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Paying for care home fees

(54 Posts)
RainbowCookie Wed 07-Feb-18 15:45:40

Hi hoping someone knows more on this as the advice is very conflicting.

My Dad has gone downhill rapidly, he’s currently in hospital with little cognition, he’s unable to hold a conversation or be understood. He is doubly incontinent and unable to walk or stand.

Drs have recommended a care home due to high needs. However my parents have a fair amount of savings so would have to self fund. I understand that he will have to use all his savings and half his joint savings to pay for care, however this will only last 18 months or so and his illness is not terminal he could be there for years.

The social worker said when the savings run out, as my parents own a house together they will have to do equity release on 50% of the house value and use that money before the council will fund anything.

My Mum is terrified of equity release, this will essentially trap her in her home as if she ever sells she’ll have to pay off the equity release (I guess the interest will mount up as well so she could end up with very little). She won’t be able to downsize as flats are only a little cheaper than the cost of her 3 bed.

So my Dad is moving home, Mum is getting a hospital bed and a hoist in the lounge. I’m very worried how she’ll cope. She is going to get carers in twice a day, but she’ll be trapped in the house mostly. I live a 12 hour flight away so can’t help on a regular basis.

Has anyone been through this with self funding care, there has to be a solution that doesn’t involve my Mum getting into debt or killing herself being a carer for someone who should be in a nursing home.

Thanks very much

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 20:15:29

Oh dear I am sorry you are in this situation. Firstly you dad must have a needs assessment done before he goes home, this is available to everyone with no charge. That will determine what equipment and level of care he will need if he does go home. He will also need a capacity assessment and your mum should apply for power of attorney if your dad still has capacity. If he doesnt then the social worker or discharge team will need to ensure all his,care is given in his interests and that he is safe to go home. Your mum can apply for,attendance allowance for dad and carers allowance for herself. The occupational therapist should visit the house to make sure its a safe environment and arrange equipment, you will need more,than a hospital bed and hoist . The carer manager should assess to your mum and dad to make sure they can look after him properly and that they are trained to use the hoist. Even if he is self funding he may be entitled to a few weeks care in an interim bed until the house is ready, ask the discharge team. I'm not sure about the equity release, this is something mum should check with age uk. Looking after someone at,home can be extremely difficult and your mum really needs to speak with the doctors and discharfemtea, she can ask for a full assessment and a best interests meeting.

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 20:17:15

I don't know what a discharfemtea is, it's supposed to say the discharge team, very helpful people.

notthe1Parrot Wed 07-Feb-18 20:42:03

As I understand it, if a spouse lives in the marital home when their partner goes into care, the house cannot be touched.

ParkheadParadise Wed 07-Feb-18 20:46:08

I also believe the house cannot be touched if the spouse still lives there.

When my mum went into care her house and all her savings went to fund her care.

retirednow Wed 07-Feb-18 20:57:51

I thought when your savings go down to 23.5k the authorities will pay for your care and that a house cannot be sold if there is a dependent living there, there is a site called care home uk or something like that which I looked up before.

ParkheadParadise Wed 07-Feb-18 21:04:46

At £26k they pay part of your fees retirednow When you have £16k they pay in full. You have to top up with your retirement pension. You have a whole £25 a week personal allowance.

Parky04 Wed 07-Feb-18 21:04:50

The house cannot be touched providing the Spouse still lives there. The suggestion that equity release is used when the savings run out is absurd and completely incorrect.

Isittimeforbed Wed 07-Feb-18 21:08:23

Make sure he has a Continuing Healthcare assessment. If his needs are primarily medical rather than social and personal (very fine line) then they get full funding. Local authorities aren't keen to award it, for obvious reasons, but depending on his illness if he is doubly incontinent with severe mobility issues and communication problems (and challenging behaviour or needing medication administered or feeding problems increase your score). We've just gone through one of these assessments and although still only on funded nursing care (about £100/week) the criteria they went through sounds like you'd have a better chance of being approved.

essietopcoat Wed 07-Feb-18 21:45:36

As Parky04 says - your mum definitely doesn't have to do equity release to fund your dad's care home place - as she would be living in the home.

Social worker should be hauled over the coals for suggesting that. Very bad advice. And you're right there can be problems with equity release when someone wants to downsize.

duvetdaysgone Wed 07-Feb-18 21:51:04

Does the area your parents live in offer Sheltered Housing by local authority or private?
This option would mean that your parents can still live together safely. You Dad would be able to receive all the care and assistance needed and also support for your mum. It would also give you peace of mind knowing that they are safe and help is available 24/7.

Hoppinggreen Wed 07-Feb-18 21:53:57

Your mum needs expert advice but my understanding is that the LA usually defer taking any money from the house as long as the spouse is still there. They defer and take a charge on the property I think until it is sold

Time40 Wed 07-Feb-18 21:59:50

Itstimeforbed is right. When my mum was in hospital, we were told that she could not return home, and had to go into a nursing home. Because that decision was made for us, and we were not allowed to bring her home, we did not have to pay for the nursing home. (I agreed with them, by the way - she did need full-time nursing care.)

halcyondays Wed 07-Feb-18 22:00:08

AFAIK if a spouse lives in the house they put a "charge" on the house, nothing is paid from the value of the house until the spouse dies. It's only when that happens that the house would be sold and they would take any money owed from the proceeds.

feral Wed 07-Feb-18 22:02:22

PP are correct- house cannot be touched if your mum icing there still. This may change if the stories have their way but at the moment it stands.

Your dad should get Attendance Allowance but he will need to have had the condition for 6 months before he can claim if he's not already.

Depending where your folks live carers services are still free so if she has a carers assessment and is found eligible she could get a few hours a week break while a care worker covers. Ask the social worker to refer her once once he's home and she knows how things are going.

All this said, as they can't put a charge on the house, will your mum keep him at home or go for the care home?

hollyberrytree Wed 07-Feb-18 22:03:43

My mother in law got continuing health care funding for end stage dementia. Also make sure you claim attendance allowance at the higher rate as this can be put towards fees.

Sprinklestar Wed 07-Feb-18 22:04:28

Agree with previous posters re CHC funding assessment, if his needs are deemed to be medical rather than social, he should receive a funded place. We had to fight for one for my DF but got it in the end. Good luck.

helpmum2003 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:05:57

I agree very important to clarify whether your father requires ongoing medical care in a nursing home which is NHS funded.

Personally I would advise your Mum to decline the discharge until such an assessment is carried out. The hospitals are under such pressure for beds that sometimes errors are made in needs assessment. If he is discharged home he instantly is lower priority to sort out as not occupying a hospital bed.

Good luck - how distressing for you all.

hollyberrytree Wed 07-Feb-18 22:06:10

OP, your fathers situation sounds very similar to my MIL. If you want to message me I can give a bit more info. Her last couple of months were at home.

Sprinklestar Wed 07-Feb-18 22:09:24

PS - IME the social workers were useless, spouted a load of cobblers and were very keen to push care back onto family. Like you, two of we three siblings lived abroad. I’d really recommend reading up on your rights and then sticking to the letter of the law re what your DF is entitled to. I kept a paper trail, called out anyone and everyone on their (multiple) errors and we eventually got what we were entitled to. You need to be an advocate for your DF and be prepared to get shirty with people. I threatened to sue one Friday and guess what? Problems solved by first thing Monday...

Sprinklestar Wed 07-Feb-18 22:10:53

PPS - as suggested above, definitely don’t accept him coming home. Then something will have to be done. Sometimes it’s the only way and there’s no way he can discharge himself so a solution will have to be found.

Bouledeneige Wed 07-Feb-18 22:12:17

Ring Independent Age's helpline on 0800 319 6789 (they are a charity so I'm hoping its okay to include this) - they give me brilliant advice when trying to sort out my aunt's nursing care. She had been turned down for continuing health care but they helped me appeal and we got 9 months of care home fees paid back. I recommended them to my friend who was facing a similar situation to yours and they helped her a lot. Alternatively find a specialist financial advisor via SOLLA - the society of later life advisers.

By the way, there is another option other than equity release and thats deferred payments where the council effectively owns a share of your house in lieu of the fees. Not all councils do have a scheme (though they should legally).

thesandwich Wed 07-Feb-18 22:15:54

Age uk can offer help on finance but the social worker was completely wrong. Please make sure you’re dm gets advice- and the chic assessment.

thesandwich Wed 07-Feb-18 22:16:55

Cross post!

Dodie66 Wed 07-Feb-18 22:25:39

Read this on age uk it says the home won’t be counted if your partner lives there
If you scroll down the page there is a link to contact your local age uk for help

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