The FHA/U.S. government reverse mortgage is a fabulous program for many seniors including myself. Before such a mortgage is finalized, the government MANDATES that there is free telephonic counseling from a disinterested third party financial consulting firm.
The only drawbacks to the program are that there are hefty up-front fees paid to the FHA ($12,600 in my case - which was the maximum). Property taxes must continue to be paid and there must be homeowners' insurance. Nothing adverse happens if the senior continues living in the home for at least half the year. In case of death or a move to another residence or institution, the house will be sold and the senior will receive whatever equity there may be. And that's about the size of it.