Monday, November 09, 2009


Nor are the sleeping pills, the fan isn't keeping me cool and the ladder up from the pit has rungs missing.

This is all my fault. Last week I had 24 hours where I was blissfully happy, bills paid, groceries bought and enough money to buy a pair of Homeyped pewter sandals for summer. I was smiling with the happiness-o-meter off the scale.

Until I got home and picked up the thin envelope with one sheet of paper that said we had to pay and extra $24.22 a day above what Mum is paying with her pension. You've all seen those films with the earthquake making a huge crack in the ground and everything falling in which is where I've been for the last couple of days.

I've finally come to terms with her being in the home because she's so happy. I've finally put away all her ribbons and laces, given a lot to a charity group and the activity room at the home doesn't know what to make next after years of never having enough. It was a big adjustment, mentally, to see these things disappear.

Now as a Leo and a fixed fire sign, I need my house to keep me grounded. It's my pleasure palace as often as not masquerading as a rubbish dump but my treasures are in every corner. I fought to keep it when El Creepo pissed off with his tart although I offered to leave his name on the title. Generosity made me do it and getting up her nose with said generosity as 'tenants in common' meant that if he croaked she would get his half but not until I kicked the bucket but in the end he gave it to me as long as I gave up any claim to his money. My deal was better.

So today was spent appealing to Centrelink and the Department of Ageing who enjoyed using me as a shuttlecock as they each told me to contact the other. It's no dealing with them at all, the cut off point for using 85% of a pension is assets of $91,000 and so we have to pay and we don't have the money. The rent that the BrickOutHouse is paying is just keeping up with the debts mommiedearest left to us. I've called the Real Estate agent to inspect the house next week and it goes on the market as is.

It was check AGL, APIA, council rates, St George reverse mortgage, S.E. water to see if we had to pay out any account before settlement, fortunately not. Our solicitor does all of that. I still have to do a deal with the nursing home as it could be 5 months before selling and settlement and we still won't have enough money for that extra. They have put me on to a financial advisor that specializes in Aged Care trusts since I'm determined that Centrelink will not get its greedy claws into whatever is left after all the bills are paid and drop her pension down. Poor financial advisor, he won't get paid until settlement either.

I feel for my nephew. After the three years of hell his grandmother has put him through, he's had two and a half months living in a house to himself and now he has to go. It isn't fair but he's taking it okay, obviously not a Leo fixed fire sign. I don't even know if we'll be able to give him some money to get established. There's only the three of us in the family and when the house goes, we'll be broken up, memories are just memories not superglue. The 1953 house on the muddy road in the bush is now in the middle of hotshot suburbia and I don't think I'll be able to walk down that street again.

Mum is fine with it, she said on Sunday that it hadn't been her home for a long time. She did tell me to use Aitken Real Estate as she liked the man she had out to value it 10 years ago. Ten years ago, six months ago she couldn't remember her own name which is why I don't mind how much this great place costs us.


Jayne said...

Shit on a stick, hope you can sort something out. The rules and regulations for nursing home fees are up and down like a bride's nightie, all over the place and barely anyone can make sense of them at times.

Kath Lockett said...

The Twilight years of a parent's life - with the barbaric systems of 'assets counting as money' set by Centrelink and ATO - also make it hell for the family that are trying to make their lives easier.

My thoughts are with you - drink all the gin and eat all the apple cake you need to do so until the house gets sold.

Your nephew will understand and hopefully the financial boffin can think of a way for any surplus cash to find its way into his and your hands and NOT Centrelink's or the nursing home's....

Brian Hughes said...

"You've all seen those films with the earthquake making a huge crack in the ground and everything falling in..."

Merchant Ivory?

JahTeh said...

Jayne and Kath, I don't mind how much I pay this nursing home, they're fabulous but I'll be damned if I'll let Centrelink drop her pension because she's suddenly got cash which their rules made her have.

Fleety, are you going to the movies to see "2012"? The special effects are going to be great on the big screen and I'm going Gold Class so I can drink my way through it.

River said...

It's your Mum's house you're selling? Not your own? Maybe the nephew could stay with you a month or so until he finds his own place?
I wish you all the good luck you can possibly get with the sale and the financial adviser. Centrelink can suck lemons.

JahTeh said...

River, it's mum's house and it sells as it is, warts and all. The BrickOutHouse asssures us that he is ready to move on and has a mate to go to. I just would like to be able to give him a bit of start-up money, after all he's done I think he deserves it.

Elisabeth said...

Goodness, I feel for you.

This is where gigantic families, the size of mine come in. Between the nine of us kids and twenty two grand kids we can pool resources to give our mother a modicum of dignity in her declining years.

But when there are only three of you, it's so much harder.

Brian Hughes said...

"Fleety, are you going to the movies to see "2012"?"

Nope. I already live in Fleetwood. That's about as close to the end of the world as it gets outside the cinema.

Middle Child said...

I know from experience that the system gets meaner and meaner and wears you out trying to figure it out only to come up with the eureka moment that the system is not meant to work - its an illusion