Culver City Observer -

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By David W. Myers
Managing Editor 

Tips for Owners with Loved One Afflicted by Dementia

Real Estate Corner


October 4, 2018

Real Estate Corner

Tips for Owners with Loved One Afflicted by Dementia

By David W. Myers

DEAR DAVE: I quit my full-time office job last year and started working from home so I could care for my mom, who has been diagnosed with dementia. Everything had mostly gone OK until recently, when I started to find her walking around the house, garage or even lawn while I was working in my home-office and couldn’t hear her get up from her bed or chair. What can I do? I am afraid that she might get hurt, but there’s not enough money to hire an in-house caregiver to watch her while I am working.

ANSWER: I sympathize with your situation, in part because I had the same problem when my own mother began slowly slipping into dementia before she passed away several years ago.

Sadly, there’s still no cure for dementia or its evil offspring, Alzheimer’s. An astonishing 16.1 million Americans provide unpaid care for victims of dementia or Alzheimer’s to parents or other loved ones, the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association reports. Most of those caregivers, like you, live with their parents at home.

Fortunately, several companies have recently invented home products that can help you keep victims of a memory-stealing disease more safely in their house.

Amy Goyer, a caretaking expert and author of AARP’s Juggling Life, Work and Caregiving, suggests using strategically placed alarms and monitors that alert you when your mother is moving.

“For example, a bed or chair pad alarm will go off the second her weight is removed from it and a floor mat alarm sounds when she steps on it,” Goyer says. “Motion sensor alarms will alert you when she walks by, and door alarms will sound when a door is opened or closed.”

“Audio monitors can help too, and video cameras you can view on a smartphone or tablet can give you reassurance at a glance,” Goyer adds.

Caregiving can be stressful, so consider giving both yourself and your mother a break by occasionally taking her to an adult day-care center. Your mom will have a chance to socialize and participate in brain-stimulating activities, while you can enjoy some much-needed “me time.”

The average daily cost of eight to 10 hours of care at an adult day-care facility is $69, a report by AARP says, and Medicaid or private insurance may cover part of the visit.

You can get more help and suggestions by calling the Alzheimer’s Association toll-free, 1-800-272-3900, or by visiting its internet web site.

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REAL ESTATE TRIVIA: Unpaid caretakers spent 18.4 billion hours looking after their parents or others with dementia last year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. If paid at current rates, they would have earned $232 billion.

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DEAR MR. MYERS: My husband and I found a terrific home that’s “for sale by owner.” If we make an offer on the house, could we make it through our own real estate agent or would we have to deal directly with the sellers?

ANSWER: You have the right to make an offer through a professional agent, even though the sellers are trying to sell the property without the help of a sales professional of their own.

Most sellers who choose the for-sale-by-owner route do so because they don’t want to pay the typical six-percent commission that a professional agent would charge. Their homes are usually listed in newspaper or online advertisements as a “FSBO,” pronounced “fizz-bo.”

Though FSBO sellers don’t want to pay a five- or six-percent sales commission, they’ll often agree to pay a three-percent fee to an agent who produces a qualified buyer. If the sellers in your particular situation won’t agree, you’ll have to pay the real estate pro with cash from your own pocket if your offer is accepted.

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DEAR MR. MYERS: I know that the state of New York was named to honor England’s Duke of York about 400 years ago. But how did New Jersey get its name?

ANSWER: The origin of the state’s name dates back to 1609. That’s when legendary explorer Henry Hudson, a British national working for the Dutch, sailed through Newark Bay in 1609. He claimed what today is most of the tri-state area for the Dutch and called the region “Nieuw Nederland.”

The English took control of the region in 1664, during the second Angle-Dutch War, and slowly began carving it up into separate colonies. One plum seaside area was re-named New Jersey, after the Isle of Jersey. The latter is a small, 45-square-mile island in the English Channel that today separates southern England from northern France.

Interestingly, New York’s name is a bit out-of-date. Though the Brits indeed named it to honor the Duke of York, he later ascended to the throne and was crowned King James II of England.

“Jimmy. Jimmy,” though, just wouldn’t have the same ring to it as “New York, New York.”

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Our most popular-selling booklet, “Straight Talk about Living Trusts,” provides the information readers need to determine whether forming an inexpensive trust would be a good idea based on their individual circumstances. For a copy, send $4 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to D. Myers/Trust, P.O. Box 4405, Culver City, CA 90231-4405. Net proceeds this month will be donated to the American Red Cross to help victims of the Southeast’s Hurricane Florence.


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