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to ask why should I pay for someone else's mum's care home?

(328 Posts)
Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 12:29:45

I was just reading my DM's copy of The Express (I like to raise my blood pressure every so often) and came across this article: www.express.co.uk/posts/view/368525

It is an article about spending money that we give to the EU on old age care. There is a case study bit in it where a woman is complaining that they had to sell her mum's £140,000 bungalow to pay her £100,000 costs in a care home.

Am I missing something here? Why should I, as a taxpayer, pay for her mum's care home when she has enough money to cover it herself? It wasn't like her mother was ever going to leave the care home and move back home, so why not sell it?

wendybird77 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:57:36

I'll jump in. I think there is a lot of room between fast cars / holidays and hardworking / martyrish bought a house and nothing else scenarios. Mostly there is a huge divide between rich and poor. The rich (even asset rich) should pay for their care, so should the poor, but they can't afford it so the state jumps in. Everyone should get good care and everyone should pay what they are able to. Life isn't fair and there is no free ride. No one's house is taken from them, if someone still needs the property generally a charge is put on it so that when it is no longer needed a portion of the proceeds from the sale go to the state to contribute to the costs of care. Agree that people who feel that they should get their parents house are being greedy and self interested. Though yes, it sucks to have your assets drained away at the end of your life, but you can't take it with you. Houses are assets, like anything else, when you need money you have to sell them. And like any other benefit, care homes should be means-tested. It is redistribution of wealth and it has to happen for a society to function well.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 13:59:40

brideandgloom "I do think you misunderstand the whole contributing to the general purse through taxes which then gets shared out through education etc." - I think you may be right here. I've always seen the welfare state more as a safety net, for the people who truely need it, and so was coming at this from the point of view that she could afford to sell her house and pay her own way, I hadn't really thought about the fact that I could probably pay for some of my NHS treatments but don't.

QueenofPlaids "And what pray tell do you do if their assets are shared with someone who's still living?" - then you don't sell the house, obviously, as someone is still needing to live in it.

mrsjay "that old lady has paid for your healthcare the police education blah de blah " - yeh, I get that, but then I'm paying for all of that too. Where does it end? I'm not talking about throwing people out on the streets here, I'm just expecting people to look after their own parents and not rely on the state to do it.

Lauries "You come into the world with nothing, maybe we should go out with nothing too?" - yes, I don't see what is wrong with this?

LilyBolero "Two people have identical assets. One is dxed with cancer and the second is dxed with dementia. The first person with cancer is admitted to hospital, and has their medical and personal care covered by the NHS. The second person is admitted to a home for dementia, but has to pay for their care by selling their house." - very good point. I wouldn't want to discriminate between physical and mental illness.

3liitlefrogs "I don't know who these people are who are managing to keep their "inheritance" and get state funding." - ah yes, well, of course it is The Express, so it's probably made up anyway smile

Bumping "She said she was sad for her mother" - so she said hmm, so just don't tell her then.

cumfy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:59:48

Tell you what. I'll stop paying for your medical treatment, police, roads and schools and then we'll talk, mmmkay?

But the point is that you've paid for these services for yourself, not others.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 14:00:35

My grandparents worked hard and saved hard all their lives. Soon after my grandfather died my grandmother had to go into a care home. Because she had worked hard all her life her savings were whittled away to pay for her care. The person in the next room got exactly the same levels of care for free.

How is that fair? Everyone should be cared for without having to pay for it.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 14:02:58

"I wouldn't want to discriminate between physical and mental illness."

But that is exactly what it would come down to.

Flatbread Fri 04-Jan-13 14:02:59

Lauries, agree with you.

Lily, don't understand what is 'unfair'. The person who bought the house got to enjoy it and the security it provided, within their lifetime.

Why are children entitled to assets, without being responsible for care?

Also, I am not convinced that this is a disincentive to save. Most of us save and buy houses and we will continue doing so. Every generation must earn its own keep without relying on inheritance.

BumpingFuglies Fri 04-Jan-13 14:04:22

Bumping "She said she was sad for her mother" - so she said hmm, so just don't tell her then. Not tell her the family home had to be sold? Really?

And yes the welfare state is a safety net, because not every single elderly person will need to go into a care home. If they do though, why should they have to part with their home to fund it? Do we all have to sell up to fund any sort of care or treatment? No - that's why it's unfair.

vj32 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:04:26

People's expectations of the welfare state have got way out of proportion with what it is possible for it to cover.

It will not be possible for the state to pay for all the elderly care that is needed without people who can afford to pay contributing. I am nearly 30. By the time I am 70 (when I assume I will 'pensionable' age) I fully expect not to receive a state pension - by then they will almost certainly be means tested and hopefully I will have too much in a private pension to qualify.

It is right that people who don't work hard or don't plan for retirement or who aren't good with money seem to 'get something for nothing'. But that is the case with all state benefits. The whole point is to provide as a society a minimum standard of living for those people who through ill health or disability or bad judgement cannot or do not do it for themselves.

All benefits should be means tested. The very wealthy should not get CB, winter fuel allowance or state pension. Then the government can use that to invest in elderly care - to stop it taking months for an assessment of a vulnerable person, to invest in the workforce and up wages so that care is better and in general to stop care homes being the depressing places that they are. And maybe to educate people a bit better about the need to plan and save for their future.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:05:35

When has life ever been fair?

I'd rather the state's money went to people who genuinely couldn't afford to look after themselves, and there're plenty of them, rather than on people who don't want to lose their heritance.

If there was an unlimited pot of money yes, but there isn't.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 14:07:14

So iLove I guess you want to scrap the NHS then? Make it so people who can afford it have to pay for all their treatment?

Should the police charge people who can afford to look after themselves for their services?

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:07:36

Bumping "She said she was sad for her mother" - so she said hmm, so just don't tell her then. Not tell her the family home had to be sold? Really?

yes.

And yes the welfare state is a safety net, because not every single elderly person will need to go into a care home. If they do though, why should they have to part with their home to fund it? Do we all have to sell up to fund any sort of care or treatment? No - that's why it's unfair.

because she will never need her home again, so why not sell it?

What people have to remember is that a lot of it is unearned assets like meteoric property rises.

Dh's grandparents - sahm mum, 4 kids, house in Surrey bought for 3k - grandad a very minor civil servant - refuse collector salary.

Meteoric property price rise -700 k in unearned income.

So she shouldn't pay for her care? Thankfully she wouldn't agree with that.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:10:24

Sirzy, let's not get silly hey? You know that's not what I've been suggesting. I was just confused as to why this woman thought that we should pay for her mum's care rather than her (via her heritance). Some posters have come on and given me some very good reasons why, which I have said that I will think about. It's obviously not a simple question or answer, but at least read my posts properly.

BumpingFuglies Fri 04-Jan-13 14:11:43

To not tell her mother the home was being sold would be most unpleasant and says a lot about your attitude to all of this, OP.

She won't need her home again, but her family might.

Flatbread Fri 04-Jan-13 14:12:09

It is only natural that children want their inheritance rather giving it to the government

The solution is to look after your parents in their old age then. This is what has been done down the ages and is still the practice in many societies.

If you want your parents money, then earn it. No one is 'entitled' to an inheritance.

JenaiMorris Fri 04-Jan-13 14:13:04

iirc there is (or rather it has been proposed) that there should be a cap, so nobody pays more than £100k (or something) for their care.

Which seems totally arse about tit to me; beneficiaries of people with fairly modest estates are left with fuck all, those with large ones get to inherit gazillions.

Perhaps it should be more like tax and have a threshold, whereby the first £50k (say) is disregarded.

As for spending rather than saving, that's all for the good imo. Beyond having a safety net it seems daft to have 100s of thousands in savings and then live like a church mouse.

JenaiMorris Fri 04-Jan-13 14:14:20

fuck. iirc there is (or rather it has been proposed that there should be) a cap - that makes more sense I think.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:16:13

To not tell her mother the home was being sold would be most unpleasant and says a lot about your attitude to all of this, OP.

Sorry bumping, I think I've really missed a point here. Her mum has dementia, she's in a home for good. Her family have sold the home and said that it would really upset her to know this. So why tell her if it'll upset her? Why is it most unpleasant not to tell her? I'm more than happy to change my mind on this smile

hatgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 14:16:43

Hammy02 that would be seen as deprivation of assets and the council would still expect a financial contribution from that asset. There used to be a 7 year limit on this but I believe that this has now gone and providing the council can prove that assets were passed on with the intention of avoiding care fees they are entitled to take you to court over it.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:16:57

hear, hear flatbread

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:17:07

Op

I you go and get yourself an illness - say a nasty illness but it can be cured - would you be happy to sell up your home to pay for your treatment rather than have it funded by the NHS.

I mean if you have a house with capital of 110k and the treatment is 120k then you will be quids in?

Oh ok so everyone gets the NHS for free

Everyone who hasn't got any money get old age care for free - it is only people with money that have to pay for it

soverylucky Fri 04-Jan-13 14:18:58

Some old people purchased their home through years of hard work, going without holidays etc. Why should this be taken away from them?
Many people pay taxes that pay for the education of children yet have no children of their own. I don't see the difference.

I think the example given of someone with cancer versus someone with dementia is an excellent one. We have an nhs that should care for all.
I don't see where you can draw a line. I have only had two children on the NHS but my neighbour has had 4. Should I get a refund on my taxes? Of course not. I am on medication for life for a life threatening condition. Should I pay more tax than my brother who is as fit as a fiddle?

Why should someone have to pay for their care just because they are elderly. Care at other points in their life would be paid for. I think we treat the elderly very badly in this country and I am dreading growing old.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 14:19:00

The solution is to look after your parents in their old age then. This is what has been done down the ages and is still the practice in many societies.

Easier said than done, and many people DO look after them for years until everything gets to much or it is simply to dangerous for someone to be at home. Sometimes people need a lot more than can be done at home.

Sirzy, let's not get silly hey? You know that's not what I've been suggesting Whats the difference then? We should look after people when they are young but when they get old well tough? They don't matter? What they have worked for all their lives doesn't matter? Just bleed them dry so they can have their basic care?

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 14:20:19

Why are children entitled to assets, without being responsible for care?

Indeed.

It is also ridiculous to suggest that only those who have spent their lives 'living it up' are the ones who don't own their own home!

It seems to be more about inheritance issues really.

I don't expect to inherit my parents homes when they die, they both own them outright so if they should need to be looked after in a care home they will have to be sold.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:21:55

IvyKate44 I you go and get yourself an illness - say a nasty illness but it can be cured - would you be happy to sell up your home to pay for your treatment rather than have it funded by the NHS.

If I was going into hospital/care for the rest of my life and no-one else was living in my house at the time then yes.

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