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Help needed in understanding funding for care home costs

(7 Posts)
WicketWoo Thu 16-Oct-14 22:04:34

Hello wise ladies of mumsnet!

It appears DH and I are about to be "on the hook" for his grandad's care home costs and I just need to try and understand how it all works so we can deal with his cousin (who isn't the more rational/reasonable person to deal with). Some background....

He currently lives alone but can't do a great deal for himself (careers go in approx 4 times a day to do everything). DH's cousin lives nearby so does the lion's share of the visiting/caring etc. we are very grateful for this as we live a way away and have 3 young children. The grandad has always been close to the cousin and has supported her financially for a long time (despite now being happily married, we believe).

A while ago she took power of attorney over his affairs, again, we are very grateful and don't have a problem with whatever happens with his money as we are genuinely not interested in it.

However whilst we are happy to fund a shortfall in his care costs we are not prepared to continue to fund her as such we have said that in order for us to help with the costs we need to also have more control over his accounts (this is so that we can see if he genuinely can't afford the costs or if it's just due to supporting her). Unfortunately as she isn't rational she doesn't appreciate that now is the time for her to step up and say ok she won't take any more money as he needs it himself.

She has now told us that it doesn't matter what money he has as they won't allow him to pay the excess costs himself (even if he has the money himself) as it has to be funded by a third party. Is this baloney? (It certainly feels like it to me).

There is a particular home he wants to move into (he is there at the moment as he has had a fall and is in there post being in hospital). And we would like him to go there, despite it costing us as it would make him happy.

I am assuming they will means test him at some stage and the costs he pays will be based on this. If he can afford it is there any truth to the third party paying towards the cost?

He doesn't have property and no savings as far as we are aware.
Any advice appreciated.

Sunseed Fri 17-Oct-14 14:26:55

If an individual who requires care selects a more expensive care home than the local authority would normally provide based on their assessed needs, someone (e.g. a relative) can pay the difference between the care home fees and the local authority contribution. These are known as third party contributions, so no, the cousin is not having you on.

Has an assessment of his ability to fund his own care been carried out yet by social services? If he qualifies for local authority assistance then that is because he has less than £23,250 in savings/assets. In which case, he would be unlikely to be able to afford the top-ups himself for very long before his savings were totally depleted. This is why it has to be a third party top-up, to try to ensure that the on-going care is affordable for as long as possible.

WicketWoo Fri 17-Oct-14 18:52:26

Thank you for the response. I've done some more research and spoke to Age Concern today and can see that it is true. I feel rather gutted by it all. We have three young children, huge childcare costs and were just getting everything under control financially and now we have this additional cost to take into account.

I also feel selfish for feeling like this.

I had every expectation of funding parents care costs and by then our kids will be much bigger and we'll be in the house size we need with a more manageable mortgage.

Damn, damn, damn

Sunseed Sat 18-Oct-14 16:45:17

Are there aother family members who could help to contribute? Once you have some actual figures to work with it may become clearer to come up with a financial plan. Do you know how much more the care home will cost per week/month than the council will provide?

You're allowed to feel selfish - you obviously care a great deal about the people who are important to you and it is hugely frustrating to be constrained by money.

arrrghhhhwaiting Sun 21-Dec-14 13:16:59

Have you checked how much the care home charges to the local authority?
The price a care home quoted me was more than what the local authority would fund. But they said the room was charged at local authority rate one local authority was paying, as they give the local authority a bulk discount!
This seems quite common practice.

arrrghhhhwaiting Tue 23-Dec-14 21:54:44

Once, not one

Viviennemary Tue 23-Dec-14 22:02:33

What would happen if you said you simply can't afford to meet the shortfall. And really once you commit to this it would be hard to then say it's becoming too much of a burden. It's good you have been in close contact with Age Concern. I would be uneasy with this other cousin having the power of attorney. Is she contributing to the costs. I think you need to think very carefully before committing yourself although I know you will want to help.

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