I had a feeling I was not done with the awfulness and was not disappointed. Not only did the solicitor start a lengthy correspondence for which, no doubt, he will bill me, describing how it’s his duty to do a lot of work ensuring everything is legal before the equity release papers can be issued but worse was to come.
The company offering the equity release mortgage sent the papers and a booklet headed ‘Lifetime Mortgage’ directly to my mother addressed to her. This precipitated a total panic in her, threats of suicide and a request that I go and kill her. It was, in short, a rerun of everything that happened in the autumn before I realised that seeing the bank statements was just too much for her to comprehend and got them redirected to me.
In my mother’s life she has never lived in a house with a mortgage on it. She comes from the school of ‘we only had one clog but then we polished it and sold our toenails and moved to a bigger clog’. She was part of an old fashioned traditional marriage where the man earned the money and gave her cash every Friday, which she used to pay for the food and cleaning and her hairdressing and that was it. She never had to worry about the roof over her head. She married a builder, who built them.
So suddenly, ill, old and constantly dizzy and with no discernable memory, she thought she would have to get to grips with a mortgage. Quite why the lending company would send the papers to a demented person, I have no idea.
Over the last week all the ghastliness that has happened by the intervention of third parties would most certainly not have happened if my mother had been in a little padded room in a care home. I really cannot see a young doctor advising such a resident to pop along to the other end of town for an ECG. I cannot envisage a visitor offering to break out a resident for a jaunt early in the morning in light snow. I cannot imagine finance companies making direct offers to the denizens of quilted rooms anywhere, much.
Once again, if we had see-though skulls, life would be so much easier. You could see what you were dealing with and tailor your approach accordingly. It would solve the problem of substance abuse instantly. No one would seek to ingest something dubious if they could actually watch their brain shrivelling. Over many years my mother has sat inactive in a chair drinking wine and she has two thirds of her brain left; a couple of days ago she told me to use my brain while I have it, as she believes brain shrinkage is an inevitable consequence of ageing. It isn’t, of course. Moderate exercise, absence of stress and intake of adequate amounts of glutathione producing foods (mostly fruit and vegetables) together with severely limited amounts of brain altering substances such as alcohol, should give you a brain that will function well for the whole of your life.
Though not apparently sufficiently amongst onlookers and the ‘helpful’ to prevent an encore of amateur night at the Ritz.
I’m heading off to my mother’s tomorrow to see if I can find the mortgage offer document, which may take some time since the carers got the kitchen waste disposal macerator fixed.
If you’re reading this column for tips I’d suggest getting the financial advice done in triplicate and signed so you can sue someone when the costs start rising unannounced. I’d also suggest getting the mail screened by the carers, or you’ll have to play ‘hunt the nasty letter’ round the house, which is what I’m off to do.
JaneLaverick.com – stretched like elastic, wait for the ping.