to involve gardening and maintenance? I would think it's easier than an old house in need of loads of work, but even a bungalow needs to be looked after. I would have thought a retire the sportsmen with someone on site would be better mid eighties.

I agree...and I like the sound of those sportsmen😉😊