Advice neeeded about funding for home care(7 Posts)
I’m sure this has been answered elsewhere, but I’m hoping you all can provide some advice for this particular situation.
My mum (79) has multiple health issues and is quite physically disabled with RA. She’s able to walk around the house with a stick, but following a recent fall, hospital admission and stay in respite care (private), has a stair lift. She uses a wheelchair or wheely frame outside the house.
She has urinary continence problems, which we are going to raise with the GP. She has capacity, but I am suspecting the beginnings of dementia, and she’s happy for/expecting my brother and me to sort out all finances and medical appointments. She has private carers in x2 per day, who are lovely and just right for her, to do housework, heat meals and help her shower etc.
The savings will last less than a year now, so we need a plan. Her home is worth about £20K. I haven’t applied for attendance allowance, and haven’t been in touch with SS other than to arrange for an OT assessment.
What can we do to keep Mum in her home, with these carers, for as long as possible, and to maximise the funds available? Are equity release schemes as bad as the press make out?
I know we’re fortunate in many ways. My brother and I don’t care much about losing our inheritance - we just want mum to be comfortable.
Do apply for Attendance Allowance straight away, as she is very likely to be eligible. This is worth around £55 PW, or about £80 if she gets the higher rate ( generally for people who need help during the night).
If you are able to be there for the OT assessment it might help. In my experience, lots of older people will say they are managing fine, whereas you might point out that she struggles to do certain things.
They should then put together a care plan and how much your mum pays is dependent on her circumstances (but the value of her home is not taken into account).
I believe, if she's entitled to free or subsidised care, she can choose to use it for the carers of her choice - bit you'd need to check that with Social Services.
Social services don't count the house when they are assessing for care at home if the person still lives in it.
The value of the house only comes in to play when someone moves into residential care. Even then if your mums home is only worth £20k it will fall below social services charging threshold which is £23k ish
Providing your mum doesn't have a huge amount of cash savings she will probably be eligible for care funding from social services if they assess her as eligible for care.
If you google 'financial assessment for domiciliary care in relevant local authority' you should find guidance about what the process is in your local area.
Personally I wouldn't go anywhere near equity release schemes in this situation. Entirely unnecessary.
What I would do though if your mum is willing is to get Lasting Power of Attorneys set up for both finances and health and welfare as this makes things SIGNIFICANTLY easier down the line if she does lose capacity.
Thanks - sorry about the house is worth about £200k!
She has had an OT assessment, but it was an NHS OT from a One Stop Shop. She has a commode and various rails etc, and would have been eligible for a stair lift but the wait was going to be too long.
Nobody has mentioned care in her home since she was in hospital, but we ended up getting her into respite care (private) as SS had no capacity, so perhaps we have been forgotten. I do have the SS number to ring. It is all terribly confusing.
We have LPA for finances already, ad are in the process of delaing with the organisations. The bank were great, thank goodness.
I work in the NHS and “speak the language” of secondary care, but this is all a bit baffling!
Make sure u are claiming all benefits firstly. Look at how u can make things easier at home with ready meals etc. Can you get her an alarm system where she wears a pendant to press if she needs assistance.
Get her assessed and ask gp if they can help/know of local help.
She will be eligible for attendance allowance. My mum owns her home and has savings etc. I thought she wouldn't be entitled to anything free of charge, and the physio who arranged 6 weeks free care after she left hospital, thought the same. But we were both wrong. I don't think it's means tested. It's to do with health. She now gets £88-ish per week, which pays for her carers.
Check all benefits your mum is entitled to and apply for each one. Attendance allowance is the first that pops into my head. Winter weather payment is another, I think it's a free or reduced rate for TV license,
Contact social services, they will assess how many hours of care your mum is entitled to.
Some social work departments will sometimes pay a large portion of a private care company to come in instead of local authority.
The house value would only be considered if your mum moved into residential care, although there are ways around that.
Does anyone have power of attorney? I would look into this if you feel your mum is showing signs of dementia. It doesn't give anyone any control over her money until she is classed as not having full capacity by a medical professional.
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