Suzanne is joined by Rebecca Bomann, CEO and founder of SASH Services (Sell a Senior Home), to talk about how to best facilitate a home sale with a loved one who is there with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Previous segments have talked about the journey leading up to mom or dad leaving, not trying to pack up the home while they’re still living there, finding a good place for them to move, and having the legal paperwork in order, as well as surrounding yourself with experienced professionals.
Rebecca says now it’s time for you as the caregiver to delegate the home sale. “The important thing is not to bite off more than you can chew as far as getting the home ready for market. Your first and most important job, that really no one else can do as well as you, is being that power of attorney and caregiver for your loved one. Other people can work on the house, and you don’t necessarily have to have the house be like HGTV in order to sell it. If it’s clean, if it’s empty, if there’s not major repairs to be done, it’s okay if you have pink tile in the bathroom, it’s okay if you have avocado counters in the kitchen, it’s okay if you have a shag rug in the family room. The house will still sell. Save your energy and strength, because you need it for the long haul of being the caregiver and power of attorney.
“We love saying to the family, we’ve got the house sale. We’ll take it from here. So we come in, and we bring in experienced professional downsizers who can sort through all of the things in the home, set aside those sentimental things like photos, and letters, and photo albums, and yearbooks, and wedding dresses, itemize the things that can be monetized to help pay for mom or dad’s care, and empty out the home. Then, we’re a licensed general contractor, so we can come in and do some light updates, or repairs, or a big renovation to help the home sell for top value. Once again, we’re not doing this with the help of the son or daughter. We don’t want them to have to take that on — we’re doing this for them. They can be in another state, another country — they’ve delegated this to us.
“Because SASH was designed to be a service that specifically takes care of the needs of seniors and their families, we started providing cash advances over a decade ago. And so we give the family a cash advance on the future net proceeds of mom or dad’s home sale, sometimes $10,000, $45,000, up to $75,000, and even more. It doesn’t require any credit check. We arrange for it, so it’s not coming up on anyone’s credit, and we want to provide that solution so they can just focus on their role as caregiver for mom or dad, and then hand the home sale over to us. So I always say, build a team of professionals around you who know what they’re doing.
“Moving is a huge mental and emotional adjustment for your loved one, and you’re best served being there for them, not to be out painting walls. One of the things that I always tell caregivers is, “Sometimes you just have to sit down and breathe, take care of yourself,”
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
Welcome to the Answers for Elders Radio show. Meet the trusted experts who will give you straight answers and we’ll help guide you on the path of later life care. Now here’s your host, founder, Caregiver and CEO, Suzanne Newman. – And welcome back everyone to Answers for Elders for Elders Radio Network. And this hour has flown by that here we are to wrap it up, and I’m here with Rebecca Bomann from SASH Services. And Rebecca, these are wonderful tips and you have one last one on helping those that have Alzheimer’s dementia. Absolutely So we’ve been talking about kind of the journey leading up to mom or dad leading not trying to pack up the home, finding a good place for them to move, to having the legal paperwork in order, getting professionals that are experienced in this. Now that mom or dad is placed in their new community, they’re settling in, there’s likely going to be some adjustment period. They may be upset, they may be um disoriented a little bit, they may push back and it’s okay. It takes a few weeks and a couple of months for mom or dad to settle in, so don’t expect them to love it and be super excited, you know, within a couple of days of being there. It takes a while, and I’ve seen some adult children get pretty beat up with guilt and anguish over having to take mom or dad out of their home because they knew mom or dad wanted to stay there. That goes back to what we talked about in the first segment was you were given the authority as power of attorney because you you are going to make the best decisions for them, and you have to trust yourself that you are doing what’s best for them. So then you turn back to Okay, now we’ve got this home that we need to sell. We need to sell it to pay for mom or dad’s care. What should we do with it? Hopefully you’ve picked out a really sensitive, experienced, caring relter to help you with that, and the important thing is not to bite off more than you can chew. As far as getting the home ready for market. Um, a lot of well intentioned families go, let’s renovate the kitchen, Let’s build a deck, you know, let’s tear down this wall and open up the basement, or all these things. You know, your first and most important job that really no one else can do as well as you is being that power of attorney and caregiver for your loved one. Other people can work on the house, other people can take care of it, and you don’t necessarily have to have the house be like h G t V in order to sell it. If it’s clean, if it’s empty, if there’s not major repairs to be done, it’s okay. If you have pink tile in the bathroom, it’s okay. If you have avocado counters and the chen it’s okay. If you have shag rug in the family room. The house will still sell. Save your energy and strength because you need it for the long haul of being the caregiver and car of attorney. Yeah, and you know that’s so valuable because there’s a lot of missing pieces, and you know there’s little things that can be done for a house, but you guys can do those things for them. And that’s the beauty of a program like yours that really set you apart from everybody else. And that’s why we love working with you for sure. Thank you. Yeah. We we love coming in and saying to the family, we got the house sale, we got it. You’re good. You can focus on taking care of mom or dad. We’ll take it from here. So we come in and we bring in experienced professional downsizers who can sort through all of the things in the home, set aside those sentimental things like photos and letters and photo albums and yearbooks and wedding dresses, itemize the things that can be monetized to help pay for mom or dad’s care. Empty out the home. Then of course we’re a licensed general contractor, so we can come in and do some light updates or repairs or a big renovation to help the home sell for top value. Once again, we’re not doing this with the help of the son or daughter. We don’t want them to have to take that on or doing this for them. They can be in another state, another country. They’ve delegated this to us. And then we also have the cash advance, and I think you are talking about how critical that is because there is that emergency or there it comes to that point where mom cannot be in her home another week. It’s not paid for her, but how do we pay for her care? A lot of times they’re having to move out of their home because they don’t have money. They run out of money, and yet they’re cut moving into a care for sil where they have to come up with first and last you know, plus community fee and all kinds of things. And it’s sometimes it’s like ten to fifteen thousand dollars just to move in, just to move in, just to move in on the rules of the of the you know, the community. So how in the world are we gonna pay for moving fees if Mom’s home hasn’t sold yet. Well, because SASH was designed to be a service that specifically takes care of the needs of seniors and their families, we started providing cash advances over a decade ago, and so we give the family a cash advance on the future net proceeds of mom or Dad’s home sale, sometimes ten thousand, thousand, forty five thousand, up to seventy five thousand UM and even more. So they go, Okay, we have the funds to pay for mom’s care. We can wait for the home to get readied and put on the market and sold. I can pay to have my closet fit fitted so I can get you more use in my storage space and my assistant living. I can you know, buy a new smaller table for my kitchen. I can you know buy a smaller bed because I have a kingsize bed, right, So those are little things that can be done that you don’t feel like you’re just panicked, right, And that cash advances that lifeline um And also it doesn’t require any credit check on the part of our clients or their families. We arranged for it, so it’s not coming up on anyone’s credit and we want to provide that solution so they can just you know, focus on their role as caregiver for mom or dad and then handle home sale over to us. And so I always say, you know, build a team of professionals around you who know what they’re doing. Let other people handle it. Higher professional downsize ER’s hire some who can do a great job selling mom or dad’s home. Don’t try to take on all the tasks yourself, because if you burn out, you’ll be no good to your mom or dad who needs you well. And I think the other thing is is it’s a huge mental and emotional adjustment for your loved one and your best served being there for them and through this time not to be out on a you know, where they’re painting the wall or something like that. You have to understand what’s most important for your role. And I think one of the things that I always tell caregivers is sometimes you just have to sit down and breathe, you know, take care of yourself. And that means sometimes having to set boundaries and learning to, you know, to adjust to your schedules so that you’re still being served and you know, realize that you’re not the end all. And part of that is the delegation process, which I love how you’re saying, you know, there’s only so much you can do and this is not a one person job. It’s not a one person job. And part of that delegation is asking the assisted living community or adult family home to step in and be that caregiver where mom or dad thought you were gonna come by every hour when they now you’re in a place where those people will take care of you exactly. And that takes adjustment as well for mom or dad to know, these are my caregivers and I can lean on them as the caregiver, as the power of attorney. If you are going through this and you have a mom or dad, grandma, grandpa, onto your uncle, and you’re the one, you’ve got to surround yourself with support. There’s caregiver support groups. There are some online you don’t have to drive somewhere. There’s zoom support groups. There’s books and podcasts, answers for elders, answers for elders with questions, or to try yourself. Surround yourself with resources, with people who affirm you understand the responsibility that you’re carrying. UM. Hopefully you have a boss that gives you that flexibility when you need to do something in the middle of the day and take good care of you because your loved one needs you to be here. They may be they may have dementia for eight years. This maybe a long journey. Yeah, And I think the other piece of this that I’m going to add is you actually want to start transitioning yourself away from the from the community and let your loved one adjust. I know that when I first put my mom and assisted living, and I was so wound up that every day after work I was over there, and the you know, I think it was the executive director told me, you know, as long as your mother thinks you’re coming every day, she’s not going to integrate her sife community. So she told of me, I want you to go home, and I don’t want you to come back for a week, and I was like a whole week. She goes, I am telling you your mom will be fine, and and we’re we got this, And it was like the first couple of days it was like torture for me because I felt guilt like you’re talking about. But the good news about it was was that I finally was able to say, you know, it’s okay to set some boundaries. It’s okay for me to come on certain days of the week, and that helps with the whole process. So I am so grateful that you’re talking about this. This is this is important stuff. This is important. It affects millions of people around the country who have senior loved ones in their life who have dementia our Alzheimer’s, and so this has been just a piece of all the things that are to talk about. But we appreciate your listeners joining us today and hopefully they got some support and tips and guidance about navigating the home sane um when their senior loved one has dementia Alzheimer’s. Well. And what I want to close today to say that SASH is totally not only your loved one’s advocate. But it’s the power of attorney and the caregiver’s advocate as well. They’re your partner. You are their partner and and that’s the thing that you are there to handle whatever they need. And so, Rebecca, we’re so glad to have you on the program. Every time you come on. This is a really powerful, powerful conversation and happens all of the time, you know, and and and I know you know just from my experience of the people that I know that have worked with you, Um, you guys are amazing And how often do I get you know, are they really for real? They’ll do all this stuff for us? And I say, yes, they’re really for real. So, UM, I couldn’t strongly recommend you more and so grateful that you’re out there for our families. Thank you, Suzanne. It’s You’ve been great to have this conversation with you here and reach out to a broader swath of families and caregivers that need support. Yes, and we do have a message and you can find um Rebecca online, but certainly why don’t you give us contact information right now? Absolutely so, we have an extensive website at sash services dot com just like it sounds and a toll free number triple E four s A s h at seven to seven four wonderful and I love talking to Rebecca and uh until next time everyone, UM we look forward to having her back. But please check out Rebecca’s podcasts um on you Know Answers for Elders. She’s got a bunch of content. If you’re looking to sell, you know, a house, or you know transition or downsize or right size or do whatever. Um I, I really strongly recommend that you pay some you know, attention to what Rebecca has to say. She will be your greatest asset moving forward. So thanks for being Thank you, Suzanne. -We at Answers for Elders thank you for listening. Did you know that you can discover hundreds of podcasts in our library on senior care? So visit our website and discover our decision guides that will help you also navigate decision making. Find us and Answers for Elders dot
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Originally published November 29, 2022