To think that the options for elderly people are shocking

(121 Posts)
Roseberrry Tue 26-Apr-16 12:43:00

My grandma lives on her own but is slowly going blind, her body is gradually getting older and she's finding it harder and harder to live independently.

We started to look at options for moving her closer to me, I was shocked! Assisted living in our area consisted of a small 1-2 bedroom flat starting at £172k, you also have to pay 'rent' on top of that for the upkeep of the building.

The other option is that she sells her home to move in to a care home. Her adult children will miss out on inheritance and she will be paying £££ to live in a small room, not even allowed to shower alone in a lot of them.

Or she can carry on living alone and struggling. God knows what the choices will be like by the time I'm at that age but it's not looking good.

Millionprammiles Tue 26-Apr-16 13:20:10

The right care home can be a positive step - DP's grandma moved into a small care home with warm, friendly staff and like minded residents. They have a range of daily 'events' - eg choirs coming in to give concerts - beauticians come in to do their hair and nails, the food is apparently very good and cooked fresh on site.

Crucially she is happy and well cared for around the clock (she's virtually blind) and doesn't spend her days alone. She simply wouldn't have had this level of care in her own home or assisted living.
Its also eased the burden on dp's widowed mum who can now visit her grandchildren, go on holiday etc without worrying about who will care for her mother.

Whether care homes should be means tested is another matter. Personally I think those that are able to pay should. In practice this will deliver a two tier system (which is fine if the bottom tier still provides reliable, quality care).

It simply isn't feasible for the elderly to always be looked after by their children, with families now more likely to live further apart, grandchildren born later and women more likely to be working.
Care homes, assisted living and retirement communities will be a huge growth area.

TiggerPiggerPoohBumWee Tue 26-Apr-16 13:23:02

The other option is that she sells her home to move in to a care home. Her adult children will miss out on inheritance and she will be paying £££ to live in a small room, not even allowed to shower alone in a lot of them

She'd be paying for care though, which is expensive. You can't be suggesting that she should get expensive care for free while saving money to pass on to her children? That's ridiculous.
And its not about "not being allowed to shower alone" its about caring for her so she didn't fall in a shower. If she didn't need such help she could stay in her own home!

TeaBelle Tue 26-Apr-16 13:24:10

Those are not necessarily only options, although it depends where one lives.

Visiting paid for carers can support with meals and personal care at home.
Age UK can pick up and drop off from home to ensure social interaction. Many age UK premises offer a hot bath while there
Warden supported accommodation can be rented so no initial outlay. These are often with varying amounts of support ranging from weekly visits to daily carers plus restaurant on site

claraschu Tue 26-Apr-16 13:25:04

Since communities and families are often fragmented, we need to think more creatively about how to keep old people engaged in society, not warehoused in depressing institutions. I know some care homes are good, but lots of them are not.

Here is one idea which I think is great: www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/dutch-retirement-home-offers-rent-free-housing-students-one-condition/

DangerousBeanz Tue 26-Apr-16 13:29:30

When I was in this situation with my mum we rented out her home to help pay the care home fees. She's in a lovely place wirh get item en suite wet room, lovely meals and lots of outings and activities. She's very happy. Some of the more able bodied residents go out independently and have their pets with them.
Having said that when we were looking we found other places that I wouldn't board a dog in never mind an elderly relative. It really is worth looking at lots of places.

TheCrumpettyTree Tue 26-Apr-16 13:30:29

So it's the inheritance you're worried about.

Keely93 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:32:23

It is rubbish that you can spend your whole life saving and then it gets wasted on care but carers need to get paid too, then there's the upkeep of the building, washing, water, food, electric all included too, so if someone can pay then they should. If she's semi independent and can manage now if she moves to a residential there's a good chance she can shower alone there, most floors in care homes are non slip, and she can have a cord to pull when she's done and needs assistance with getting dressed etc. They're good for socialising too, it's nice to see family but sometimes they want friends their own age etc. Inheritance is nothing compared to her health in reality. I certainly wouldn't want inheritance if it meant someone had to live a rubbish lifestyle. Look around your options, visit some homes etc. Good luck with it all x

BertieBeats Tue 26-Apr-16 13:35:22

This is the second post I've read in the past few weeks about an elderly person having to pay for their care and OP missing out on inheritance. The money is theirs first and foremost, if that has to be spent on her care then so be it. Whatever is left will be left to you and whoever else is in the equation.

OllyBJolly Tue 26-Apr-16 13:35:24

you also have to pay 'rent' on top of that for the upkeep of the building.

Isn't some of that annual charge (not rent) to pay for the 'assisted living" part of the accommodation. This enables your grandma to retain an element of independence for as long as is possible, and relieves you/rest of family for being there to provide care.

Her adult children will miss out on inheritance don't look at it as an inheritance, it's her asset that can be used to fund her care. The children aren't missing out; it's not theirs to start with. There are some excellent care homes with en suite facilities.

My next door neighbour has care at home provision. Four times a day, carers visit to ensure she's up and dressed, washed, fed etc. Her house has been mortgaged to pay for this. This means the two daughters can get on with their own lives and careers and maintain a more positive relationship with their mother. (My sister looked after my DF at an incredible cost to her own and family's lives. )

PurpleWithRed Tue 26-Apr-16 13:37:08

It's "her money", not "her children's inheritance".

My mum is currently spending my 'inheritance' having a happy, comfortable and safe life in a residential home where she is surrounded by like-minded people and has everything she wants, needs and deserves. Good on her! I can't think of a better use for HER money.

DerelictMyBalls Tue 26-Apr-16 13:38:30

It is rubbish that you can spend your whole life saving and then it gets wasted on care

Wasted?

Sunshine87 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:39:04

Surely if her health is deteriorating than you would want to be ensured that your grandma is in a safe environment and well cared for. It shouldn't be about the money and who loses their inherence. If she requires care then she needs it. Do you know how much a care home actually costs to operate? You got food, maintenance, gas,electric, social activities, Admin, Equipment, water,council tax, insurance. That's without the cost of all the round a clock carers domestics, kitchen,office staff,activities coordinator, seniors, managers wages to take into consideration.

I work in a care home and to be truthful the amount of residents who are finacially abused by their relatives is unbelievable. Basic items such as soap bubble bath etc are not bought in and I've witness staff constantly ask family members to bring stuff in. I've known staff buy items in or we have gone out and used the residents activities funds to get stuff. I have witness families go to charity shops to buy second hand clothes just so they don't have to buy them new and reduce their inherence . Residents who had to have letters sent to families requesting they buy them new slippers as the ones they got have holes in and is a safe guarding issue whereby their allowance has been taken over via the local council in order to get apporiate clothing that fits. Theres some brilliant families who's family member want for nothing and are spoilt room done out with family photos and personalised to their taste. You can tell who are the ones that are the most cared for. Which one would you rather be OP.

diddl Tue 26-Apr-16 13:40:09

"Her adult children will miss out on inheritance"

Why is that a consideration at all?

Why can't she sell her house to put towards a more suitable property & the care she need?

No one would be grudge her that, surely?

If her kids want an inheritance, they can either fund the care she needs to keep the house or have her with them!

Glitteryfrog Tue 26-Apr-16 13:47:17

Why can't she sell her house to put towards a more suitable property & the care she need?

This!
If she was moving because she was in her 20s fancied a change of location you wouldn't expect her to keep her old house too.
You can only live in one residence at a time, she's moving somewhere which better suits her needs, if this requires staff to help her and for to down size to a nice suite of rooms rather than a while house, then that's what the money needs spending on.

DubiousCredentials Tue 26-Apr-16 13:48:48

It is rubbish that you can spend your whole life saving and then it gets wasted on care

Wasted?

Also paying a mortgage for 25yrs isn't "saving", it is paying for your home which you live in.

RatherBeRiding Tue 26-Apr-16 13:52:16

It is true that for elderly people who own their own home outright and who need to pay for care, there is little option but to use that asset to pay for it. If the house is co-owned and the co-owner wishes to continue living in the house then a sale cannot be forced (because it only the half of the house owned by the person requiring care that would be used to fund the care - the half owned by another family member, say, is not part of the care funding equation) - different local authorities have different ways of dealing with this kind of situation.

However, often people only consider the funding options at the point care is actually required, by when it is usually far too late to "preserve" the asset/savings whatever. And, morally, if a person can afford to pay for their care, shouldn't they do so? As a society we simply cannot afford to offer free residential care for an ever-growing elderly population.

The question should be - what does your grandmother want to do? There are some lovely care homes out there. If a move into care isn't urgent, then now is the time to suss out what is on offer and get on the waiting list. Or if she would prefer to remain at home with bought-in care for gardening, cleaning, shopping, personal care etc etc - there are a lot of options for that too. Some providers are vastly better than other providers.

TormundGiantsbabe Tue 26-Apr-16 13:56:17

If you move her in with you then you can keep all your inheritance safe. smile

I wish I could have done this with my grandma (and I didn't even have any inheritance to look forward to, I would have done it because I loved her), however I was privately renting and couldn't afford an extra bedroom. Would have been much simpler if she had had property to sell to help her out.

Fratelli Tue 26-Apr-16 14:01:52

I also work in a care home and agree with sunshine

It honestly just sounds you're mostly bothered about inheritance. It is her money. She can do with it as she wishes.

TheCrumpettyTree Tue 26-Apr-16 14:02:57

Or she uses her money to pay for carers to come into her home. Why shouldn't we pay for care? Do you want it for free?

flingingmelon Tue 26-Apr-16 14:08:04

Regarding selling the house to pay for the care; this does not need to happen whilst your GM is still alive. Have a look at the Care Act 2015 - deferred payment agreements.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-and-support-whats-changing/care-and-support-whats-changing

Of course, after your GM no longer needs the care home etc, the council still needs to be paid.

whois Tue 26-Apr-16 14:47:44

The other option is that she sells her home to move in to a care home. Her adult children will miss out on inheritance and she will be paying £££ to live in a small room, not even allowed to shower alone in a lot of them.

Her adult children could always take her into their homes and care for her there if they are so concerned about the inheritance....

frikadela01 Tue 26-Apr-16 14:56:11

Sunshine is spot on. I hated seeing how some people in the home I worked in were treat by family. Family would come in and complain they're relative looked scruffy whilst not providing any new clothes, basic toiletries or money for them to have their hair done. A couple of us learnt how to do a wash and set so that the ladies could have their hair done because family wouldn't pay for it. Sorry for the derail but inheritance is nothing g to do with it. Make sure your grandma gets the Carr she needs and balls to how much money gets left.

DementedUnicorn Tue 26-Apr-16 15:08:21

It is rubbish that you can spend your whole life saving and then it gets wasted on care

Yeah I agree. We shouldn't give our 'loved ones' any care. They'll die quicker and we'll be able to spend it on important things instead like a holiday or new conservatory hmm

DementedUnicorn Tue 26-Apr-16 15:08:27

It is rubbish that you can spend your whole life saving and then it gets wasted on care

Yeah I agree. We shouldn't give our 'loved ones' any care. They'll die quicker and we'll be able to spend it on important things instead like a holiday or new conservatory hmm

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