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To get annoyed when people try to avoid care costs

(326 Posts)
paramedicswift Thu 04-Jun-15 23:24:47

People deserve good care in old care, potentially in their own home or in a care home.

While it is completely rational thing to do, people try avoid this cost by spending as much money as they can before they need this care or they give it away to family.

On one side, it is completely rational. I understand that people have paid taxes, national insurance and worked for their entire life. They have a desire to see this work to be passed onto their children for them to benefit from their hard work.

One the other side, it is incredibly entitled. To me, your care in old age is just another cost of life. It is like cost of food, cost of shelter. I wish I did not have to spend money on rent, food and travel to work. But I have to. This is just life.

It makes me even more angry when family inheritances come into it. It is just so greedy and horrible. I do not know why it is unacceptable to some people to apply for benefits and never work but completely acceptable to avoid paying for social care.

It is a bit of tragedy of commons because if everyone did it, then taxes would be wasted on caring for old people that COULD HAVE afforded the care themselves rather than important things such as education for children, public infrastructure projects and healthcare that benefit everyone.

To everyone according to their need. If someone cannot genuinely afford old age care and they did not deliberately avoid the costs, then I have no problems with state subsidised care.

Am I being unreasonable?

AndNowItsSeven Thu 04-Jun-15 23:29:01

Yanbu

nokidshere Thu 04-Jun-15 23:34:45

Are you saying that old people might need care so they shouldn't be able to spend as much of their own money as they like just in case they need to fund it?

funnyossity Thu 04-Jun-15 23:35:07

I don't disagree with you but there are as I see it two issues with care in old age : it's not a cost everyone has to bear and many (most?) people have insufficient income / no assets.

This leaves those whose family members both need care and have the financial wherewithal to fund it feeling like they've drawn the short straw. In these circumstances they seek to avoid the financial hit.

ratsintheattic Thu 04-Jun-15 23:36:10

YANBU. It seems it's very easy to avoid paying though. FIL is in care, paid for out of his savings but many people have told us to just lie about his assets and that it is never checked. I don't know if it's true but we wouldn't do it.

Ludoole Thu 04-Jun-15 23:38:20

Well im determined to leave my house to my children. That said, my risk of early onset dementia is quite high and first sign of that im taking own life. My kids benefit from an inheritance, dont have to see me change before their eyes and i wont cost the system anything! Win, win situation for me.

SilverBirch2015 Thu 04-Jun-15 23:38:41

In principle I can agree with you.

However for my PILs generation, they worked hard to better themselves, made themselves hard-up to buy a small house, put money aside for some savings; whilst some of their contemporaries spent their income on holidays, treats and gifts to children, smoking, meals out and didn't buy their won house.

Why should they pay for their care costs because of their cautious more frugal decisions, whilst others didn't. The 23,000 cap is too low, why should MIL have to seek her small bungalow, family home/remortgage it to pay her care cost?

lookoveryourshouldernow Thu 04-Jun-15 23:39:05

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SilverBirch2015 Thu 04-Jun-15 23:40:14

*sell

paramedicswift Thu 04-Jun-15 23:44:06

> Are you saying that old people might need care so they shouldn't be able to spend as much of their own money as they like just in case they need to fund it?

I am not sure. National insurance basically is a contribution ostensibly a contribution to your state pension in the future. Income tax pays for the NHS.

Life is very expensive which is why we have private and public pensions for civil servants to pay for that in old age.

Care is even more expensive still. There is no real contribution through life that covers this cost. The choices seem to be, save it yourself, sell your home or use a state handout.

I am not saying old people shouldn't be able to spend money as they see fit but do you not believe that people should contribute something to this? There is objectively literally not enough money in the government to pay for everyone's care.

I personally think personal responsibility is a big deal. The government does not repair my phone or my car if it breaks. I am responsible for that. So you may choose to get insurance.

I just find the mindset and greed of trying to cheat the system to get everyone else to pay for your care to be selfish. I consider it close to benefit fraud or scrounging. (Note: I DO NOT consider benefit claimants to be scroungers and I support state welfare.)

paramedicswift Thu 04-Jun-15 23:47:17

lookoveryourshouldernow, please explain why you are angry?

You paid for your care so that makes you a good person. Well done.

3littlefrogs Thu 04-Jun-15 23:47:41

It is not easy to avoid care costs.
Social services go through everything in minute detail.
If you are self funding in a care home you will pay a third more per week than the state pays for those who are not self funding.
Your attendance allowance goes direct to the care home.
You are allowed a tiny amount of your own money per week to spend on necessities. You are not allowed to give away anything, not even as gifts for your family members for birthdays or Christmas.

I honestly can't see how anyone can avoid paying for their care.

paramedicswift Thu 04-Jun-15 23:50:25

I kind of equate the argument that 'other people get something for free, so I should too' to be childish.

Yes, other people did not work as hard as you. But then you probably had a better life than they did. They fluttered everything away. They're going to be put in a very low end care home funded by the local council.

Just because other people are doing something and it benefits them, does not mean it is the right thing to do. If other people are looting, does it make it right for you to loot too?

WannabeLaraCroft Thu 04-Jun-15 23:52:11

YANBU - pal shouldn't be deliberately trying to avoid paying for care.

BUT

My grandfather has just been taken into care quite suddenly. (dementia - my mum couldn't care for him any more). He has his own house, lots of money in savings and money in bonds still coming in. He always said he wanted this passed on to his family. I honestly couldn't give a shiny at about his money, I don't want it. I'd rather see him comfortable.

But I know this is not what he would have wanted. And that his ndn who lives in a council house without a penny to his name would receive the same quality of care. As he should.

I can see it from both sides though, and I know that it can't all be "free" care, I'm just very aware due to my grandad's situation how hard this can be, and that some people will just be greedy and try to get money before it's too late.

nokidshere Thu 04-Jun-15 23:53:12

My 96 year old MIL is in the enviable position of being fit and well and copes well in her own home.

But should she need care she will be expected to stump up around 900+ a WEEK for the services she might use.

She has worked all her life (obviously until 65 not 96) she paid tax and NI and pension contributions for the whole of that time. Now she is taxed on her pension also.

I think she should be able to spend her money exactly as she pleases and not have to worry about whether she is saving enough for the possibility of future care. Who knows if she will need it or not? If she wants to go to Boston to see her sister, or buy my children a car each, or just fritter it away in the bookies that's her prerogative. It is after all her money. And if she doesn't spend it, and doesn't need care then the government will take another large chunk of it again.

Are you saving your spare cash now in case you need care when you are older?

WannabeLaraCroft Thu 04-Jun-15 23:53:58

*shiny shit. My phone doesn't like to swear.

RandomMess Thu 04-Jun-15 23:54:20

People were sold a dream we as a society are struggling to accept it was a dream not a reality.

Working class people believed they could become middle class but it's just not true is it.

KingTut Thu 04-Jun-15 23:55:07

I thought there was going to be more focus in keeping people in their own homes.

JassyRadlett Thu 04-Jun-15 23:57:16

That was an oddly aggressive post, lookover.

I may not agree with everything the OP has said, but it's a reasonable and well-reasoned argument about contribution in a society where the nature of the welfare state is a matter of some discussion.

OP, it's a vexed one for me. I can see why individuals take this path, but it strikes me it's often the people with a greater ability to pay who do so. For me, I think social care should be fully integrated with the NHS and paid for in the same way, with those who want a shinier service paying privately.

FanFuckingTastic Thu 04-Jun-15 23:58:17

Care is means tested as far as my experience has taught me. When I applied for a personal budget I had to fill out a financial breakdown, and it would have been criminal to lie on the form. You contribute what you can afford, so mostly for me it's nothing as I have no assets and my only income is from the government.

SilverBirch2015 Thu 04-Jun-15 23:58:30

I for one would be happy to pay more tax to help provide better care for old people. (And younger people too).

I think people whose assets are below the inheritance tax threshold £500,000) should all be eligible for the same state care funding.

Maliceaforethought Thu 04-Jun-15 23:58:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PtolemysNeedle Thu 04-Jun-15 23:58:57

How do you define, or decide, who deliberately avoided the costs though?

That's the crux of this debate for me. How far do you take it? Did someone deliberately avoid the costs if they didn't actively save for them, choosing instead to rent rather than buy a home or spend their money on holidays rather than put it into investments?

Care in old age that is one of those things that is so fundamentally important to society that it should be paid for by government as far as possible. Like maternity care. I get that there isn't enough money in the pot, so take a reasonable amount from people who can afford it, over a fair threshold, but you can't stop people from spending their own money just in case they need care in the future.

paramedicswift Fri 05-Jun-15 00:00:24

> I think she should be able to spend her money exactly as she pleases

I can understand this. Any money you earn, you consider yours. This is fair.

But some money you cannot get around spending: food, water, electricity, gas, internet and rent. I do not want to pay for these things. I want them to be free. Unfortunately they are not free.

Why are we treating 'care' as an optional thing that you should be able to avoid? Isn't it inevitable that one day we may need someone to take care of us.

I invest over 70% of my income and invest in income funds. I travel everywhere via work. I fully expect to either (hopefully) die before I need care or fund my on care.

I accept it as a cost of life and is my responsibility.

I could blow my money on cruises around the world but that wouldn't be me. I would rather save heavily now, take advantage of non-expensive life experiences and enjoy a comfortable retirement with care costs.

3littlefrogs Fri 05-Jun-15 00:02:00

Keeping people in their own homes can be grim.
4 ten to 15 minute visits a day from a carer on minimum wage who barely has time to take you to the toilet and leave your food next to you.
Spend the day alone, sitting in a chair - only awful day time TV for company. It can be desperate.
I know elderly people who have begged to go into care homes because they are so lonely and afraid, but they are not allowed because of the cost.

Yet many care homes are not that great.

When my mum went into a care home she really missed the day centre where she had a social life and friends. The entertainment/social interaction in the care home wasn't anything like as good. In spite of the fact that she was paying £900 per week in fees.

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