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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?

AnyaKnowIt Fri 04-Jan-13 12:31:30

Yeah but I'm guessing that the woman was a taxpayer who was paying for your education.

Swings and roundabouts...

jessjessjess Fri 04-Jan-13 12:31:33

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

sooperdooper Fri 04-Jan-13 12:33:22

I agree with you, if someone has the funds available, either in cash or through the sale of a house then yes, they should sell the property and pay what needs to be paid - I don't see why she sees the money as 'going to the state' - it wasn't, it was going towards her mums care!!

PandaNot Fri 04-Jan-13 12:34:28

Because one day someone else will be paying for yours? hmm

Lilithmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 12:36:38

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 cancer 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 hospital.

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

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 04-Jan-13 12:37:55

biscuit

Lovely attitude you have there OP. YABU.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 12:38:25

So - there are two elderly men, one has a couple of (grown) children, he's worked all his life and bought a home, hoping that his children will benefit when he dies - the other has partied his whole life, now they both need homes. The 'sensible' one is now punished for being sensible. Not really that fair is it?

DameMargotFountain Fri 04-Jan-13 12:40:21

too right OP

we should only get out what we've paid in...how many children do you have being state educated and needed medical care <gets out clipboard>

Hammy02 Fri 04-Jan-13 12:41:09

YY chipping

cocoachannel Fri 04-Jan-13 12:41:12

Because we live in a welfare state which is being systematically broken down enough as it is without further cuts to social care, please God.

Hammy02 Fri 04-Jan-13 12:42:57

May as well just blow all the money while alive if it is going to the state when we die.

Megatron Fri 04-Jan-13 12:45:53

Gosh, what a lovely way to think.

DH's nan never worked a day in her life, lived in the same council house for 50 years, new roof, kitchen, etc etc you get the picture.

She is now in a very nice care home (great place, happy that she's being taken care of). My next door neighbour who has worked all her life, has just had to sell her very small house to be in the same care home, though sadly it won't cover her care for very long so god knows what will happen then.

Hi Chipping <waves>

InExitCelsisDeo Fri 04-Jan-13 12:46:02

I do sometimes worry about this situation, but it comes down to what Chipping wrote. My Dad may need to go into a care home some time soon, and if so we would have to sell his house to pay for it, but I have always secretly banked on the house as my inheritance. I know I have no right to it, but my parents were careful all there lives and a have a lovely home to show for it. However they, or me, will be the huge beneficiaries of the increase in house prices over the past 40 years, which is probably never going to be repeated.

SantasENormaSnob Fri 04-Jan-13 12:49:42

Exactly what chipping said.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Fri 04-Jan-13 12:51:54

At the moment there's alot if people who can't buy their own properties. So when they are old what will they have to sell to pay for their care?

Iggly Fri 04-Jan-13 12:52:25

YABU

You are not paying. You contribute to the goverment purse and they then redistribute it. We all pay, it's a collective thing.

Go live somewhere with no welfare provision or state provision if you don't like it.

Iggly Fri 04-Jan-13 12:53:44

No chipping. What if the party goer worked hard, paid taxes and contributed to society? Whereas the sensible one only cared about his own?

BumpingFuglies Fri 04-Jan-13 12:57:48

What a fucking attitude. Why should I pay my taxes so that you can have free NHS treatment?

Here OP, have a tax-payer funded biscuit

perceptionreality Fri 04-Jan-13 12:59:20

hmm biscuit

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 13:02:09

Sorry, should have been clearer... I have absolutely NO problem with paying for someone's mum to go in a care home if they have no money, it's just that I don't see why I should pay just so that their kids can inherit their house. Like sooper said, the money wasn't going to the state, it was going to pay for looking after her mum.
I can see that there is a problem with regards to the situation chipping described, ie punishing someone for being good, though. Maybe I just got too riled up over the woman's attitude. It seemed to me to be saying, why should I pay for my mum's care when the state could pay and then I get to keep the £140,000.

Ooo, I've never been flamed before, it's making me shake.

RedHelenB Fri 04-Jan-13 13:03:20

The council tax payers will pay for your next door neighbour too megatron so she won't be kicked out of her care home.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 13:03:57

I also see that a lot of posters are comparing this to education, NHS etc. I hadn't really thought about it that way. I shall go away and think a bit more....

Brideandgloom Fri 04-Jan-13 13:09:17

I kind of get where you're coming from. My gran-in-law (iyswim) is in a home but paid for by the state. She has a house which is worth a lot of money (over 500K) and her kids are working out how to legally keep the house and not pay for her care so that they still get the cash on her death.
That is the kind of attitude that stinks I think, But..... I do think you misunderstand the whole contributing to the general purse through taxes which then gets shared out through education etc.

I can guarantee my dd's education costs the state more than my grans nursing home.

MuddlingMackem Fri 04-Jan-13 13:12:06

YABU, imo.

Grr! This really annoys me. People who are frugal and look after their money should be able to use that money for little extras and luxuries, not the basics that the profligate or 'never worked a day in their life' brigade get for nothing.

It isn't fair.

I don't give a stuff about an inheritance if my dad ever needs to go into a home, but I would like to think that proceeds from selling his house would be spend on extras to make his life more pleasant and enjoyable, not just paying the basic care home fees so that he could end up worse off than someone with no savings. sad

Flatbread Fri 04-Jan-13 13:12:40

Ilovexmas,

I agree with you. There is a sense of entitlement. If people have money, they ought to pay for their old age care.

In France, which has a big welfare state, people have to pay for their old age dare. If they don't have enough, their children have to pay. (At least this is how a French friend explained it to me)

Ultimately, there should be family responsibility. No one should be out on the streets, but nor should people think that they are entitled to state aid, despite having personal resources.

MuddlingMackem Fri 04-Jan-13 13:15:45

Flatbread, I hear what you're saying, but that's one rule for everybody. The problem in the UK at the moment is that there are different rules for different people, and the sensible and responsible ones are being punished for their actions. Where's the incentive to be sensible and responsible?

I don't agree with adult children trying all ways to hang on to their 'inheritance' though, that is just as immoral.

QueenofPlaids Fri 04-Jan-13 13:16:00

And what pray tell do you do if their assets are shared with someone who's still living?

My GF had to go into a home because despite best endeavours my GM could no-longer care for him at home. It was becoming too dangerous for both of them (he lashed out when forgetful, nearly set the place on fire a couple of times).

Seeing as she needed here tiny ex-council flat to, y'know, live in, how were they supposed to fund his care? They already took his works pension leaving her with only the basic state pension to live on.

AuntFini Fri 04-Jan-13 13:17:36

I agree with you OP. And these comments about the feckless layabouts who don't own their own homes, as opposed to the hardworking people who have to sob sob sell their homes to pay for their care are ridiculous.

My nan is 87 and has just moved into a care home. She worked from age of 13 and never owned her own home as she never had that kind of money. That doesn't mean she didn't work hard. She is paraplegic and gets free care in the home.

My parents own their house. If they get to ill to live in their house, they'll sell it to pay to live in a care home. Why should they get it for free if they can afford to pay?

Those that can afford it should pay. Those that can't, they should have state support.

Sick of whingers who complain that they have to sell their parents house. What a shame, you didn't get to keep the money in inheritance, you'll have to be the hardworker who earns their owwn money ey?

mrsjay Fri 04-Jan-13 13:17:48

that old lady has paid for your healthcare the police education blah de blah why shouldn't she get a little something back, she is old and in need of care, and then she could have some savings if she sold her house to get some extras if she wanted or needed,

redexpat Fri 04-Jan-13 13:18:21

But this has led to people not saving for old age, because the state will only pay if you have a tiny amount left.

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 13:21:09

Both my grannies are in care homes because they need 24 hour nursing or residential support.

They come from very different backgrounds and have lived very different lives. My one grandfather was a leading professional in his field and they lived an affluent life. My other grandfather was a Vicar and they lived a very humble lifestyle with very little. One granny has a good pension, the other lived purely on the state pension.

One granny has had to sell her home to pay for her care, my other granny could never afford to buy a home of their own or save any money and so is full funded.

So two sides of the same story. One has assets, the other doesn't but both need a level of care that can't be provided at home.

I honestly don't know what the answer is.

It is fundamentally wrong to have a society that is concerned with protecting the wealth of an individual so that they can pass it on in inheritance to their family rather than using their own money in care.

When people are working and paying taxes they are also benefitting from that society through services and the education of their children.

The argument 'well I paid my taxes so now I should keep my money and benefit from free care' is ridiculous - care homes are £400-£2000 a week - no ones paid enough taxes to cover that!

You come into the world with nothing, maybe we should go out with nothing too?

We have already fucked over future generations by trying to hold on to our wealth and by increasing property prices so they're no longer affordable.

Yes, some will exploit the system - and they are the ones who will end ul with minimum but reasonable care in a govt care home at £400 a week. As with everything if you have more money you will get better care.

It's like that with the benefits system now, some people are reliant on benefits and have a lesser standard of living than the wealthy.

Are you really arguing that people who are poor or piss all their money away are entitled to no care?

No, they're entitled to the minimum care, a reasonable standard of living.

But people with assets to sell them MUST sell them, it's one of the ways property prices will come down. And we must decrease inherited wealth, the gap between rich and poor is unreasonable, divisive and unsustainable.

LilyBolero Fri 04-Jan-13 13:21:21

Scenario 1.

Two people both need to go into a home. One has enjoyed holidays, fast cars etc all their life, and has no assets. The other has never been away on holiday, never had any luxuries, but has worked hard to buy a house. The first is supported by the state, the second has to sell his house, because the state says 'why should we support you?'.

Scenario 2.

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.

Fair? I don't think so.

Totally discouraging anyone from saving and buying homes really isn't it? Surely everyone should pay for their care to make other fair?

titchy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:31:11

I know. Nobody should be allowed to own a house lest they inconveniently let their offspring inherit it. They'll have to be housed at a cost to the Govt. far greater than the cost of the house they would have bought, but hey better than owning a house and wanting to pass it on!

MummytoKatie Fri 04-Jan-13 13:31:35

It's a messy one where there is no decent answer. The options are:-

1. No one pays for nursing care. Downside is that with the aging population the cost of this will fast get to the point where either taxes will have to go up massively or other services will have to be slashed. (Class sizes of 40? Prescription charges that cover the cost of medicines - even if '00s of £? All operations for chronic but not life threatening pain stopped?)

2. Those that can afford pay by selling their homes. Downside is that it punishes those who have done the sensible thing in their lives.

3. All pay or no care. Downside is what happens to those with no assets. Do we shoot them? Do they block beds in hospitals. (Can't be discharged as need care but can't be sent to a home as no home will take them.)

It is further complicated by the fact that we have a wonderful NHS so we all do believe that we have a right to medical care free at the point of receipt.

Just as an interesting aside dh became a "health tourist" this Xmas. We live in England but were staying with in laws in Wales when dh got very I'll and needed an emergency GP and antibiotics. So we toddled along to the hospital where instead of paying £4+ for parking and £6+ for the prescription we got them both free. Yahoo we said! Until FIL told us that the consultant for his heart problem who works for two hospitals - one in England and one in Wales - has told FIL that if he lived 5 miles over the boarder in England he'd be waiting 4 months for his heart op. but as he is Welsh he will wait 6 months.

It seems there is only so much money. If you put it in one place it can't go somewhere else. Which didn't occur to us as we were cheerfully nabbing our free medicines!

It does not duscourage people from buying property, they enjoy living in it for years before selling.

No one is going to not save, not buy property to have a very basic standard of living in a government care home in old age - unless they're an idiot or are perfectly happy with the very, very minimum in life.

The difference between a cheap care home and an expensive care home are the same as between a crappy house on a crap estate and a mansion in Chelsea.

No one wants that - so they use their assets to pay for the best they can afford, just like people do in every other area if life.

Whenever I read these threads I think people have never visited a posh care home with marble floors, water features, tai chi in the extensive grounds and facilitated trips to the Algarve.

And then compared them to an nhs waiting room with threadbare carpets, an old tv in the corner on an industrial estate in Slough.

AngelsWithSilverWings Fri 04-Jan-13 13:39:26

Lily - that's was happened to my DH's Grandmother and Great Aunt.

Both were in their late 90's and owned small bungalows. Both lived very frugally and had never ever been on holiday. They had the bare minimum of possessions. Both had vast sums in savings accounts though.

Grandmother developed dementia and most of the value of her house and the contents of her savings account was used to pay for her care until she died age 100.

Her sister was injured while crossing the road and spent a year in hospital before dying at the age of 98 with her assets and savings in tact.

My PIL are so angry about the care costs and the inheritance tax they had to pay out that they are spending their money like mad to get rid of it! I'm talking four holidays a year and very generous gifts to her DCs. Before this they were also really careful with money and hated sending money.

Not sure I agree with them but I can see how they feel!

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 13:39:34

If you are self funding, you pay almost twice as much for the same care home as the state pays. Also, SS take all your pension, savings and assets. you aren't allowed more than £10 per week spending money.

With both my parents and my PIL SS wouldn't even assess needs without full financial disclosure. IME it is nearly impossible to hang onto any of your money/pension/assetts if you need care, so I don't know who these people are who are managing to keep their "inheritance" and get state funding. They must be the exception rather than the rule.

My dad is blind and wheelchair bound and has a colostomy. None of his needs count as "health care". Only "social care", for which he has to pay.

My sister cared for my parents for 15 years at the cost of her own health, her job and her pension. If anyone deserved an inheritance she did. But it all went into the pockets of the owners of the care home when eventually she could no longer cope. It is a very lucrative business - fees are around £800 per person per week. The staff are on minimum wage, so someone is doing alright.

BumpingFuglies Fri 04-Jan-13 13:40:22

What Lily said

If you are going to exclude care in old age from the welfare state, you should exclude NHS healthcare, dentistry, schools, and so on.

And at what point did the woman in the article say she was pissed off at not inheriting the money? She said she was sad for her mother.

It is fundamentally wrong to have a society that is concerned with protecting the wealth of an individual so that they can pass it on in inheritance to their family rather than using their own money in care.

No. It is fundamentally wrong to force people to pay for something they have already paid for in taxes. That's what the Welfare State is there for.

BunFagFreddie Fri 04-Jan-13 13:41:03

"May as well just blow all the money while alive if it is going to the state when we die. "

That's what I'm starting to think. We won't even get a state pension and I can't afford a private one. I think the plan is to eventually just work people to death and then steal their money and houses!

Hammy02 Fri 04-Jan-13 13:43:37

Is there a way around it? For example, the parent gives their home to their children, years before they may ever need care? It is only natural that children want their inheritance rather giving it to the government. It seems that once again, the middle earners are stung.

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 04-Jan-13 13:43:48

My dad went into a care home which he paid for fully from his savings and would have paid from the sale of his house if he had lived long enough.

He had dementia. State assessment judged that he merited 1 x 15 minute visit by a carer every day. That was it. He was not eligible for a care home even though he needed everything done for him (I did it). He could wash and dress himself, put the kettle on and heat things up in the microwave but that was it. He had no sense of danger, burnt himself, left taps running, went wandering on icy pavements with no coat in mid winter...

If he was dependent upon state care he would have had no choice but to stay in his own home. If he had been assessed as eligible for a care home he would have had limited choice about which home he went into. As it was he was able to go into care at a time which suited him and his family and to choose the home which best suited his needs.

Just because you need care doesn't always you are deemed eligible for state care or that that care will be in the form you want.
.
I never expected to inherit anything from my parents. They had a nice house but I assumed all its value would be used up on their care.

Whatdoiknowanyway Fri 04-Jan-13 13:45:26

Just to make it clear. Dad was not eligible for a care home because the authorities didn't think his condition was bad enough to merit one. We disagreed and fortunately for us were able to pay for care. If we we not able to do this then we would have been stuck.

cumfy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:52:22

YANBU

Economics pretty much dictate that, on the average, everyone's life-time income balance their life-time outgoings.

To then just subsidise inheritance makes no economic sense.

It's not 'going to the state' -it's paying to look after you.

And no, you have not paid enough in taxes to cover 800 a week in a care home for years until you die - its basic maths.

Yet again it's about selfishness, giving all your money away so you don't have to pay for your own care. And imagine envying someone who died quickly so they 'preserved their assets' - wtf.

EauRouge Fri 04-Jan-13 13:55:50

My grandparents aren't doing so well and they really need to go into sheltered accommodation. However, they are reluctant because they don't want all of us to lose out on our inheritance. We've all said that we don't give a monkeys and that we'd rather see them looked after properly but they've been sensible with their money all these years with the plan that it would go to their family, not on themselves. I can understand where they are coming from but it's so worrying seeing them struggle on sad

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 13:56:11

Interestingly my one granny with dementia was only assessed as needing a care home after she had fallen and broken her arm very badly but was not eligible when she set fire to her kitchen in her warden controlled flat.

cumfy Fri 04-Jan-13 13:56:37

No. It is fundamentally wrong to force people to pay for something they have already paid for in taxes. That's what the Welfare State is there for.

The Welfare State is insurance, a safety net.
It's not there to fund £250k gifts.
Trouble is people get around it anyhow.

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.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 14:22:17

..and yes I am prepared to care for them if needed as long as would be medically possible.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:22:38

sorry, just noticed you said that it could be cured - doh! so no.

BackforGood Fri 04-Jan-13 14:26:39

I do think the differences between what illness you have are ridiculous. I'm on drugs to fight my cancer, which, because it's cancer, I don't have to pay for, yet some other people, who have repeat prescriptions for different problems, have to pay for each repeat prescription ~ why should that be? This is just magnified with elderly people needing care being charged in some cases, and being looked after for free in others - nothing to do with their financial circumstances, but everythng to do with what illness or disability happened to befall them.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:26:58

The way our society is set up it is difficult to look after our elderly in our own family homes, we will either have to change the way we live as a society or face the consequences.

If that means we start paying more taxes then that is what we will have to do, or we start looking after our own elderly at home and one family member doesn't work and is given an allowance above the poverty line.

The pyramid should be pointed at the top representing elderly population and large at the bottom representing young babies - it is turned around now and going to get bigger at the top with no babies being born to pay for elderly care, this problem isn't going to go away

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:29:29

soverylucky you made some very good points which I agree with, so I guess for me it does seem to be more of an inheritance question really.

Sirzy Just bleed them dry so they can have their basic care? but you're not bleeding them dry are you? You might be accused of bleeding their children dry by using up their inheritance, but if you can't look after your own parents at home then shouldn't you expect to at least contribute to their care financially?

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 14:29:31

Ofcourse the other way round this that hasn't yet been suggested is that if you can't afford your own care then your dependents/children are asked to pay. And only then if you have no assets and no relations then you get state funding. The only fair thing to do is make everyone pay or make it free.

Can you tell Im feeling quite cynical today? grin I wouldn't put it past some bright spark in government to come up with this.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:29:50

Oh no Op - you don't get to stay in hosptial for the rest of your life, you get cured and have to go back to work - but the person in the next bed gets all their treatment for free as they don't have any assets. Would you think that fair?

I have elderly friends where he had to put his wife into care and now has sold his home as it was an assets - how do you think he felt? If they had lived in social housing then he would have got to stay there - but now lives in B&B

vj32 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:30:59

The only way to fund it would be for everyone to up a lot more taxes, probably something like 40% being the base rate of tax. Most people wouldn't be prepared to pay that, because after all they work really hard for their money and why shouldn't they. Same argument for inheriting the money.

The thing that disgusts me in these debates - and I think it is the same with the OP, is that they claim to be about improving elderly care but actually they are all about money and greed.

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 14:31:12

Oh x post!

fluffygal Fri 04-Jan-13 14:32:43

I work as a care manager for the elderly with SS, and what has really made me uncomfortable recently is that we are asked to get the people who can pay for their own care off our books. So not only do they have to pay the full cost, they get no support, no reviews etc from social services. Whereas the people who get help paying for their care are meant to have a 6 monthly review of their care (more like every 18 months due to high case loads) to ensure they are receiving the right level of support. Makes me feel that there really is no level of equality.

I fully intend on putting my home in my childrens names before I get old (you must do this over 7 years before needing care), and spend all I can on having a great life. There really is no point in saving.

fluffygal Fri 04-Jan-13 14:35:19

ivykate that can't be right about your friend, if a partner falls ill and needs to go into a home, but the other partner still lives at home (or any dependants) the home cannot be considered an asset and is disregarded when working out who pays the costs.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:36:01

I am not sure it is all about money and greed.

it is the penalising of the prudent

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Fri 04-Jan-13 14:38:07

The problem is that there isn't one fair answer - and you can be assured if there was, the govt would find a way to make it unfair!

MiniEggsinJanuary Fri 04-Jan-13 14:38:21

My children go to private school and we have private healthcare - can I get some money back from the government? I certainly don't want to have to pay for other people to receive an education or get better when they are ill.
Ilovemastime - you are a disgrace.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:38:31

I suppose one of the problem's I have is that we are constantly told that we don't have enough money to support the welfare state in this country, and that we will have to make these huge cuts to benefits. From what I've read on MN, these changes will hurt a lot of the people who I consider the welfare state is there for, e.g. disabled people. So when I see people who can afford something complaining about having to pay for it, it annoys me.
At the same time, I do want things like the NHS, police and education to stay free for all. However, if it came down to having to choose between benefits/free healthcare for the poorest or a completely free NHS for everyone than I would still always give the money to the poorest.

Does that make sense, I may be babbling now, but at least the shaking has calmed down smile

You are correct fluffygal. I am in two minds about this. We have just sold our grandmother's home to pay for care fees. There was one member of the family who was trying to find a way to avoid this and this was purely to protect their inheritence.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 14:38:44

Why are some people making out wanting to leave things for your children is so wrong? Surely every parent wants to be able to leave an inheritance for their children and grandchildren? Thats nothing to do with greed in most cases.

Its very uncomfy how some people are trying to imply that is a bad thing.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 14:39:39

This is a subject that really winds me up. I don't see how it is fair that one person should have to pay because they have made wise financial decisions but someone who hasn't gets exactly the same care for free.

I'm another that fully intends to spend what I have in my lifetime, either on myself or my children. I refuse to let there be anything left to pay for care if I need it while the system remains so unfair.

hatgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 14:40:05

In the future only people who absolutely need to be in 24 hour care will be in 24 hour care - the push at the moment is to keep people in their own homes or the community for as long as possible, using home care and telecare and this is an increasing area of development.

Having money and assets means choice, you are funding/ paying and therefore you get a certain amount of choice where you go. If the state is paying there is no choice and you will be provided with the cheapest service. Just like state funded health and education.

If your needs are primarily health rather than social care then you may be eligible for fully funded state care in a nursing home no matter how much money you have (this is called fully funded continuing healthcare) and continues the idea that 'healthcare is free at the point of access' in this country.

Only assets over around £23k are taken into account for someone to have to pay full costs, and in the case of property if there is someone else living there the property will be disregarded. Under £23k in assets/ savings and a contribution towards costs may then be made by the state.

Unfortunately many families make silly decisions based on misinformation they get from the press/ out of date information/ legal firms offering asset protection.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:40:18

ivykate44 Oh no Op - you don't get to stay in hosptial for the rest of your life, you get cured and have to go back to work - but the person in the next bed gets all their treatment for free as they don't have any assets. Would you think that fair? - no. I think I said that.

I have elderly friends where he had to put his wife into care and now has sold his home as it was an assets - I think I have also said that I think that this is wrong too.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 14:40:30

It isn't penalising the prudent though.

My grandparents were prudent and hard working, but they never earnt enough to own their own home. that doesn't make them feckless!

It is expecting those who can pay to pay.

I don't expect or feel entitled to any money from my extended family. It is theirs, not mine.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 14:43:13

I have elderly friends where he had to put his wife into care and now has sold his home as it was an assets

That's not true.

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:44:14

amber -my paternal grandparents didn't own their own home - but my grandmother still paid for her own care - didn't make her feckless either

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 14:46:55

She must have had amazing savings then Ivykaty?

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 14:47:50

minieggs was the first part of your post being sarcastic? Sorry, I can't tell because of the second bit where you call me a disgrace (?!). Maybe you could elaborate your point for me, so that I understand?

hatgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 14:48:39

Ivykaty your grandmother must have had over £23k in savings then?

Crinkle77 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:55:17

I suppose the frustrating thing is if you work hard, pay your taxes and save for your old age then you get penalised for it. On the other hand if you don't work or waste all your money then you get free care in your old age. Although I suspect that the daughter was probably thinking about her inheritance more than anything

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:55:52

Yes hatgirl she stuffed money under the bed for a rainy day...

Viviennemary Fri 04-Jan-13 14:56:26

Why should people pay for their care in old age. It's no different from being in hospital at any age. It's discrimination against the elderly.

kickassangel Fri 04-Jan-13 14:56:40

My parents are reasonably wealthy and I live thousands of miles away. When/if they need care I assume that their assets will cover the cost of care. That could mean that I end up inheriting nothing, but I am not counting on an inheritance as part of my financial planning. What worries me though is what would happen if their money ran out. Would they need to move to a cheaper givt care home? Or would the govt pay for their care in the (presumably) nicer place they had been paying for?

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 14:57:55

Quite literally - I am not being funny

Catchingmockingbirds Fri 04-Jan-13 15:00:16

I've often wondered about this, does the quality of care increase if you paid for care through a house sale rather than a place being funded through tax money? Or is it the same care homes and the same treatment offered for both?

CharlW1 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:02:17

Great debate Ilovexmastime and I do agree with a lot of what you are saying. What money gives you is a choice - the state give you £420 a week for social care if you can not afford it - this means basically going to a home that is usually no more than one of God's waiting rooms. Decent homes usually cost a lot more than this so you have to pay or 'top up' the amount the state give you. If someone has the money why wouldn't you pay to go into a better home - you can't take your money with you and no one should expect their parents to receive sub standard care just for the sake of getting an inheritance!

ivykaty44 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:02:24

It will depend on what your needs are assessed as and where there is space to put you.

Even if you pay and want to go somewhere they may not take you if they can't look after your requirements

foxy6 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:05:59

I am buying My own home but not as something to pass on to the children. I have 5 so they wouldn't get much each anyway, but so that they have a safe secure home while growing up and hopefully when the mortgage is paid I will have a bit more money when they all leave home for myself and a few treats in life, which I currently don't get I work hard but its a low wage so I doubt ill have any savings in old age and will proberly have to sell My home to fund a care home if needed. I don't mind. My home is for My children while they need it. hopefully they will grow and have homes of there own.
you can not expect the state to pat for everyone's care homes as with an aging population. this will become unstainable without Hugh tax rises for everyone. unfortunately we have always had to subsides those who don't pay there way, but as a civilised socitety we would have it no other way.

I can't see the royals or any particularly rich people being forced to sell anything to fund their care. I don't know what the answer is, but fair taxation would be a good start and stop spending money on wars most people in this country don't want to be involved in.

I think people with lots of money tie it all up in trusts to avoid inheritance tax and the issue of selling the family home. My Dad gave up his job to look after my Gran but he is really struggling, he lives with her in the house she scrimped and saved to buy (she worked two jobs well past the age of retirement) - but now her dementia is so bad he might be made homeless, because her house will be sold to pay for her care. It isn't worth a lot of money, but it is a worry. I do genuinely think if you can afford to contribute you should, my Dad is past the age of retirement now, has always worked but never had enough to own his own home.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 04-Jan-13 15:07:57

Yes, catchingmockingbirds, the quality of homes is very different and that's what all the spend-your-money-and-rely-on-the-state brigade aren't considering.

foxy6 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:08:19

or can't pay their way for what ever reason
just a quick add on to My other post

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 15:08:55

does the quality of care increase if you paid for care through a house sale rather than a place being funded through tax money

It varies according to needs and areas. It is quite common to find self funding people and state funded people in exactly the same home, with exactly the same rooms, and receiving exactly the same care.

It has to be remembered that some people's owned homes aren't worth enough to pay for years and years of care anyway, so while they have lost their asset, they are still at some point going to have to be state funded and they won't get any more for their money than someone who has had to contribute nothing.

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:03

People need to engage the services of lawyers and accountants to minimise their tax liabilities otherwise they will spend their lives being unfairly taxed, play the rich at their own game.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:10

(Obviously I'm not naive enough to think that greater cost will guarantee greater quality of care, but you can pretty much guarantee that the state's minimum provision isn't going to be the best in town.)

KRITIQ Fri 04-Jan-13 15:12:38

Haven't read the whole thread, but I I personally don't believe anyone has a right to an inheritance when a parent dies. A person's assets should be used to ensure they have the best quality of life while alive. If there's spare cash left when they die, this should really just be seen as a windfall, not an entitlement.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 04-Jan-13 15:13:50

Isn't there a proposal - or is it in force? - that whatever home you start in, the state will actually fund you, even if it is expensive, when/if your savings do run out?

CooEeeEldridge Fri 04-Jan-13 15:14:36

Totally with you chipping, it's SHOCKING that people can be cautious, sensible, count every penny their whole life but will be forced to sell their asset that they do wish to pass on to their children (there's nothing wrong with this!!!!) to receive the same level of care as someone who has lived off the state their whole life. I struggle to see the point in buying a house now, subject really makes me mad!!!

Bride why should your gran ave to pay 500k for her care, but person in room next door has to pay f all?! It's not about the inheritance.

amck5700 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:15:22

I think the issue is that the woman in the next bed could have sat on her arse all her life on benefits and will get exactly the same care for feck all.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 15:18:33

I agree it's not about inheritance.

To those who don't see why children should expect an inheritance, do you think it's any different if the elderly person in question chooses to spend all their money on holidays and designer handbags?

The money should go where the person who owns it wants it to go. If they want to give their own money to their children, that is their right. If they want to spend it all during their lifetime, that is their right too, but I don't see why one choice entitles you to free care when the other choice doesn't.

soverylucky Fri 04-Jan-13 15:19:51

I will not inherit anything when my parents go but I still don't think that the elderly should have to pay for care. When the welfare state started it was supposed to be from the cradle to the grave. As has been pointed out on this thread there are plenty of instances when tax we pay does not benefit the individual directly. It is all or nothing. Should we start looking at care for those with terminal cancer and looking at their assets and see if they can pay for their care? Should we deny free education to those from wealthy families?
I know there is only so much money but I actually think that this is quite an important thing to spend money on. There are many old people who do need any care at all in their own age or there are people like too many in my family who have worked from the age of 14/15 and have died within a year of retiring at 65. Should we get a refund because they never claimed their full pension. To me it is a matter of principle.

hatgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 15:21:38

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 if the person lacks the mental capacity to make the decision about moving the council would have to show that any move was in their best interests e.g. for more appropriate care and not just based on cost.

If the person has mental capacity, and had moved to that home in the knowledge that they may have to move once their money ran out and that time has come they would then be in the position of asking family members to pay the 'top up' on top of whatever the council are willing to pay for them to remain in that home or move somewhere they can afford using state money.

I can totally buy the argument that its discrimination against the elderly.

We do, the elderly cost us more than all other benefits.

The answer is that we need to pay MUCH more tax and stop people accumulating great wealth so that they can then pass on assets in inheritance.

And no one wants to do that. So we don't.

People instead want to pay as little tax as possible and then bitch about 'paying again' when they're not.

The simple fact is we cost plenty to the state purse as a child and then much more when we're elderly and we don't earn enough or pay enough tax to hoard it, enjoy it and spend while working.

Pay more tax during working life or pay it when selling your assets when older.

It's simple economics.

Mosman Fri 04-Jan-13 15:24:58

The truth is the person in the next bed will be of a generation where it's pretty unlikely they were living it up on holidays etc.
However going forward for our generation the difference between owning your own home or not is a 2-5 year period of 1998-2003 when you may well have been at university and paying for it yourself or just starting your career.
Given that our kids will have student loans, an almost impossible task trying to have a secure home rented or owned, I actually think they damned well ought to have their parents assets as inheritance as the Cameron's children will without a doubt.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 04-Jan-13 15:28:20

Yeah, hatgirl, I've just been reading the AgeUk thing on funding;

"If the home in which you have been self-funding costs more than the local authority is usually prepared to pay for that type of care this may cause difficulties if you have to apply for local authority assistance later on.

The local authority may require a third party to make up the difference and, if none is available, suggest that you move to a cheaper home.

If either of the above is suggested, ask the local authority to carry out an assessment of your all your needs [...] They should also look at the risk of moving you.
If your existing care home is found to be the only one that can meet your assessed needs, then the full cost should be met by the local authority."

Legally, it would hinge on arguing your 'existing needs' I guess.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 15:30:03

I suppose the frustrating thing is if you work hard, pay your taxes and save for your old age then you get penalised for it. On the other hand if you don't work or waste all your money then you get free care in your old age

Do you not see any areas inbetween?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 15:32:55

Pay more tax during working life or pay it when selling your assets when older.

It's simple economics.

I could agree with this if it applied to everyone who was healthy enough to work though out the majority of their working age years. But it won't apply to everyone, and that is why the system is likely to always be unfair.

Corygal Fri 04-Jan-13 15:40:43

Fair or not, the facts get in the way of every argument here:

1. No one, but no one, has paid enough tax to fund 1k a week care for the rest of their lives. Most people die within a year of going into care, but increasingly stays of 10-15 years are common. That's one million pounds for one person's end of life care.

2. The UK is now becoming a nation of renters - renters pay out much more than anyone with a mortgage, and are left with nothing. Except the prospect of being booted out within the month, for private tenants, which most of them are.

I get a bit sick of people whining about losing their homes when huge, and rapidly increasing, swathes of the population never had a chance of one anyway.

JenaiMorris Fri 04-Jan-13 15:49:17

The renters are of course buying the property their landlord's children stand to inherit.

And those children will froth and growl to the Daily Mail when anyone suggests that their parents' estate ought to go someway towards paying for their care in old age...

I feel a revolution coming on grin

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 15:55:19

I realise that some people are unlikely to have the chance of owning their own property, but I don't see how the fact that they have been unable to own means that they are more deserving of free care.

People who own properties pay a lot too. Mortgages don't get given out for free, and maintaining a property is very expensive. Lots of people struggle financially in life, including homeowners. I don't agree that renters pay out much more every month. Some do, some don't. Renters and owners do not fall in to two separate well defined categories with no crossover at all.

Sometimes people choose to rent, and sometimes that choice enables them to have more luxury and choice than a homeowner who is stuck needing a new heating system in a property that's in negative equity. Sometimes people rent yet still have plenty of money in other assets or in the bank.

This isn't about homeowners versus renters, it's about being fair to everyone in society.

lookoveryourshouldernow Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:36

...hopefully this time round the Government WILL DO something like put a cap on the amount someone can pay for Nursing Care - this cap in turn could stimulate an area of the Insurance market which has not really been exploited to date.

Personally I would be happy to know that I could leave "something" to my children if I had savings above this amount and subsequently needed Nursing Care.

I would also be happy to take out an insurance policy against going into a Nursing Home to protect my savings ... I think that we need to know the maximum amount that we would need for our later years should we need Care - it is the great unknown as far as Nursing costs are concerned.

My Mother has spent over £310,000+ on Nursing Care - and is now funded by the SS as her savings/home sale funds are gone... That money represented a life of sacrifice for her and it would have broken her heart to know that she cannot leave anything to her children. Thankfully (???) she does not know as she is bed-bound, semi-comatose, unable to see, hear etc - in fact all she does is breathe.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Fri 04-Jan-13 16:00:28

Ew.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 16:04:54

I realise that some people are unlikely to have the chance of owning their own property, but I don't see how the fact that they have been unable to own means that they are more deserving of free care

It isnt about being 'deserving' of free care!

It just means they don't have the means to pay.

I think this is what some people struggle with, they think that because they have owned property that means they deserve something 'back'

expatinscotland Fri 04-Jan-13 16:13:25

'So - there are two elderly men, one has a couple of (grown) children, he's worked all his life and bought a home, hoping that his children will benefit when he dies - the other has partied his whole life, now they both need homes. The 'sensible' one is now punished for being sensible. Not really that fair is it?'

Why is it always assumed that if you do not have your own home that you were a profligate loser who never worked?

Greythorne Fri 04-Jan-13 16:15:34

Some people will have paid as much in tax as it costs to keep them in old age care. Otherwise the system would not work.

I read this a lot on MN 'you have not paid enough on tax to cover your c-section / old age care / cancer treatment'

Where has these meme come from?

expatinscotland Fri 04-Jan-13 16:15:36

I disagree with paying for someone's care to protect their childrens' inheritance.

Greythorne Fri 04-Jan-13 16:16:27

This meme, not these meme

kickassangel Fri 04-Jan-13 16:18:21

Look that is so sad to hear about your mother.

I view my earning years as basically a race to earn as much as possible to support me when or if I get to retirement. I put as much into a pension as I can manage and big financial decisions are based on whether I need to be building up savings or not.

I fully intend to downsize when older as I don't want to end my days worrying about upkeep etc. I also want to take out an insurance plan that will cover health care when I'm older, although it will be expensive and I may never benefit from it. I know that I am fortunate to have those choices and I am also very eager to see a proportion of my taxes going towards people who have had less choice and need more support.

Sadly, all these decisions rest on the assumption that I will remain fit enough to work until my 70s, which is quite a big gamble to take as it may not happen.

And that's the main point - a significant number of us don't stay fit and healthy enough to work for enough years and contribute in taxes. Therefore the savings do need to be used for this. I do think that if there's a major asset like a house that it should pay towards supporting a person if they no longer need it, rather than trying to keep it for inheritance.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 16:28:24

You might have misunderstood me through my bad choice of words there Amber, I certainly don't think that being a homeowner makes someone more deserving.

I shouldn't have used the word deserving really, because everyone is deserving of care when they need it.

And if everyone is deserving of it, everyone should get it, regardless of their bank balance. It just seems very very wrong that in a country where we pay into a system that is supposed to be there for people when we need it that we then pick and choose what treatments are free and which have to be paid for.

Comparing illnesses is much more of a valid comparison than comparing wealth, or property ownership.

And the fact is that the system as it is at the moment sees some illnesses as worthy of free treatment and others unworthy. I just think that's wrong. If someone needs help then they need help, the system should work the same way for everyone.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 16:30:20

I disagree with paying for someone's care to protect their childrens' inheritance.

Do you also disagree with paying for someone's care because they have spent all their money on expensive holidays?

expatinscotland Fri 04-Jan-13 16:35:22

'Do you also disagree with paying for someone's care because they have spent all their money on expensive holidays?'

Eh? So everyone who doesn't have a house to sell to pay for care has been blowing it on expensive holidays?

expatinscotland Fri 04-Jan-13 16:36:08

Is old age an illness?

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 16:39:41

cloudsandtrees

I see what you are saying now, but then you say this;

Do you also disagree with paying for someone's care because they have spent all their money on expensive holidays

So I think I was right first time.

You think its about non home owners being feckless and yes undeserving.

expatinscotland Fri 04-Jan-13 16:41:14

'My Mother has spent over £310,000+ on Nursing Care - and is now funded by the SS as her savings/home sale funds are gone... That money represented a life of sacrifice for her and it would have broken her heart to know that she cannot leave anything to her children. Thankfully (???) she does not know as she is bed-bound, semi-comatose, unable to see, hear etc - in fact all she does is breathe.'

I don't understand this mentality, but I come from a country where people presume that their own personal wealth is to pay for the best standard of care they can purchase, not to leave behind and expect the government to pay for entirely unless you are needy - no quibbling about, 'Well, people who don't have the assets I have are getting something I'm not'.

My parents are comfortably retired. We are lucky to have their assets to use and house to sell to pay for them, not leave to us. We did nothing to earn that money, why on Earth feel entitled to it? It's for them, as much as possible, to keep them as comfortable as we can.

They do not feel 'broken-hearted', but glad there are assets to help us help them if need be.

SwedishEdith Fri 04-Jan-13 16:42:15

*The answer is that we need to pay MUCH more tax and stop people accumulating great wealth so that they can then pass on assets in inheritance.

And no one wants to do that. So we don't.

People instead want to pay as little tax as possible and then bitch about 'paying again' when they're not*

I think Laurie sums it up perfectly.

Sirzy Fri 04-Jan-13 16:42:38

The dementia which saw my Grandmother needing to go into a nursing home was certainly an illness.

houseelfdobby Fri 04-Jan-13 16:44:28

Those taxpayers who are now paying for the care of the elderly will NOT have their own care paid for due to demographics: there will be too many of us. I agree with someone earlier that nobody has paid in enough tax to pay for years of expensive nursing care: the govt can only afford it for some because we currently have a relatively large working population (so several of us can support each old person). I agree with the OP - I don't expect the taxpayer to pay for my father's nursing home when his house could be sold to pay for it. Effectively it is ME as the beneficiary of the will that the taxpayer would be subsidising otherwise. Why should they? Why should my father, having worked hard all his life to pay for his house, not then spend that on himself when he needs it? These are harsh realities but free nursing care for all is not sustainable for the economy (sadly).

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 16:49:01

What a load of rubbish! I didn't say that at all, please don't twist my words and make such massive leaps from what I said into something I didn't even think.

It's not about homeowners being undeserving at all. Why in the world would I think that non homeowners are feckless and undeserving confused

I am genuinely baffled by that assumption.

I asked that question because people have a right to spend their own money on whatever they want. We aren't obliged by law to save for possible care if we get dementia or whatever, we aren't even forced to save for a pension. People make different choices with their money, as they are allowed to do. Some will save, some won't. Some will have enough to save, some won't. I don't think judgements should be made between those people. If they need care then they need care, it's that simple.

ByTheWay1 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:52:34

My mum lives in a council house.... she was abandoned by a feckless husband, worked at 3 part time jobs til she was 68 and could no longer cope with the physical work...

at some point she will go into a state funded care facility because she lives 700 miles away from me and does not want to move closer away from all her friends - we live where the work is.... so I cannot provide day to day care... she has no house, she has no savings, she has worked her fingers to the bone...

we can pay a bit towards her care but there is no way on this planet we could pay £700 a week (her local care home fee level) that is more than our combined salary for a start...

these threads make me feel completely p**sed off - she hasn't lazed around, she hasn't wasted a single penny on herself her whole life, and yet people would begrudge her free care...

louisianablue2000 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:54:22

The trouble with expecting people to pay for a care home is the criteria that determines if you get medical care or not. For example, my Dad died of cancer. A fortune was spent extending his life by a few months and the NHS paid for a hospital bed to be put into my parents home and a host of nurses and doctors facilitated the death he wanted at no direct cost to him or my family. On the other hand my grandfather had a series of strokes that eventually meant he was unable to live alone. My Mum cared for him at home until it was too much (imagine dealing with a 16 stone baby) and he then went into a care home for the last few years of his life. All his care was considered 'social' so when he had someone coming in weekly to care for him in his own home he had to pay for it, and all the modifications Mum and Dad had to make to their house had to be paid for by them and he paid all his care home costs himself. He could afford it but why can you get free personal care for cancer but not for a stroke or alzheimers? That's why it is unfair.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 16:56:04

It's not about homeowners being undeserving at all. Why in the world would I think that non homeowners are feckless and undeserving

That was the impression I got from you post below

This is a subject that really winds me up. I don't see how it is fair that one person should have to pay because they have made wise financial decisions but someone who hasn't gets exactly the same care for free

..and the posts about expensive holidays and handbags

sorry if I got that wrong.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 16:59:28

Eh? So everyone who doesn't have a house to sell to pay for care has been blowing it on expensive holidays?

I didn't say, or imply that either. I asked a genuine question.

Suppose I have a house worth a million pounds, but then when I'm 65 I choose to sell it, travel round the world a few times, and then I move in with my adult child and put all the left over money into trust for my grandchildren. Then I get to 80 years old and I need residential nursing care, but I can't afford to pay for it anymore. I'd be in exactly the same financial position as someone who could never have afforded a house at the time it is decided I need care.

Should I be given free care because I made different choices with my own money when someone else still has their million pound house and is forced to sell it? We both started retirement with the same value asset, but we made different choices on how to spend our money. Why does my choice entitle me to free care, but someone else's choice to leave it to their children means their choice is invalid?

angeltulips Fri 04-Jan-13 17:06:46

I'm guessing that you all believe that this should be funded by increasing the tax take of people richer than you?

So, let me get this straight. I work very very hard and earn a lot of money. But my parents are poor and do not own a house for me to inherit.

You would like me to pay materially more tax (on top of the 50p in the pound the taxman already takes) so that you can all inherit large valuable assets when your parents die? And you believe this to be "fair"?

Unfuckingbelievable. This is worse than the tortured justification of child benefit.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 17:07:15

It has been implied that those without a house to sell to pay for their care don't have one due to fecklessness.

Many have said as much if you scroll back.

unwise financially, not prudent, blown it on partying etc etc

ShiftyFades Fri 04-Jan-13 17:09:19

What Chipping said.
With this attitude we should just all rent, have great holidays and not have a penny to our names when we start going down the slippery slope to dementia. angry
Why should I expect to work hard, pay lots of tax and pay a mortgage for my son to have a good start in life.

<puts house on market and plans family holiday to Florida>

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:14:19

Some people will have been like that and blown money on partying though. Not being a homeowner is a valid choice even for people that could afford it.

I don't even see that as a criticism, it is up to individuals what they depend their own money on.

And sometimes people might be unwise financially, or feckless with their money. It's their money, they can do what they want with it. That doesn't mean they shouldn't get medical care and treatment when they need it. They are part of this so called civilised society as well.

We don't expect people to pay for their children's education, we don't expect people to pay for the vast majority of other illnesses they might have, so why should they pay for an illness that means they need residential care?

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:14:58

Depend = spend! Sorry!

hatgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 17:16:18

there seems to be an assumption from a lot of posters on here that all older people will at some point require residential care. This is just not the case at all.

Also, generally affluent people have better life expectancies and fewer health needs, can afford adaptations to their own homes, decent equipment etc if needed and are therefore probably less likely to end up in residential care in the first place unless they absolutely need 24 hour care in a residential environment.

I think it is a bit naive to look at it purely from the point of its not fair that people on benefits don't pay and people who who have money do have to pay - there are many other societal injustices involved up until that point that may have led to those people to be in their respective positions at that moment in time. Generally if you have worked hard and saved hard, you will always be better off than someone who hasn't or hasn't been in a position to do so. To resent the fact that your efforts have been rewarded and you can afford to pay for a better service than the state will offer is just a bit...

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 17:17:22

We don't expect people to pay for their children's education, we don't expect people to pay for the vast majority of other illnesses they might have, so why should they pay for an illness that means they need residential care

Because they no longer need their home!

Why should it be kept sitting there empty?

Other than so their children can inherit it on their death, I see no other reason.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:20:45

Because it belongs to them. It is their property, and if they want to leave it to their children (who will have to pay a high level of inheritance tax anyway) then that should be their choice.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:21:37

How does it work when someone uses one of those equity release schemes that are advertised on the telly and then needs residential care? Does anyone know?

fluffygal Fri 04-Jan-13 17:25:28

louisa Although it seems unfair, due to cancer your Dad's primary need was a health one so he would qualify for NHS continuing care funding, which means they pay for all care. Social needs through dementia would not qualify as being a primary health care need, its a social need therefore the NHS do not provide funding for that.

Care homes charge private paying clients more then they charge for clients by SS. For the same care. Most private paying clients do NOT get a better care home because quite simply they can only just about afford the basic ones that funded clients use!

fluffygal Fri 04-Jan-13 17:26:50

* clients funded by SS

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 17:32:33

Bytheway1 I wouldn't begrudge your mum free care, she is exactly the sort of person that we should be saving our welfare money to pay for, not millionaires who could pay for it themselves.

In an ideal world I absolutely believe that care should be free to all, but I just can't see how it's going to work.

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 17:33:26

Exactly Amberleaf!

Ilovexmastime Fri 04-Jan-13 17:34:46

Can I also say that I think the amount of money the owners of private care homes make is immoral?

digerd Fri 04-Jan-13 17:35:44

My mother was in a home for just a few months before she died. The fees were paid by the council, and claimed back after the house was sold. Sounds fair to me.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:36:40

Amber, you could apply the same theory to anyone who has a spare few grand in their account. Why should they save it for their children when they don't actually need it? Why should it be sitting there doing nothing?

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 17:36:57

Louisa. I agree with you. Cancer is an awful disease, but a dearly loved family member died a slow and painful death from an equally awful disease, but because it wasn't "cancer" she was denied nursing care, dignity and compassion. She didn't qualify for any palliative care or support, but it would be difficult to imagine a worse final illness.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 17:37:55

Care homes charge private paying clients more then they charge for clients by SS

This, I think, is disgusting and completely immoral.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 17:41:06

Sorry - that was to Louisianablue, I read your name wrong. I fail to see why a stroke, or series of strokes is not considered an "illness requiring nursing care". However, IME you have to be practically on life support to qualify for nursing care. Practically everything is considered to be "social care".

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 17:44:01

Cloudsandtrees - yes they do, almost 50% more, because the state will not pay the true cost (or at least what the owners say is the true cost).

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 04-Jan-13 17:45:21

Whoever asked upthread about changing homes when the savings run out, when my DH's gran ran out of savings, DH and his siblings paid the difference between the local authority funding and the care home fees so DGMIL wouldn't have to move.

My DGM is now in a home after holding out for years - I fully expect there to be no inheritance and I am fine with that. As she has been on a public sector pension for 30+ years, she has certainly had "more back" in taxes than she contributed already, if we are looking at it that way.

There's a divide between people who see this as an extension of health care and therefore should be free (parallel with NHS) and those who see it as an extension of housing/residency and therefore think it should be self paid where savings/income/assets allow and state supported where not (parallel with housing benefit I guess). I'm in the latter camp.

simplesusan Fri 04-Jan-13 17:45:57

I am definately of the school of thought that if you have gone without all your life but saved up to buy your own house with the hope that one day your children/grandchildren will benefit from this, then you should not be forced to sell your home.
My mum went without and so did I as a child but she did manage to buy her council house.

Now why should the only asset she has be taken away from her. Others on the street will receive free care, they could just have easily bought their homes. They chose to spend their money at the time on other things.
Totally unfair.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 04-Jan-13 17:46:32

If we all agree on two basic things -

1) That no elderly person should be denied a place in a care home because they can't afford it, and;

2) That we can't afford to fully fund care for every elderly person that needs it;

....then we're left looking at some form of means-testing, aren't we? Not really any way around it.

kickassangel Fri 04-Jan-13 17:49:58

I know it's a bit of a cliche - but it really is true that death and taxes are the only 2 certainties in life. As you get older, they sometimes seem like they are both headed towards you at an alarming rate.

Many of us go through life with our eyes shut and fingers in our ears somehow convincing ourselves that 'we'll be alright' when we get older. Although there could be some people who work and save all their money then either put it in trust or indulge themselves so that they can enjoy the money rather than spend it on nursing care, I think that they are very rare. Most people would probably make the choice to buy the best quality care that they can, if they have the money, then rely on the state if/when their money runs out.

I do think that heavy taxation on inheritance is a good thing - why should I just be given a lump sum of money from my parents when they die? They have lived in their house since I was 2, but I think it's ridiculous that they still live there when they don't need such a big house & a family with kids could be enjoying it. I know that some people get upset about the idea of moving elderly people out of a house, but it is just bricks & spit. I think that people are quite keen to hang on to their material possessions when off-loading them could actually give them a load more choices and resolve some issues.

For the 5% at the 'top' - well, I don't think that any major stately homes should be split up into flats or knocked down for a car park, but if they don't have enough cash to pay the 40% inheritance tax, then maybe they shouldn't be entrusted with that much property anyway.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 17:52:28

TheDoctrineOfSnatch - that is great as long as the family can afford to make up the difference of around £300 per week.

cakebar Fri 04-Jan-13 17:52:48

One poster said that her sister cared for her parents for 15 years before care homes ate her inheritance (which I have every respect for). Assuming the parents weren't suffering from dementia at the point they moved in this was partly the parents fault - when they became dependent on their daughter they should have handed over all their cash. As they were with her over 7 years she would have kept it. Even if they were with her less than 7 years they should have paid her a decent amount each year as their carer.

Did anyone see that program where celebs stayed in care homes? The one that was expensive was lovely, like a holiday. Everything was done to encourage you to have a decent quality of life (e.g. supported trips to the pub!) The state funded one was awful, I would hate to pass my final years there. You sat there whilst you waited to die. Money buys you choice and comfort.

SkivingAgain Fri 04-Jan-13 18:00:59

These debates are designed to set groups in society against each other and to portray older people as a burden. Do you object to paying for healthcare or social care for children or younger people with disabilities? These debates take attention away from what government does spend on and seeks to divide us by focusing on certain groups. Only a very small proportion of older people move to care homes, the rest are net contributors to the economy and vital sources of care and support as well as financial support to children and grandchildren. Yabu, but it is understandable if you rely on the media for your opinions.

PoohBearsHole Fri 04-Jan-13 18:01:55

The sticking point for me is that it costs the perso with assets £7-800 pw but the state pay £400 hmm why is that fair? Surely both paying the same is less discriminatory? If the person with assets the decides to go to a more expensive one then fair doos but if both getting the same level of care for half/double the cost of each other I don't think that's particularly fair. That is penalising you for having an asset.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 04-Jan-13 18:03:59

YY 3little - had the family not been able to do that (this was after DGMIL had been in residential homes a number of years) then she would have had to have moved care home unless she qualified for a charitable top up (homes were some kind of charity foundation I think).

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Fri 04-Jan-13 18:07:13

PoohBears it sounds a bit like the 15 hours free nursery - my private day care offers it but they are not allowed by law to charge a top up on it - however, anyone not eligible for whatever reason would pay, say £5.50 per hour not £3.50 that the government support adds up to (I think - it's been a couple of years since I heard the figure)

SkivingAgain Fri 04-Jan-13 18:08:59

And another point often overlooked is that 'wealthy' pensioners were usually higher earners and therefore higher contributors to the welfare state throughout their lives. They've paid in more but any 'benefit' they then need is grudged them.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 04-Jan-13 18:11:44

I think it's wrong to just keep sticking people in homes. What happened to looking after your family. A better idea would be to sell the home in question and use that cash for a family member to buy a house with a granny annex. IMO anyway.

What stinks is those plotting on how to gt hands on cash once they've stuffed mum in a care home. Mind you, I'm screwed I have only boys!

lisad123everybodydancenow Fri 04-Jan-13 18:12:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 18:13:00

It was my sister who looked after parents. 1 had dementia the other didn't. Parents paid for some social services provided care - a bath attendant once a day. SS told my sister that if they had paid her anything that would have been considered disposition of assets, and was not allowed.

I have come to realise that it is a minefield trying to find out what you are entitled to, and when you are already sressed and exhausted it is extremely difficult to get any help.

PoohBearsHole Fri 04-Jan-13 18:13:23

It just seems unfair, it's like someone buying a kitkat for £.50 in a govt shop and then th nexteron comin in with a deigne hand bag and beng charge £1, it's exactly the same product from exactly the same place. Ho hum.

PoohBearsHole Fri 04-Jan-13 18:15:10

And something happened to my keyboard obviously!

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 18:16:20

girloutnumbered - good luck with that when you have 2 sets of elderly parents with dementia, incontinence, lots of medical conditions, endless hospital appointments, AND you have to work full time to pay your mortgage and support your children. It can go on for years and years.

Strictly1 Fri 04-Jan-13 18:17:34

Selfish or not if this is the case when I get older i will be enjoying some nice holidays while I can. I would rather leave my son some money as I think his generation will struggle to get onto the housing market. If going without a few holidays I can help, I will.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 04-Jan-13 18:20:31

That would be difficult 3littlefrogs. I guess I only see my situation.

WeWishYouAMerryNameChange Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:18

I can see both sides of this and am literally 'living' it at the moment. My mum is in a care home (dementia) but prior to this I and my dd lived with her, with me as her primary carer. When I was unable to do this anymore she went into a home. Her house is to be sold to pay for her care, it doesn't matter that I gave up nearly 10 years of my life to care for her, that my earning potential suffered etc, I am not a dependant and therefore her house is an asset. The payment has been deferred though so I can stay here until her death (when I then have something like 15 days to pay the bil - hmmmm).

I have chosen to move out, and will rent.

After the initial fury for all the above reasons people have given - she worked hard all her life, etc etc I now think that it is right that the house is sold.

Mum receives excellent (albeit ludicrously expensive - £28k a year!) care and we as a society are becoming more and more expectant that the country will foot the bill. She can afford to pay for her care and should. The fact that she is relatively young, in good physical health and her house is not by any means a mansion, means that the government will indeed have to 'foot the bill' in about 5 years time anyway as there will be no money left.

JourneyThroughLife Fri 04-Jan-13 18:23:52

My mother has Alzheimer's, she's had it for several years. My father died years ago and there is no-one else but my sister and I. We cared for her as long as we could but I don't live close by and the burden fell on my sister who has two children and she's also trying to work. We never wanted my mother in a home but eventually Alzheimer's gets so bad my mother was a danger - falling down stairs, not eating correctly, leaving the cooker on, doubly incontinent...sometimes she would go to the toilet in saucepans and leave them all over the kitchen floor. She didn't sleep much either and so even a full-time carer had their hands full 24 hours a day. It became impossible. We did find a wonderful, caring and very loving and gentle nursing home where my mother is now. She is so much better, happier, settled. She no longer knows us but enjoys visits anyway.

We had no choice but to sell the family home. My sister and I have no big assests and to get the loving care we wanted for my mother costs us nearly £3700 per month privately and the local authority only refunds £400 of that. All the money was tied up in the family home which was big, with land, and no mortgage. I think it's only right that we should have to pay because we have the means to do so, free care should be for those with nothing at all. It also means that my sister and I will inherit nothing, but our view is that the house wasn't "ours" anyway, it was my parents' house and if they worked hard to buy it then it is only right it should fund my mother's last days and make her as comfortable as possible.

We haven't told my mother simply becuase she doesn't understand anything much these days and would find it too complicated to grasp. We would have done things differently if she was suffering from an illness which was curable and therefore needed her home to go back to, but in this case it wasn't so.

timidviper Fri 04-Jan-13 18:32:36

There is also an issue of different costs across local authorities. When my aunt needed nursing care we moved her to a home near us which is right on the border of 2 authorities. If we registered her with a GP in one area the nursing home was free of charge, if registered with a GP in the other area there was an £80 per week top-up fee.

I cannot see a solution to this, it is just another example of life is not fair, there will always be winners and losers.

WeWishYouAMerryNameChange Fri 04-Jan-13 18:33:03

And whoever said (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'whatever happened to looking after your parents'

OMG! My DM has severe mobility issues, which is why I moved home to be with her in the first place. Her dementia came on very very suddenly. Have you ANY idea how hard it is to look after someone who has dementia. I worked (p/t) and had a 3 year old dd at the time. I was up at 6.30 every morning to wake her up before the carers came (she refused to get up for them). I then had to deal with dd and get her ready for nursery. After nursery I would get home and see what gems the carers had written that day in her care diary (Things like 'Not given lunch today as she has been to London with her mother', 'not got her dressed today as there were not any clothes in the piano stool in her room' - no they'd be in the fucking wardrobe!).

I would then have to quickly scan the room for soiled sanitary pads, poo smears on the walls, unlock the kitchen (as she used to put the hobs on and throw things at it). This is on top of the fact that her bed was now in the one downstairs living room and she was using a comode - these STINK btw (all of the equipment as an aside is not given by the NHS, but by the Red Cross - this REALLY suprised me when she first got ill).

I'd calm my dd down as I explained that grandma didnt know that her toys weren't rubbish, and that's why they were in the bin (often covered with aforementioned soiled towels). Then it would be bedtime for dd, with the wails of dm as she would hallucinate small children around the house.

She would point blank refuse to go to bed. I had pressure alarms at all the exits to the house to stop her running away in the evening. I would be up probably every half an hour during the night to help her with something. I had to have the gas fire disconnected as she kept turning the gas on and not igniting it - my life was hell to the point where I would have happily stepped in front of a bus just to put myself out of action for a few months. And then there's the relentless guilt, the fury you feel that the person you love and cherish isnt that person anymore. The guilt you feel that you can't do it and that some people think you are shoving them in a home for an easy life and to get the inheritance!

But hey, just look after your relatives at home and stop being so selfish, that would solve all the problems

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 18:37:12

Yes in the 'olden days' family would care for the old and infirm in their family.

But then yes there wasn't such a need to be out earning to pay the ever important mortgage and lots of families had one adult in the home and one working full time.

Seems a bit pointless working so hard to maintain a mortgage when under this rule if you need care in your old age, it basically is no better than renting.

I don't think people buy a house so they have something to leave their children, I think they buy a house because they want a secure home for them and their children in their lifetime.

Society has changed lots though. for most people it isnt possible to afford a mortgage on one wage, so both adults work and no one is available to look after old parents.

It's all a bit skewed really.

Nuttyprofessor Fri 04-Jan-13 19:40:47

I think you can apply this theory to all of life.Why work when you can get everything for free. It is sad that there will always be people that feel this way.

If we could only support people that were genuinely unable to support themselves we would be much richer.

Giving benefits to those that don't need them may be fair but it is hardly workable.

Lilithmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 19:54:02

For this suggesting that families should look after their parents...you try looking after someone who has very severe dementia for one day and then harp on about families looking after the old and infirm. It is neither physically nor psychologically possible in some cases for the family members or the actual sufferer themselves. But don't let that get in the way of your judging.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 19:59:48

Was that for me Lilith? you said 'old and infirm' which I used in my post.

I said I would do it as long as is medically possible for my parents. I know that dementia is no walk in the park and requires professional care.

I have also been a carer for an elderly family member until she died and am carer for my own disabled child, so I do have some insight into the relentless task of caring.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 20:00:57

My point was that societal pressures have changed the way families work.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 04-Jan-13 20:01:34

No one is being judgmental, why do people have to take posts so personally. Obviously, there are many many different circumstances. I was just saying in my experience some people can be really quick to chuck a parent in a home. It happened to my DH grandma.

Of course it's impossible for many families and I was just pointing out that I I didn't like this one aspect of it. Please don't take it as a sweeping statement and assume that I meant ALL. I didn't.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 20:05:35

Pressures from society has changed the way families work, but a couple of generations ago, elderly people just didn't live as long. Nowadays people can be physically so healthy that mental illness like dementia can be with people for a lot longer than it ever used to be.

Lilithmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 20:45:47

It was a general point and I can't help but take it personally because it is personal to me sad
My mum going into a home was absolutely dreadful, and she was sectioned and so it was all out of our hands anyway.
How she is now is heart breaking.
It is just so horrific for her and for everyone involved.
TBH this sort of thread just pushes my buttons.

GirlOutNumbered Fri 04-Jan-13 20:49:06

lillithmoon sorry. It's easy to whack out an opinion based on what I know and not think about others.
I hope I don't have to experience what you are going through.

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 20:50:20

I talked about my grannies up the thread who are both in homes.

My one granny has end stage severe dementia and is 92. God love her but she is really just a shell of a physical person. She cant communicate other than by screaming and has been bed bound for over 2 years. She does eat and drink when its offered. She needs 24 hour care.

My other granny has early dementia and could mentally still live at home except her eye sight is limited by her disease so.she can't interpret what she is seeing. So she panics because she is essentially blind and becomes disorientated really easily - anything from every hour to every other minute. The turning point for placing her in a home came when she was found wandering round one day with a bottle of bleach (that we still have no idea where it came from as she had a cleaner who brought her own supplies) and nearly put it in a cup of tea because she thought it was milk.

Our problem was that 100 miles away you can't help when things go hideously wrong. And sometimes nothing replaces the fact they need someone 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. But we all have children of our own and financial commitments to meet (and who doesn't these days) and not working was simply not an option. I no longer take ds to see my one granny because he is so frightened by her screaming he curls up in ball and cries.

Dementia robs the person that you love of all the things that make them who they are - their sense of humour, their communication and ultimately their connection to you. When the day comes when they no longer recognise you and you become just another face it is truly heart breaking.

So they are both in places which can meet their needs which would be really difficult to meet at home - one funded, one self funding but ultimately both deserving of care and constant reassurance.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 21:03:40

I can understand that Lilith.

colleysmill Fri 04-Jan-13 21:15:28

Could I add that I think caring for a dependent relative can be such a huge commitment to undertake - it can be relentless, under appreciated, emotionally and physically draining and an enormous responsibility. It often involves great sacrifices in terms of time and emotion. Ok we (currently because who knows what will happen!) have carers allowances but to the best of my knowledge it isn't a direct replacement to a living wage.

Ofcourse I'm sure many of us would want the best for our nearest and dearest and sometimes that is recognising it needs more than love and commitment alone and means a level of care better delivered by a home.

So back to how that is paid for - I have no idea how to make it fairer and also cost effective other than what has already been discussed, and for once I have sympathy for the politicians who need to be making decisions about this sooner rather than later.

Lilithmoon Fri 04-Jan-13 21:24:07

Thanks Girl and Amber.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 22:59:32

Please do tell me how I can easily "chuck" one of my ill, demented PIL in a home. I have been trying for a year just to negotiate some respite care. It has taken me hours and hours to fill in all the forms just to get the attendance allowance sorted out. I am paying for the carer who is supposed to come and get MIL up and washed and dressed.

I agree with the PP who mentioned the entries in the care log:

"Mrs....did not want to get up today. She says her daughter in law is coming to take her out later". (DIL is at work from 7.00 till 5 pm, then has own DC to sort out, will not actually be free till 9pm).

"Mrs.....did not wish to have a shower today" (despite fact that MIL is doubly incontinent).

Apparantly we have to have the bathroom completely redesigned and fitted. This will make it easier for the carer. Nobody has told me how we achieve this when there are no respite beds available.

"Mrs....refused medication today"....carers are not allowed to actually give medication, only to "prompt" the client to take it themselves.

There is an awful lot of nonsense written and talked about this in the press, presumably by people who have never had to actually deal with any of it.

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 23:10:31

3littlefrogs, have you had contact with anyone in occupational therapy? or adult SS?

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 23:11:35

Sorry that was probably a silly question! Im sure you must have.

Just with my relative that was who sorted the adaptations to the bathroom.

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 23:19:26

Yes, it was the OT who told us what we need to do with the bathroom. Unfortunately the problem is what do we do with the ill, demented, incontinent, partially sighted old people while this work is being done. Answers on a post card............

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Jan-13 23:23:32

Ah yes, they did them while mine was in hospital.

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:27:15

op, I agree with you

why should the state pay the whole care home fees so the daughter can inherit the full amount of the mums home

if there is money available to fund fees it should be used

if the money is not available the state should pay

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:30:07

and nobody should say family should look after elderly relatives, unless you have been in this situation you shouldn't be allowed an opinion at all

InExitCelsisDeo Fri 04-Jan-13 23:32:22

Maybe if everyone sold their homes and went into social/rented accommodation when older and spent their money instead of saving it, it would help the economy, and the state could then pay for any care they needed.

No?

InExitCelsisDeo Fri 04-Jan-13 23:33:15

Not allowed an opinion

Gosh......

timidviper Fri 04-Jan-13 23:33:28

But ssd that takes us back full circle to why some people may have money and others may not (whether that be life circumstances, fecklessness or financial planning) and why should the state pay for some and not others?

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:35:09

yes

gosh

too many people say "look after your relatives yourself"....but have never ever had to or faced this, its an impossible task sometimes, however much you would like to do it

InExitCelsisDeo Fri 04-Jan-13 23:38:23

Surely you can't stop people having an opinion though?

Maybe you would prefer them to keep their opinion to themselves, but you can't stop them having one.

<worries about dormant opinions>

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:40:53

timidviper, because the state is there for a back up, thats all

I own a house but if I have to sell it in the future to pay for care home fees then that's what I'll have to do

my mum didn't own a house and got her fees paid by the state, for years, and thank god she did

the way house prices are going more and more people will never own a house so will need some state back up when they get old and I'll gladly sell my house to pay for my own care so others can get the back up they'll need

if my kids dont inherit anything, they'll need to get on with it, I inherited nothing, its still doable

3littlefrogs Fri 04-Jan-13 23:41:12

Must go to bed now. Lots of dirty laundry to get through tomorrow. sad

CloudsAndTrees Fri 04-Jan-13 23:42:31

This thread prompted me to have a look at the Age UK website to see what they had to say, and I came across the Gifted Housing Service that they offer.

You can gift your house to the charity, then they will pay for its maintenance, council tax and other things, as well ask providing help with care home fees should it become neccesary. It sounds like a very good option for many older people, and I hope something similar is still around when I'm older.

Your children obviously wouldn't inherit your house, but at leat you would have some choice over what happens to it, it would still help to benefit others, and you still get the care you need.

ssd Fri 04-Jan-13 23:43:15

well they can have all the opinions they like, but its like your childless friend telling you how babies should sleep all night.....when your parent has dementia and your friend with the mum who pops over to babysit tells you you should look after your parents yourself....some opinions are best left unsaid...

kickassangel Fri 04-Jan-13 23:44:24

And we haven't even touched on how the people themselves may not wish to be cared for by their children. My parents don't even like me making a cup of tea for myself, even though my mother has trouble standing and walking. Dh's grandmother gets herself up before the carer who comes to do that as she doesn't want to be a burden and make a fuss.

With cutbacks some of the state paid caters are given just 15 minutes for each visit on their rounds. It just isn't adequate.

I would hate to are for my parents, and they would hate for me to do it. I would however help to arrange for as much help as they need and it wouldn't occur to me to worry about 'losing' my inheritance. Their money is their resource to support them and give them comfort.

timidviper Fri 04-Jan-13 23:51:34

I do agree with you ssd but this argument goes round in circles about if someone has been frugal/feckless, etc and, with respect, you might feel differently if your mum had worked and saved for her whole life to buy a house (as governments encouraged people to do back then) only to see it all go and not give her any benefit over someone who had chosen to spend all their money as they went along.

Can I just say I have not had to face this situation, have no axe to grind and am just being a bit devil's advocate-y, I can see this argument all ways round.

InExitCelsisDeo Fri 04-Jan-13 23:54:33

Exactly kick. My Dad has been without heating since Boxing Day because those bastards Eon are such useless twats, but will he let me get involved? No way. We eventually persuaded him to have an alarm button round his neck, but the one time he has fallen since having it, he spent 45 minutes shuffling on his arse round the bed to get to the phone to ring me. When I asked him why he didn't press the button he said he didn't want to bother anyone. The fact that all they would have done was phone me seems to have been lost on him.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Fri 04-Jan-13 23:55:09

Absulutely right, Kickass.
This hovering and anticipation of inheritance is appalling and rather ridiculous.

I've heard people actually saying that their mum's care home fees have 'cost' them 10s of 1000s of ££. When I've questioned this, they've said it was because the house had had to be sold. So it's cost your mum then hmm.

It shocks me and I'd hate to think my mother or my FIL might be thinking they had to watch their pennies, or feel guilty about needing care because it impinged on my expectations.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 05-Jan-13 00:01:51

And and and - just because our parents may have worked hard to achieve their high-equity house (actually they probably bought at the right time, with a low mortgage, and happen to have sat in it while property prices saw an unprecedented and possibly never-to-be-repeated rise) - doesn't make us as those people's children any more entitled to a chunk of cash than the children of those who've either never owned property, or happen to have owned it in a part of the country that hasn't seen these inflated increases.
We've had nothi g to do with the 'work' or lack of our parents have contributed towards the value of their house, and there is no moral reason we should see the cash when it can be put to good use.

demisemiquaver Sat 05-Jan-13 00:19:44

shotgun I agree with you...my only caviat is the person who has given up a career/job where they pay their own pension contributions/marriage/decent life/etc to care for aged parent[s] at home for a long time ,who may lose the roof over their head to pay for eventual carehome fees and/or death duties : they have my total sympathy

AlexanderS Sat 05-Jan-13 00:24:59

OP, don't read the Daily Express. It's a heap of utter shite and leads to selfish and grasping attitudes like the one expressed in your post.

WeWishYouAMerryNameChange Sat 05-Jan-13 00:30:46

3littlefrogs - i fought and fought for respite when mum was at home. It was horrendous, I think I had 2 weekends in nearly 3 years. I kept telling her sw that I wasn't coping and that I thought that she needed to go into a home, but it seemed to take forever. The only reason dm finally went into a home was because I literally broke. I stopped going to work, avoided leaving the house, stopped taking my dd to nursery just stayed in my room with dd, for about a fortnight. Luckily my best friend forced me to the drs and the dr prescribed me some ads and told me i had to speak to DM's CPN. I rang her the next day and just cried, told her what I had told the Dr, what I felt and within a week a space had been found for mum.

The biggest problem is the services for adult care are so underfunded and understaffed that if you appear to be coping they will just leave you to it. Mums SW told me once that she was supposed to have 25 cases and was currently dealing with 85. The only people she ever got to see were the ones that were in crisis.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 00:41:25

I agree that there is no moral reason why the 'children' should get an inheritance. They are not entitled to it. But I don't think it's about what the children want, what they want is irrelevant.

What matters is what the person who owns the money or asset wants. It belongs to them, they should have a right to say what happens to their own property.

They would have the right if they spent it all before they needed residential care, and they should continue to have the right after they become ill. It's wrong that a person has their property taken from them just because they become to disabled to live without significant help.

People are told that the money is paying for care fees, but if they are forced to self fund, and they are contributing up to double what the state is contributing for exactly the same thing, then it amounts to no more than a tax on illness.

CointreauVersial Sat 05-Jan-13 01:29:14

Wewishyou - carers deserve a medal, I can't imagine how tough it was for you.

All those who say you shouldn't bother saving for your old age - surely if your mother had a sum of money on hand to fund private respite care, a private nursing home place and so on, things would have been a lot easier for you?

My Gran spent several years in a beautiful care home, like a posh hotel, because it was funded from the cost of her property. It was considerably nicer than anything that state funding could have given her. By the time she died there was very little left, but my dad wouldn't have wanted the money spent any other way.

My friend has two disabled daughters but is privately wealthy and has been able to pay for home improvements, decent wheelchairs and so on, leaving her in a far better position than someone struggling to provide for their children with the help of the state.

So yes, there is safety net for those who cannot pay. We live in a welfare state. But don't forget that money does buy you a better standard of living, even in a care home. There is a reason to work hard and save your money.

kickassangel Sat 05-Jan-13 01:51:35

yes - those with money can probably stay in their houses for longer than those without. many people would be able to pay for a higher level of in-house care which would mean they could stay in their home much more easily. Whatever the cut off point is for a benefit, there will be people who are just on the wrong side of it, who feel that they have somehow lost out. The problem with care is that it does provide a home for someone as well as nursing/caring. No matter what your age, it costs money to have a roof over your head.

How people have ended up without the means to support thmeselves isn't really relevant imo. They may have been low earners, or high rollers spendthrifts. If they are too old/ill to work, then the welfare state should support them. If they have enough money (whether cash or capital which can be rleeased due to a house sale) to support thmeselves then it should be spent on their care - they may want to pass it on to their family, but I'm too left wing to think that they should be able to.

What is the amount that people can have in savings before they need to self-fund care? I think it's several thousand. If they really wanted to give their children support and security, it would be better if they did it when their children were starting out in life, not in their 50s, as they probably would be.

sashh Sat 05-Jan-13 02:41:52

So - there are two elderly men, one has a couple of (grown) children, he's worked all his life and bought a home, hoping that his children will benefit when he dies - the other has been in poor health and only able to work part time his whole life, now they both need homes. The 'sensible' one*'s children won't inherit a house* Not really that fair is it?

I worked in nursing homes for years, one of the worse things about it is the worry it caused people.

We had a couple who came in as the husband could no longer look after himself and his wife. He was 98 she was in her mid 80s. He did nothing but worry about what would happen to his dw if the money from the sale of the house ran out.

Lots of elderly people worry about it. It doesn't matter how many times you explain to them that it will be fine and funded by the government

pigletmania Sat 05-Jan-13 07:16:16

Well op why should I pay for your child's benefit, why should I pay for thers to receive benefits or health care hmm

Oodhousekeeping Sat 05-Jan-13 08:05:18

My grandad is currently in hospital waiting to move to a nursing home ( not that likely to make it tbh sad ) he's self funding a care home which we don't object to as he is receiving good care but we do object to the lack of choice. The SW tells us what's available and that's our choice ( choice of 2 within 20 miles when looking at a care home. Nursing home wise there's no choice. We've agreed to up to 40 miles to get him out of hospital but only option so far (6 weeks of waiting) is the nearest to us but a twin room and he may not be suitable for that. The other issue with lack of choice is the price varies by £300 a week and as far as we can tell the facilities don't vary much ( although grandad is rarely awake so won't use much anyway)

Collaborate Sat 05-Jan-13 08:08:08

Have I fallen asleep and woken up in a different world where state benefits are no longer means tested? Medical care in a nursing home will always be paid by the state. The provision of accommodation and food has always been means tested, and should remain that way.

The sense of entitlement of disappointed beneficiaries is astounding. the national debt that is still building up is going to have to be repaid by our children.
Remember them?
The ones that will have to pay the earth for their pensions?
The ones that will never see equity in their homes build up like their parent's and grandparent's homes?
the ones that will have to work until they're 67 or later, and won't get to retire early like many aged in their 60s and 70s have?
The ones who can't get a job because their parents and grandparents went on a personal and state fuelled credit binge mortgaging their futures and making homes unaffordable (oh the glee in the DM etc when house prices rise, when housing is as basic a need as a loaf of bread)?

Let them pay for it all.

I feel for my kids, I really do. Cut them some slack

TheCollieDog Sat 05-Jan-13 09:09:04

The sense of entitlement of disappointed beneficiaries is astounding. the national debt that is still building up is going to have to be repaid by our children

Collaborate I'm completely with you there. I want everyone to be well looked after in their old age, particularly if they're in ill health or otherwise vulnerable.

But that is one thing.

Preserving an "inheritance" or an "estate" for middle-aged children is another thing entirely. I don't see why the general funds available for supporting what people actually need should be undermined or diverted towards preserving and "estate" for heirs. they bang on about the "family home" as if they're aristocracy looking to inherit Chatsworth or something, when in reality, it's unlikely that any adult children will have lived in the so-called family home for years. And if they have, and are dependents in that way, then the house is protected.

When or if I need to go into a nursing home, I won't be able to live in my current house. Of course it should be sold to fund my move to my next home - be that another house or a residential care home, or sheltered accommodation. My DS knows that, as I know that this is the deal with my own parents.

Here's an analogy -- I'm in the middle of a complicated job relocation. Should I demand that the state (ie all of us taxpayers) subsidises me keeping my current home because < cue violins > it's my family home, the only one my DS has known (even though he's now independent and travelling the world for a bit) while I also purchase another home in the town I'm moving to?

See, put it like that and I think you see the illogic of the preservation of children's inheritances in this way. Just a lot of greedy people, in my view.

TheCollieDog Sat 05-Jan-13 09:12:27

This from kissangel is the most sensible post on this thread:

How people have ended up without the means to support thmeselves isn't really relevant imo. They may have been low earners, or high rollers spendthrifts. If they are too old/ill to work, then the welfare state should support them. If they have enough money (whether cash or capital which can be rleeased due to a house sale) to support thmeselves then it should be spent on their care

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 09:22:53

I guess the natural conclusion here is if you want to preserve the inheritance for your children you can pop over to Switzerland for a cocktail. Still keen ? Thought not.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sat 05-Jan-13 10:27:08

Excellent post, CollieDog.

Viviennemary Sat 05-Jan-13 10:44:46

As far as I see it we either have a NHS to look after people who are ill, sick or too old to look after themselves or we don't. If we do then why should old people to ill to be left alone be treated any differently from anybody else.

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 10:48:45

The point is what if they aren't ill just old ?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 10:50:39

I really don't think that the majority of this debate is about inheritance. It's about what the person who owns their saving or assets wants.

Oddhouskeeping, your post is really sad and I feel for your Grandad. If someone is going to self fund, then that's fine as long as they have some choice, and as long as it does get them more than the minimum, especially as it has already been stated by other posters who work in the system that people who self fund pay up to double what the state will pay for exactly the same thing.

That's where it becomes unfair. When someone has to spend their life savings and it achieves nothing. It's not about middle aged people being able to benefit from a lump sum of money that they didn't earn and have no right to.

Sashh, in the example you gave, you are right it's not fair. But the second mans unfairness is dealt to him by ill health which is one of those things that can't be helped, the first mans unfairness is dealt to him by rules from the government that don't have to be there. As long as they both end up with the care they need, that's the most important thing

How is it fair that someone can be forced to sell everything they have worked for and they are no better off than someone who has made different choices with their money? Remember that the person who is state funded and not forced into selling their home may be in that position because they gave their children money when they were younger, or because they set up trusts for their grandchildren, or because they went on lots of holidays.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 10:52:56

If they are just old and not ill, then that's different and they have choice. They can choose to pay for care in their own home because they aren't a danger to themselves and are unlikely to need 24 hour care.

louschmoo Sat 05-Jan-13 11:04:00

viviennemary the NHS isn't there to take care of people who are too old to look after themselves though.
I completely agree with collaborate and colliedog. I don't understand the issue with selling one home to fund another. Either way your money is invested in a roof over your head. And if you don't have the funds (cash or assets) then the state steps in. That seems reasonable to me.

Viviennemary Sat 05-Jan-13 11:05:49

I'd say if a person was too old to look after themselves in their own home but not ill then they would be 'infirm' and thus the NHS should be paying for their care.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 11:10:00

Maybe the difference should come in whether someone needs medical care or not.

If someone needs specialist nursing care, or care because of demential or MH problems, then the state will fund in the same way they provide care for any other illness.

If someone is just getting too old to manage on their own comfortably and because of nothing other than old age they would prefer to be in a housing scheme, then they can self fund.

As someone who objects to people being forced to sell their home, I'd be much happier with a situation like that where medical needs were met by the state but social needs weren't.

I also think that people who self fund should be entitled to more choice about where they live.

Oodhousekeeping Sat 05-Jan-13 11:22:00

Medical funding is v difficult to get though. We went through the continuing care assessment for my Grandad. He can't sit up, use his left side, hasn't eaten or taken oral meds since the start of December(drip fed), is completely blind, can't speak more than one word, incontinent, gets lots of infections, is anxious and confused ( mainly due to illness/blindness rather than dementia). He is only eligible for £108 (?) of his nursing home fees as his medical needs aren't high enough.

louschmoo Sat 05-Jan-13 11:22:46

clouds i certainly agree with you that self-funders should have a choice about where they go. But ultimately most people who live well into old age will end up having complex medical, social and emotional needs. Where does the money come from to cover the full range of care these people need, as well as feeding and housing them? I just don't see how that can be fully funded by the state for everyone.
And as for people being forced to sell their homes, well if i move house i will be 'forced' to sell my current property to fund the move. What's the difference?

Delalakis Sat 05-Jan-13 11:24:23

Never, ever respond to the dog whistle attempts of the right wing tabloid press to wind you up. They're invariably following their own agenda, and they invariably suppress or twist any fact that don't suit their agenda.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 11:26:59

The difference is that you won't be living next door to someone in an identical house that has been given their house for free.

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 11:33:53

Well clouds you would be surprised

louschmoo Sat 05-Jan-13 11:36:52

But why does that matter anyway? Those that can afford to pay, pay. Those that can't get state support. Isn't that what a welfare state is supposed to be about?

TheCollieDog Sat 05-Jan-13 11:54:11

And as for people being forced to sell their homes, well if i move house i will be 'forced' to sell my current property to fund the move. What's the difference?

Exactly.

Medical care is different, but we all have to pay for a roof over our heads.

splintersinmebum Sat 05-Jan-13 11:59:17

At the first sign of dementia I am going to top myself. Seriously.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 12:05:23

No, that isn't what the welfare state is about. If it was, we wouldn't have an NHS that is free to everyone regardless of how much they have in the bank.

I will definitely be doing everything I can to avoid being in this position when I'm older. If I haven't already spent almost everything by the time I'm 80, I will use something like the gifted housing scheme I linked to earlier.

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 12:13:27

Well more fool you clouds, that's why the rich get rich and the poor get poorer. Handing down your assets and accumulated wealth is the only way your children will stand a chance of improving their position.

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 12:14:08

I wonder when the insurance policies for aged care will become available in the UK as they are in the USA ?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 12:15:39

Which is why I intend to do as much of that as possible while I'm still alive, and before I need residential care ( if I ever do).

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 12:18:29

Fair enough, me too.
Although again I have no plans to spend 20 years sat in a piss stained arm chair getting under everyones feet. 3 score years and 10 is enough for anyone IMO

RedHelenB Sat 05-Jan-13 12:20:36

That goives you 2 years of retirement then Mosman!!!

Mosman Sat 05-Jan-13 12:29:45

On a state pension maybe but I'm certainly not relying on that to fund my booze cruises grin

louschmoo Sat 05-Jan-13 12:43:27

To each according to his needs, from each according to his means.
Yes, the NHS is free at point of use to all. But this is just one part of our welfare system. Housing, social care, financial assistance (e.g JSA, tax credits) are means tested and so they should be.
When it comes to elderly care medical needs may be varied and expensive, but there is also housing, feeding etc to consider. How can the NHS be expected to pay for this as well, even if the person in question has an empty home to sell which they will never live in again?

Corygal Sat 05-Jan-13 12:49:53

To me, the only question is: what's worse - stumping up for the poor, or protecting the unearned inheritance of people - who thanks to their age & class, are highly likely to be well off anyway - with cash payments to them from money earned by the sweat of my brow?

Which is more unfair?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 12:56:00

That's a massive assumption you are making there Cory!

One of the biggest reasons I object to this is because my generation and my children's generation are not likely to be well of unless they are extremely privelidged.

Especially for our children's generation, who are going to have to pay tuition fees, will struggle to ever buy a house, may well be stuck in a situation where their living costs are so high that no matter how hard they work they have little chance of being financially comfortable. That's how I see my children's future being, and I don't see why I as their parent shouldn't be able to help them in whatever way I can without having to worry that I won't have money left over to pay for my elderly care. Especially when I would get the same care regardless of whether I have ever had the means to pay it or not.

Corygal Sat 05-Jan-13 13:58:57

Clouds - goal in one! I am chastened. As you point out, the current inheritors are the last generation to afford their own homes and inherit chunks of cash.

For the next generation property will be hereditary. (yep, like in the middle ages - we've come far, haven't we Dave.)

But the problem remains - given that many people won't inherit, how much can you justify taking the only thing they've got - their wages - to support people who will?

CloudsAndTrees Sat 05-Jan-13 14:03:38

grin

Tbh, I'd rather we stopped paying money to the EU and foreign aid and stopped trying to be so influential in the rest of the world so we could fund care for our own, but I don't know enough about all of that stuff to be able to turn it into an eloquent argument!

Corygal Sat 05-Jan-13 15:01:43

I rather agree with you about spending reviews. I'd go for an efficiency drive, myself, ie lose half the civil service.

crashdoll Sat 05-Jan-13 15:23:03

To the people who are comparing payment for care homes to the NHS:

If you have social care needs at ANY adult age, your income and savings will be taken into account (although I must admit, I'm not sure how it works with children). If you are assessed as needing a care package but have a certain amount of savings, then you are expected to pay for it yourself. I work with some people who are disabled, unable to work and only receive benefits and still, they are expected to contribute to their social care package.

CointreauVersial Sat 05-Jan-13 15:44:57

Some of you are labouring under the misapprehension that the NHS picks up the tab for care of the elderly.

Medical care, yes, but not social care. You'll be treated for any illnesses or conditions that you have, but not looked after indefinitely just because you are elderly. Not being able to look after yourself is not considered an illness.

As several posters have mentioned, you can be deaf, incontinent, incapable of feeding yourself, whatever - this is not something that the NHS will pay for. It is very hard to get state funded care on medical grounds.

The only case I know of is my SIL's grandmother - she was sectioned at the age of 85 because her dementia made her a danger to others as she became very violent. Her care was therefore state funded even though she owned a property.

crashdoll Sat 05-Jan-13 19:08:38

^ exactly!

cumfy Sat 05-Jan-13 20:56:00

Don't get Alzheimer's get an axe!

Hmmmmm.smile

This is how this country works.
Why are you here if you can't cope with it?
Is the bottom line that I think of. This system will be absolutely perfect and ideal for only about 2% of the population, you strike me as the kind of person for whom this would be a comforting thought.

I would choose this every time.

dreamingofsun Sat 05-Jan-13 21:06:30

agree ilove. why should we pay more tax to cover someone's carehome fees, so that someone who may not even work inherit a load of money? why should wealth be focussed even more just in certain families (and I say this a a conservative voter). The OAP concerned should cover their own costs - noone covers my childcare fees or any other living costs i have, why should i pay for a rich OAP's just because she is old?

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 05-Jan-13 21:29:02

My grandparents lived in a council house. They were immigrants who worked all their lives, and hard. In the end they never needed to go into homes, but if they had, the state would have had to pay for that.
I really, really HATE this attitude of "hard working people who have made wise choices" versus "feckless lazy buggers".
It's not really like that.
The previous generation, the baby boomers tend to have large assets. Yes, if they have the assets, and need care, they need to sell their assets to pay for this.
My generation, many of us will not have any assets. I will probably never own my own home. That is not because I am feckless, but because by the time I wanted to buy a house, it was financially impossible.
It's the politics of envy again, reversed. The rewards for doing well in life and having a nice home are worth more than what you leave your kids. You also get a whole lifetime of being able to enjoy your owned home and the security and choices that brings you.
If you don't end up inheriting your parents house, then that's a shame. I doubt I will. I fully expect to have to sell my parents houses to pay for their care, and I am OK with that. If it leaves me with nothing, that's fine. It's their money, not mine.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 05-Jan-13 21:34:26

Sorry, I meant "the previous generation to mine, eg my parents generation"-that wasnt clear.

digerd Sat 05-Jan-13 22:00:27

My grandmother came to live with us and died in bed at our house. But as I was only 5 when she died, my brother 8 and my sister 2, nobody actually remembers her being at home with us. I vaguely remember seeing her once, and she frightened me, although I knew she was trying to be nice and was delighted to see me < sad face>. Both parents passed away now , but mum never mentioned anything about that time to me.
Later when I was older, Granddad came to live with us until he died aged 81. neither had dementia, though.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Jan-13 01:08:37

'It doesn't seem the state "reward" the elderly for working or being wise with money either '

And you consider benefits claimaints entitled? Where is it the government's responsibility to 'reward' certain people? FFS.

Mosman Sun 06-Jan-13 04:10:55

Alright then, not penalise the prudent would be a better way to look at it.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Jan-13 04:25:38

How is it penalising? And why the assumption that anyone without assets or savings enough was not prudent, feckless, etc?

I'm just trying to get my head round this because again, my father worked and worked, did without, was prudent, etc and doesn't see using that money or assets to pay for his own care or my mother's as a penalty. He sees it as good fortune he is able to fund the best care he can and have more choice in the matter in it than those who are reliant on the state.

Mosman Sun 06-Jan-13 06:29:43

And providing he does end up in a better position for all his toil it has been worthwhile, the tread is about ending up in the same position as those who did not save, which is happening.
I do think if you reach a certain age with no savings, no assets and nobody prepared to step up and assist you then you've got to wonder what those people did with their lives. I know a few people who will end up in that position and having known them for a very long time it's nobody's fault but their own.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 06-Jan-13 07:07:34

<applauds IfNot's post>

Binkybix Sun 06-Jan-13 08:14:53

Another reasonably (but not crazy) high earner here who objects to people wanting to raise taxes to fund their inheritance when I won't inherit anything myself.

If you want to use the 'it's not fair' logic, then you could look at it like this. I work hard and studied hard. If I have to pay really high taxes to fund increasing residential elderly care so people can avoid using their assets and allow their children to inherit I will have less money, which will make it even harder to ever buy a house of the size we need for the family. Others who work less hard and earn less or as hard will also inherit and have more than me. That's not 'fair' either.

HUGE DISCLAIMER: I don't really believe earnings always reflect how hard you have worked etc. just trying to use the same logic as the 'not fair' brigade to show that sometimes life isn't fair. It's just the way it is and is sometimes inevitable if you want a welfare state that is an effective safety net that can ensure decent care for all. Some pay, others who can't, don't. It allows the care for those who can't o e sustainable.

Having said that, does anyone know projected costs of care in the future, how much it would increase taxes if fully funded by the state etc, because I don't.

Even the NHS doesn't treat everyone for everything with all treatment options. It decides what to treat based on the money it has.

dreamingofsun Sun 06-Jan-13 09:55:05

to those who say we shouldn't penalise the prudent hard workers/savers. Rubbish. My mother's estate would be worth £500k - largely due to the value of her house which she was lucky to buy when housing was cheap - its increased to this value not as a result of any effort she put into it - but because of rising demand for housing.

And as was the case for many of her generation, she has done very little in the way of paid work.

I, on the other hand work really hard - i have to in order to pay our large mortgage - so why should i work even harder to cover any increased tax bill to cover her care home fees?

fluffygal Sun 06-Jan-13 14:51:14

I am not of the 'it's not fair' brigade, but more of the I won't be saving and going without in order to leave something to my children, would rather enjoy my money whilst I am alive. I am certain I will still have money to be spent on my care regardless.

Maybe it's the mindset that needs to change? Some people really do want to save to pass on to their children and go without in life in order to do this, I guess people need to assume this won't be happening.

3littlefrogs Sun 06-Jan-13 15:11:56

I have no problem with giving all my father's assets, pension and savings to the care home. He is self funding to the tune of £800 per week. The care home he is in is the third one we have tried. The first two were so bad I wouldn't have left my cat there. £800 is the average cost of a self funded place in our area.

The local authority will fund £400 per week only, but not for anyone whose savings/pension/house sale money will cover the full fees. There are some residents in my dad's home who are state funded. The self funders subsidise the state funded residents.

When my dad's money runs out there is no guarantee that he will be allowed to stay where he is. That will depend on whether there are enough self funders to subsidise him. If not he will be moved to one of the cheaper homes.

There is nothing I can do about that because I don't have £400 per week to top up. He may be allowed to stay, he may not - it won't be my decision.

What happens when the old person's funds run out is a huge worry to many families.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 15:28:28

Also, when you have no funds, you are at the mercy of the LA and where they want to place you. Don't like the place? Tough shit. We went to visit a lovely care home for my grandpa - very high staff patient ratio, beautiful surroundings and a plethora of activities. My grandpa got placed somewhere very average. The standard of care is acceptable but if we could afford excellent, we sure as hell would!

I pray that when my parents are old, they have enough to fund their own care so that they (and I) can choose the best possible place for them.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 06-Jan-13 15:40:58

I think it comes down to the fact that the present bar is set to low, if it was raised from 23k to about 100k then it would be much fairer.

I have had to pay off my fathers mortgage due to an endowment shortfall and if he goes into care I will lose it all.

Itsjustmeanon Sun 06-Jan-13 16:01:41

My SIL's grandfather went into a care home (dementia) and the state paid after his savings had gone. He would have had to sell his 500k home, but he'd gifted it to his daughter 10 years earlier, and paid his daughter a rent, so he was getting no benefit from house. It was done for inheritance tax planning rather than care home fees.

RedHelenB Sun 06-Jan-13 16:02:04

Youbrokemysmoulder - you should register a charge at your fathers house for the amount you paid towards the shortfall.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 16:05:10

I think it comes down to the fact that the present bar is set to low, if it was raised from 23k to about 100k then it would be much fairer.

If they do that for older people, then they should raise the bar for younger people in residental care homes too. So, watch your taxes rise. You'll still be paying for it somehow.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Sun 06-Jan-13 16:11:09

I wouldnt mind my taxes going up a bit though. If i lose all that money though and the 50 k or so from the sale of his house, I will never own my own though.

And tough luck I imagine a lot of people will think but then someone else will have to pay for my care as well as I will have nothing to sell. Am already 40 and have been renting all my life. As will most people who werent lucky enough to buy when the going was good.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 16:16:01

With a growing elderly population and home owning becoming so expensive, taxes won't be "going up a bit", it will need to be a lot.

expatinscotland Sun 06-Jan-13 16:19:15

'And providing he does end up in a better position for all his toil it has been worthwhile, the tread is about ending up in the same position as those who did not save, which is happening.
I do think if you reach a certain age with no savings, no assets and nobody prepared to step up and assist you then you've got to wonder what those people did with their lives. I know a few people who will end up in that position and having known them for a very long time it's nobody's fault but their own.'

So because of these few people you know, you assume everyone who has no savings or assets in old age is a feckless loser? Nice.

Rewarding the prudent with subsidised care: okay, let's apply that to care across the board. No more NHS for people who abuse alcohol or smoked. But what about those who were less than prudent in their youth, used to smoke or drink too much and develop health problems later on from it? Should they not receive the same care as those who were always 'prudent'?

Is the government here to determine state-funded provision of care based on pounds and pence or their own version of morality?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Sun 06-Jan-13 16:57:08

So, is it not the case, as a relative of mine claims, that there are LA-funded people in the higher value/'nicer' care homes sitting next to the self-funded?

I always thought you didn't get much choice if you weren't self-funding, but he insists that's not the case.
He is paying for his wife, and still lives in the family home.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 17:01:58

I wouldn't want to at the mercy of the postcode lottery.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 17:02:18

*to be at

Oodhousekeeping Sun 06-Jan-13 17:28:04

shotgun no choice in homes here whether self funded or state paid. Nursing homes especially are dependant on who dies next. My Grandad has the offer of a twin room at £800+ a week (still waiting on home to do assessment & accept him. He could have gone anywhere within about 40 miles of home.

chewingguminmyhair Sun 06-Jan-13 17:34:58

I agree with expat.

Why should I and my kids pay for your granddad's care so you get your inheritance?

Why is buying a house a 'wise investment' if that investment isn't then used? You think it's a wise investment but only if you get the rewards, yes?

I doubt I'll ever own my own home. Generations before me have made billions from booming property prices and now young people can't get on the ladder without, er inheritances, etc. But I do pay a higher tax rate and contribute to society, and to my landlords 'investments'.

The whole system is up the wall. It needs a complete re write.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 18:45:09

It's reading posts like 3littlefrogs that's makes me determined to not end up in this position.

You can pay for yourself, and still end up with no choice, and then end up being moved on because your money has run out because you have had to subsidise other people! It's outrageous!

Arguing that people should have to pay for their own care is one thing. Forcing them into paying for other people's is another thing completely.

crashdoll Sun 06-Jan-13 18:47:32

Clouds Do you also resent paying for younger adults who need residential care?

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 18:58:06

Not at all, because I rightly pay for that through taxation. I pay the same rate of tax as anyone else with the same income as me, so it's completely different.

ssd Sun 06-Jan-13 20:37:07

I hate all this talk of either you buy a house and be sensible or you spend spend spend and go on holidays

my parents never owned a house as they couldnt afford it, they didnt spend spend spend or go on holiday either

so many posters on MN shy away from calling those on benefits scroungers as at last they have learned this is crap, but they still think if your parents dont own a house they must have been feckless with money

too many narrow minds here

I own a house as I got a 100% mortgage at the time, my parents paid rent all their lives as they couldn't, neither of us are big spenders or holidaymakers as we couldn't bloody afford it, but neither of us are better than the other either

my mum had free care towards the end of her life, I'll have to pay for mine...thats just life

ssd Sun 06-Jan-13 20:41:50

clouds, you writing this stinks

"How is it fair that someone can be forced to sell everything they have worked for and they are no better off than someone who has made different choices with their money? Remember that the person who is state funded and not forced into selling their home may be in that position because they gave their children money when they were younger, or because they set up trusts for their grandchildren, or because they went on lots of holidays."

what a complete load of shit, what age are you, 10??

do you realise many many people dont give their kids money or set up trustfunds or go on lots of holidays because they cant actually afford any of this??

SOME PEOPLE DONT MAKE CHOICES WITH THEIR MONEY AS THEY HAVENT ENOUGH MONEY TO GET THE BLOODY CHOICE

My Dad may need to go into care at some point. He happened to buy a house in the early 70's for about £6,000. That house is now worth about £300,000. If he had been renting a house of a similar standard then he would have spent, since his mortage was paid off in 1990, about £276,000 in rent, which would have been lining someone's pocket. So he is in the fortunate position of having a financial cushion should he need to go into care. If he doesn't need to go into care, then my brother and I inherit the property.

Life's lottery I suppose.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 22:03:37

Of course I realise that ssd.

But do you honestly think that everyone who can afford it will always have a large asset by the time they are in their 80s? Do you think that it's only poor people who have had to struggle financially for their entire lives that will be left without an expensive house to seel by the time they need care?

Because if you do, you are wrong.

The post that you quoted me on, I wrote trying to make the point that sometimes people who can afford to buy a house choose not to, and when they do that, and they intentionally leave themselves without the funds to cover a care one, then they are in exactly the same position as someone who could never heave dreamt of affording it.

So with that in mind, do you think that it is wrong for people to spend their money how they want to, or do you think everyone should save every penny they can incase they need to pay for care home fees? Do you only people who have always been poor should receive elderly care, or do you think anyone who needs it should be given the care they need?

As for your bollocks about how old I am, I fully intend to be one of those people that qualifies for state care by the time I'm that old. My grandfather was one of those people. He died recently, having made wise decisions with his money so that his children would benefit from his earnings and wouldn't have to pay a huge inheritance tax bill. Had he needed it, he would most likely have been given a state funded care home place, because he got rid of his money well before the time came that the government could take it from him. People do this all the time. Do you really not see that?

Not everyone who qualifies for a state funded place has spent their lives unable to afford to buy a home.

CloudsAndTrees Sun 06-Jan-13 22:07:09

but they still think if your parents dont own a house they must have been feckless with money

Reading through this thread, I haven't seen anyone say this. The only people that are going on about 'feckless' are the ones who are trying to point out that people can work very hard and still not be able to afford to own a home.

Of course, this thread has gotten quite long and I may have missed it, but I haven't noticed anyone saying that people who are entitled to state funded care are feckless. You are making assumptions as to what you think people believe and you are wrong.

Mosman Sun 06-Jan-13 23:27:32

He happened to buy a house in the early 70's for about £6,000.

He didn't happen to buy a house for £6,000, that was what they cost in the 70's and he was most likely earning £1,000 a year, he could no more afford it than people can afford £300,000 today.
I'm sorry to call anyone feckless because that is the wrong term, but poor financial planners would be more accurate, at a time when the current elderly lived there is absolutely no excuse for ending up on your arse and if they have done you've got to question why.

MadonnaKebab Mon 07-Jan-13 00:00:32

The reason to buy your own home is the fact that once its paid off you can live rent free with no fear of being asked to leave
Elderly people in care homes probably paid off their mortgage aged 50-55
And are probable 85-90 before they go into the home
So even if they are in the minority who go into a home, and the further minority who then live long enough that the fees exceed the value of the home
They will still have lived rent-free in the place of their choice for30-40 years
Why would that be a waste?
It's madness to impoverish yourself on the off chance that your assets may need to be spent on your care
You'd still be quids in anyway

crashdoll Mon 07-Jan-13 07:45:16

Not at all, because I rightly pay for that through taxation. I pay the same rate of tax as anyone else with the same income as me, so it's completely different.

Sorry but I don't see the difference. You pay for social care through your taxes, you don't get to pick and choose who gets it. So, tell me what is the difference between a younger adult who suddenly finds themself (through illness or accident) requiring 24 hour residental care and an older adult?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 08:50:34

There isn't a difference between a younger and an older adult who needs care. And there is no difference between a home owner adult who needs care ad a renter adult that needs care.

If someone needs care, they should get the care that is appropriate for them, regardless of how much or little they have in the bank.

cumfy Mon 07-Jan-13 12:53:17

I think there is a bit of an elephant in the room here.

People who do not own their own home, by definition rent.

Typically the landlord of such renters will have become quite rich on those rental proceeds over a lifetime.

The problem is that, yes, taxpayers are not getting a good deal, since they are paying twice over to:

1. Make the landlord rich
2. Care for the tenant in old age.

I expect (1) is slightly larger than (2).

So who was it that sold off all the council houses ?hmm

Mosman Mon 07-Jan-13 14:45:55

Ask Tony Blair how many buy to let properties he owns ?

CloudsAndTrees Mon 07-Jan-13 14:57:32

Erm, not everyone who rents is claiming benefits to pay for it! The majority of people pay their rent out of their own money, not the taxpayers.

LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 15:03:25

IMHO a solution would be to provide a very basic level of accommodation (dormitory-style) and a good level of care for everyone - sort of like the old cottage hospitals that used to exist. Everyone would be entitled to this - but there would be no choice and no fancy add-ons.

IF one wanted one's own room, take one's own furniture, have trips out, the manicurist and choice of menu etc etc then those homes would take private funders ONLY.

This would discourage people trying to get rid of their assets because they would see some point to financing themselves (ie being in a nicer place).

I have no objection to having to pay for care if the family cannot step up to the mark, but it is certainly unfair that paying confers no advantage whatsoever.

Whatdoiknowanyway Mon 07-Jan-13 17:12:38

Paying does confer an advantage. You can choose where you want to go and when you want to go. You don't have to wait for someone to decide you merit a place.

crashdoll Mon 07-Jan-13 18:08:24

If someone needs care, they should get the care that is appropriate for them, regardless of how much or little they have in the bank.

In order to do so, you'd have to hugely raise taxes, not a bit but an enormous amount. I bet you don't have the foggiest about how much social care costs the tax payer. I do. It's a fucking fortune.

LettyAshton Mon 07-Jan-13 18:46:41

In my mil's case it confers no advantage whatsoever.

She is in a home costing £800 a week. It is quite grotty but almost the cheapest in their (not very upmarket) town. In a couple of years mil's savings and most of her house will be gone.

In the room next to her is a man who I know is council funded. He wanders around in a vest and a nappy banging on other people's doors and trying to barge in.

Can you imagine putting up with that in a hotel?

3littlefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 18:56:54

LettyAshton - even if you are self funding in a nice home, trips out and the services of a manicurist/chiropodist are extras and have to be paid for on top of the fees. You still have to pay to replace the clothes that are destroyed or lost in the laundry system, you still have to pay for toiletries and treats.

I would be really interested to know what proportion of people on this thread are either caring for a demented relative themselves or have a relative in a care home. I think most people have no idea until they find themselves in the situation.

Oodhousekeeping Mon 07-Jan-13 18:58:26

Paying does confer an advantage. You can choose where you want to go and when you want to go. You don't have to wait for someone to decide you merit a place.

No advantage here. Grandad went in a care home that had a free space luckily it was a nice one & is currently waiting for a nursing home place that could be up to 40 miles away and cost between £750 and £1000 a week minimum ( going off their website). He has been offered a bed in a twin room in a home in our town but not sure if they'll think he's ok to share.

3littlefrogs Mon 07-Jan-13 18:59:12

Sorry - X posted.

Yes - Self funding only gives you a choice until your savings run out.

crashdoll Mon 07-Jan-13 19:20:07

Therefore, no funding means no choice. I know which one I'd prefer.

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