Care Home Staff Spending Relatives Money

(18 Posts)
zombiemummy10 Tue 12-Nov-19 17:12:59

Hi everyone

My elderly uncle who has Parkinson’s disease has been in a care home for many years now. My mother (his sister) visits him at least once a week and she also deals with his finances. The elderly residents must have some sort of money account in the home, as my mother puts money into one for my uncle to be spent on necessities for him. After a visit today, my mother was told by staff that £500 of his money was spent on clothing for my uncle. My mother is a quiet person who doesn’t like confrontation so she never questioned this. She did tell me that my uncle was still wearing his old clothing today.

My uncle does not go out anywhere and is in the care home 24/7. The residents wardrobes are locked so my mother wasn’t able to look at his clothing. I told my mother that I would go with her to the home on Friday and that I will ask to see the £500 worth of clothing and receipts. I’m just looking for other people’s thoughts on this. Do you think I’m right for wanting to question this and see proof? Can the staff refuse to show us the £500 worth of clothing and receipts? In my heart, I think they’ll come up with excuses because the £500 worth of clothing doesn’t exist.

I don’t want to cause any trouble but I just want to make sure they aren’t financially abusing my uncle.


OP’s posts: |
Blacktip Tue 12-Nov-19 17:17:25

I work in the office of a care home. We must keep receipts for all items purchased on behalf of residents. We would also be happy to show families any purchases made, however we would always consult families before making any purchases other than toiletries etc. £500 is way excessive for clothes for an elderly man,

saraclara Tue 12-Nov-19 17:29:03

In both my mum and MIL's care facilities (not local to me or my SIL) we are always told if they need anything. We then have the option to buy it ourselves ( we have access to their bank accounts) or staff will buy it if we can't, and show us the receipt.

justchecking1 Tue 12-Nov-19 18:00:33

If they are spending money on a residents behalf they absolutely must keep receipts. I would also ask to see the clothing to check it's actually gone to your relative and isn't just some generic receipt. I would also expect some discussion before they've spent this much as it's such a large purchase. Any home that I've had dealings with has had to get permission for any purchase over about £20 unless the resident can give consent

salsmum Sat 16-Nov-19 00:18:32

I've worked in elderly care and think that's an exorbitant amount of money for clothing who authorised this and why was it felt that so much money was needed to be spent on clothing without permission from family? Ask to see receipts and the clothing purchased... I smell a rat.hmm

MontStMichel Sat 16-Nov-19 09:19:14

DD (obviously not elderly) is in residential care. As her appointee, I give them some of her money to pay for toiletries, treats, etc. I told them she did not need more clothes (as she has too many at home already); but occasionally they buy her say a new nightie or something.

I would be gobsmacked if they spent £500 on clothes! I sort her wardrobe out every time I go, so I would definitely ask to see receipts and check the state of his clothes!

Besom Thu 21-Nov-19 07:16:35

I would consider reporting this to the care inspectorate (I'm in Scotland so not sure what English equivalent is called) and/or social work if you are still not happy. This is a potential safeguarding issue and possibly even a police matter if you are not satisfied by their response. Think of other people who don't have relatives so I would say it is your duty to report if you suspect any wrongdoing.


Moondancer73 Thu 21-Nov-19 07:22:19

£500is a huge amount of money to spend on clothes for someone in that setting. I'd definitely ask to see what was bought and the receipts.
The RH I worked in had a small amount of cash for each resident - up to around £50 each - for things like tights, underwear, toiletries. Spending that without asking seems very suspicious to me, particularly as someone has regular visitors who may well bring clothes on for them.
I'd certainly be asking questions.

cherryblossomgin Thu 21-Nov-19 07:30:28

Does your relative have the capacity to decide how his money is spent. It also depends who has power of attorney/guardianship and who can access his money. I may be wrong with the wording. I work in supported living and we would never spend 500 on clothes and we wouldn't be able to without authorisation. We also have to justify why a person needs something if it's a large purchase.

If they don't allow you to see what they bought/receipts I would be reporting to the care inspectors and making a complaint in writing.

user1493413286 Thu 21-Nov-19 07:38:45

I worked in a care home and it was normal to use the residents money to buy clothes however I know it was always agreed with next of kin whether we did it or they did it and if the person who has power of attorney wants to see the receipts and clothes then that’s completely fine.

user1493413286 Thu 21-Nov-19 07:40:30

Also the care home staff may have gone out and bought the clothes but it’d have to be authorised by a a manager, they wouldn’t have access to his money without a manager.

Troels Thu 21-Nov-19 07:54:27

I also work in a home. If someone has relatives/ next of kin/ child, that visit often we ask them to buy the clothes/occasional bits and then give them the money when they turn in receipts. That way they they feel more involved and they know what kind of clothes the relative likes.

Longfacenow Thu 21-Nov-19 07:56:11

Oh my goodness.

We buy the clothes for my relatives in care but regardless the home have a policy and would check with us for anything above about £25!!!!

GertiMJN Thu 21-Nov-19 08:04:14

The whole situation is really odd.

Why would your Mum have deposited such a large sum of money for "necessities" ? I mean there must have been at least £500 in there to have heen spent.

I would definitely ask to see receipts and the clothing. I would also ask why relatives dont have access to residents cupboards ...

I would also ask to see the policy on how this money should be used and accounted for.

HighwayCat Thu 21-Nov-19 08:10:35

Definitely worth asking about. Once my Dad was unable to reliably use a debit card I put money into the nursing home’s safe which he and they could access but they kept very clear records of where it went and I topped it up as required. If your uncle has been there many years, doesn’t go out and hasn’t had new clothes for a long time then it’s feasible he needed new clothes for winter, but £500 as a one off spend is a lot. They should be open to showing you the records and explaining their processes to prove there’s no financial abuse.

TheLightSideOfTheMoon Thu 21-Nov-19 08:18:45

I work in a home where we buy the clothes for our ressies.

Sometimes they meed loads of stuff but £500 is insane.

And we keep reciepts. Pretty sure someone quite high skims them. My boss is quite militant about the reciepts and keeping financial records.

hatgirl Thu 21-Nov-19 08:22:28

Can the staff refuse to show us the £500 worth of clothing and receipts? In my heart, I think they’ll come up with excuses because the £500 worth of clothing doesn’t exist

If they don't, and your uncle can't explain himself where the money might have gone then you can raise a safeguarding vulnerable adults alert with your local authority and they can investigate it on your behalf.

When was the last time he had a review from social services?

jessycake Thu 21-Nov-19 08:47:48

I would be very concerned , I would expect the care home to ask if any substantial amount of clothing was needed .

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