Dementia: Tough Doesn't Begin To Describe It

by Mark In Maryland

Reverse Mortgage Story

My wife and I moved in with my mother-in-law in May of 2016, and it has derailed my own retirement and consumed my wife completely. Her mother needs 24/7 care as she has totally detached from reality.

We got rid of our second vehicle because one of us has to be here every minute. And if you want to really hear how bad it can get, my M-I-L had a live-in significant other for 32 years. He was 91 and taking care of this woman by himself when he died in April of last year. The home they shared and owned jointly had no mortgage.

When he was 90 and she 88 he got this crazy idea from a buddy at his American Legion that they needed money to replace a very old heat pump, so instead of taking out a small home equity loan against the house he got scammed by AAG into a doing a full-blown reverse mortgage.

My M-I-L just signed what he told her to sign and had no earthly idea what it was about, and they borrowed $26,000 EACH that they didn't need at a cost to them of $8,100! Of course the AAG rep told them it was no big deal because it would just be added to their outstanding loan. But here's what he didn't tell her: that if her live-in died first, his $26,000 plus his half of the $8,100 plus accrued interest along the way WOULD BE HER RESPONSIBILITY! Which of course is exactly what happened. And she never told my wife about this situation.

When we investigated moving my M-I-L into the Alzheimers unit of a local nursing home, we were told very casually that if my wife applied for Medicaid on her mother's behalf to pay for the nursing home, the state of Maryland would take her house upon her death to pay the monthly difference between the actual cost of care of $11,000 and the amount Medicaid would cover, about $1,200!

So to make a long story bearable, my M-I-L either has to die in this house or in a hospital, or we are out on the street, literally.

Reverse mortgages should be made illegal for anyone over the age of 65 and the whole industry should be shamed into extinction. So once again, hang in there, as it's the only thing we can do to retain what little sanity we have left.

Comments for Dementia: Tough Doesn't Begin To Describe It

Click here to add your own comments

Reverse Mortgage
by: Ken San Diego

After seeing infomercials about Reverse Mortgages with spokesperson like Henry Winkler? (HELLO? MC FLY! He only has a net worth of $20M) I would NEVER get a reverse mortgage!

My bank, Wells Fargo offered me a line of credit for over $150K I told them ... I would never need it... but I started using it .. then for about 10 years they STOP you from taking advances (which is ok) and now I make monthly payments on that)

I enjoyed the use of the money .. my home is paid off for decades so... anyways ... everyone have a great day (... <--------- sorry for all the dots...bad habit! ;-)

by: Sherry/ NC

Wendy is right, Reverse Mortgage can be a good thing.

Please no matter what you do think about it before you do it and give yourself time to think and seek
a professional you can trust and ask a LOT of questions? I always write my ?s down on paper and think about them and google your ?s!! Research your ?s. This is what I do.

Reverse Mortgages are not bad news...
by: Wendy

Sometimes, reverse mortgages work well. It all depends on the retirees circumstances, right?

If you want to age at home, and need the income, why not? Yes, there is less (or none) left for an inheritance -- but seniors do need to also care for themselves. Many cannot work at McDonalds or anywhere.

This does need an educated approach. Reverse mortgages are not for everyone and elderly retirees should be counselled appropriately... instead of being taken by inscrupulous bankers, but it can work for some!

I hate what happened to Mark -- but sometimes Reverse Mortgages actually SAVE the retiree from losing a home. Right?

It's not all bad... only when scammers don't explain it all and when misunderstanding elderly sesniors don't seek out the proper guidance.

Just another view...

by: Sherry/ NC

Dear Mark, I am so sorry this has happened to you and your wife and your MIL! too!! This is not your MIL fault. Her live in did not understand
what the Rev. Mort. was all about. He was elderly and he was scammed!! It is a fact of life now here in the U.S. Your MIL could not speak for herself and the lender at AAG took advantage of both of them!! Have you talked to an Atty.? I would.
You and your wife are doing the right thing by her mother!

Good luck!!

financial danger
by: Anonymous

Reverse mortgages are bad news. Work hard, pay off your home if you have one and leave it paid off with no loan. If you need money for something and you don't have it get a job, any job, work at McDonalds if you have to, to pay it off.

If you can't afford your home don't get a reverse mortgage, sell the home and figure out something else.

I am so sorry but why is the situation your problem and not your in laws?

Help and Resources
by: Sand

Mark - I have been involved in some of what you describe (not the reverse mortgage) when caring for my parents. I have some suggestions:

Contact the Maryland Department of Aging - they have resources to help you.

I am in Rochester, NY and blessed to have a great elder resource - I hope Maryland is the same. They may even have an estate planning attorney at a reduced rate or one they can suggest. If not, get one.

Contact the Alzheimers Association in your area. Again, another great resource for you. Both you and your wife will need it. Caring for someone with dementia will eventually affect your health and your wife's, not to mention that you are spending your precious years on this earth not being able to do what you want. Find the right balance of caring for her but creating your own life. I think help is out there.

Please let us know how you are doing. This is a difficult road, which many of us have traveled. Hopefully, you will get some good advice from others, too. Blessings.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).