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.