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paying for elderly parents care

(15 Posts)
lovethefrock Tue 07-Feb-17 09:20:32

Can I be forced to pay anything at all towards my parents care if they get to the stage of needing home or residnetial care? They have few savings, both recieve ordinary state pension plus my mother has a very tiny private pension from a few years of nursing in the 1980's.

Not asking for judgement on my morals here as you have no idea what my relationship with them is and I don't want to go into the why's and wherefores, I just am looking for a straight yes/no answer.

Hope I don't sound too bolshie, I don't mean to be, I just am not able to give more information and am already very depressed so being gunned down for perceived selfishness is probably going to be more than I can bare.

JennyOnAPlate Tue 07-Feb-17 09:22:35

No you can't be forced to pay for any of their care.

kilmuir Tue 07-Feb-17 09:23:16

My FIL is in care. None of his children have anything much to do with him. My DH checks on him and sorts the finances.
We don't pay towards his care. Social worker dealt with a lot of it. They take all his pension etc. Think he has to be left with £20 a week.

lovethefrock Tue 07-Feb-17 09:24:00

Thank you, both for the swift answers and for not being judgemental. Tahnk you so much

Elendon Tue 07-Feb-17 09:24:26

I personally think the answer is no, but I would suggest you ring Citizen's Advice to get a more thorough answer. That way you can talk to them frankly about the issues involved.

Looking after or caring for elderly parents is not the same as looking after children/babies. Babies grow out of nappies for a start and learn to feed themselves. Elderly parents grow increasingly more dependent.

Good luck and please seek impartial advice on this.

19lottie82 Tue 07-Feb-17 09:25:01

No, you won't be forced to pay. If your parents have any assets over a certain amount (I think it's about £20k but I may be wrong) such as savings or property then they will be used to pay for their care.

myfavouritecolourispurple Tue 07-Feb-17 09:51:36

No need for anyone to be judgey, you need to save for your own retirement/possible care needs.

I've posted on here before but a few months ago I read an article about some people who had cashed in their pension to pay for an elderly relative's care (they were over 100 at the time of the article) and I wondered what the heck they were going to live on when they retired.

You cannot be forced to contribute but you might get a lot of emotional blackmail to contribute if the local authority pays the fees. For example, the LA may pay £500 a week but the actual home may charge £700 so they may try to "persuade" you to pay the £200. They can't. It is an unfortunate fact of life that self-funders subsidise those who cannot pay the full fees. So someone else in the same home may be paying £800 a week. A parent may however get attendance allowance of up to about £80 a week which goes towards the fees - or even the NHS subsidy for nursing care which was about £112 a week when my father was receiving it. Make sure your parents claim all the allowances they are entitled to.

helpimitchy Tue 07-Feb-17 09:55:15

They can't force you you to pay for care, but they may hassle you to pay for funeral expenses if there is nothing in place already. You do need to look at that.

InTheRedTent Tue 07-Feb-17 10:35:42

I think (and I could be mistaken) if you have been gifted a large cash sum in the last few years (early inheritance/transfer of assets) they can seek to reclaim this to pay for care, but other than that no.

Andrewofgg Tue 07-Feb-17 11:40:36

You have no financial responsibility for her funeral either. The public purse pays for the funeral if the deceased had nothing. It's the oldest part of the Welfare State (think of "burial on the parish") and the one part which came never be abolished because the dead must be buried for the good of us all.

specialsubject Tue 07-Feb-17 11:45:33

The only possibility is if there has been deliberate deprivation of assets, I.e an elderly person signing over the house or lots of money to the children to put themselves below the savings threshold.

Sounds most unlikely in your case. And even in the best of relationships, each generation should look after their own needs.

No judgement at all.

MrsK Tue 07-Feb-17 11:59:51


This website might help you as a resource in case you parents do need care. I would also try & contact your local Carers support group. I found them very helpful & supportive. They may be eligible for attendance allowance?

It is a very difficult & emotionally stressful situation to be in

bigbluebus Tue 07-Feb-17 12:03:15

You can't be forced to pay but it may mean that the person can't stay in the care home where they are if it becomes too expensive (so could be moved from somewhere they are settled in) - or they may not have a choice in where they go in the first place as LA will fund the cheapest option.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 07-Feb-17 12:08:59

You could look up the charity Age UK* and see what their advice is.
Don't know where you live but there's also Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.

*(They used to be known as Age Concern and Help the Aged)
There is a helpline,
0800 169 2081
Lines are open between 8am and 7pm.
(NB their 0800 numbers are free on a landline but if you call by mobile there are the usual charges)

ElphabaTheGreen Tue 07-Feb-17 12:34:57

Doesn't it depend on the home? Many have top-up fees. Can you actually refuse to pay these?

I'm having a terrible time finding a home for my mum - she's been turned down for eight so far as a 'health and safety risk'. She's 23st and immobile so couldn't be easily evacuated in an emergency. We may not have the choice of a LA home at this rate, and one home said their top-up fees are £150 per week!! We're already paying two lots of full-time nursery and wrap-around care fees for our DCs. There is no way we could afford that for the rest of mum's life, which may be a long time as she's only 71. sad

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