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HELP! Any experts on how to pay for nursing homes/home carers ie limits for benefits etc?

(14 Posts)
CountessDracula Sat 22-May-04 14:50:49

As some of you may know my poor stepfather aged 85 had a massive stroke a few weeks ago and it is possible that he will never come home.

My mother is obviously busy caring for him and worrying about him but I know that this has been praying on her mind, I wonder if any of you have experience of this or work in the field?

Basically the two options are:

1. He transfers from hospital to a care home (after 2 more months in hosp and provided he progresses well). If he does this, will the state pay for some of it? And if they have to pay privately, what are the limits for capital? Will they have to sell the house to pay for it if they run out of capital? What is included in the calculation for capital - is it just cash savings or does it include your house, stock and shares, investment plans, annuitys etc? What about income from these things + pensions, is that taken into account?

2. They have offered my mother a month long course in caring for him at home. She is 20 years younger than him and fairly fit so this would not be impossible and apparantly they will send someone round twice a day to help him get up, dressed etc and back to bed in the evening. Again who pays for this and all the above questions in point 1 apply really.

Personally I am not keen on no 2. I feel that she will become a nursemaid, be tied to the house all the time and her life will become very tedious. I can understand why she wants to do it but he may even be tube fed, catheterised etc and he is too heavy for her to lift.

With option 1 at least she will be able to spend quality time with him every day rather than being his nursemaid.

Any opinions and personal experiences very welcome on this.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Clayhead Sat 22-May-04 15:08:58

I don't know all the answers to your questions but I currently help my parents look after the affairs of 4 over 85s in our family (2 in nursing home, 1 in sheltered accomodation and 1 fit as a fiddle) and I do know that Disability Living (used to be Attendance I think) Allowance is *not* means tested. The forms are as big as a novel (well, feels like it) and annoying to fill in and you need to write everything down, over egg the pudding, i.e. saying that he can't get to the toilet at night without help, can't get out of the bath etc. any little thing you can think of, but the money is a help if a nursing home needs to be paid for.

I have only dealt with people who live by themselves in council accomodation so they have had to use their savings and capital has not been an issue; I don't know how it works if you have a spouse.

We contacted the social services for advice, even though my grandad was self funding, and they were really helpful.

Clayhead Sat 22-May-04 15:11:20

link for Disability Living Allowance

serenequeen Sat 22-May-04 16:23:31

cd, sorry to hear about this, somehow i have missed it. i am in the very fortunate position of never having had to investigate this, so i can't offer any advice. i hope you get lots of useful replies here and manage to get the best situation possible for your step father and your dm.

reddevil Sat 22-May-04 17:20:02

A v useful website is www.counselandcare.org.uk-they have lots of info
I'm afraid I'm too crap at computers to do a link!

gothicmama Sat 22-May-04 17:43:36

If you mum does become a carer she will be entitked to an assessment on her needs as well as your sf it would lokk at provding help with respite care, cleaning laudry etc. anything that wouls aid your m and sf. I am not to sure about financing but you could find out from local council about assessments . Your sf is also entitked to an assessment before he leaves hospital and this may help you all ( including sf) decide what is best

hmb Sat 22-May-04 17:49:24

The limits for capital on a full time care home are around £8000, or at least this was the limit for a single person 3 years ago (when my mother was taken into a psychiatric hospital, dementia). She would have to pay all her care bills until she had £8000 left, at which time the state would then pay the bills. I don't know what the rules are for a married couple, as obviously your mothers situation is different. I do sympathise, it must be awful for you.

motherinferior Sat 22-May-04 18:55:41

Darlin, didn't know, am so sorry.

I should know the answers better than I do. Age Concern or Help the Aged should both be very good on this - ring them on Monday, and I'll do anything I can as well. I did some work for the new Commission for Social Care Inspection recently, and wrote this:
Is there any help available with paying for private care?
Yes, but it depends on where you live and on what income or savings you have. Each local authority has different financial ‘thresholds’, but the overall rule is that the less money you have, the less you will pay.
Depending on your reasons for needing social care you may also be entitled to claim extra allowances or benefits, which would help your general financial situation.
I share your concern about your mum...he would also be entitled to get the money social services would pay for him to go into care (assuming there is any, obviously) as Independent Living Allowance so he can spend it on the sort of care at home he'd prefer. So that should (theoretically) take some of the pressure off your mother.

I think you need to start with an assessment. And talking to the bodies I've mentioned.

Hope some of this helps. Will email as well. xxxxx

CountessDracula Sun 23-May-04 00:30:43

Thank you all so much. I have checked out the Hampshire council website and they actually do have (amazingly) really good info. Apparantly if a spouse is still living in the home it is not taken into consideration (which is what she was worried about).

They will definitely have to pay privately for the home by the sounds of things, but hopefully some of these allowances etc will help to ease the burden.

Will let you all know what is decided

robinw Sun 23-May-04 06:54:25

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robinw Sun 23-May-04 07:44:55

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motherinferior Sun 23-May-04 09:49:07

I think Hampshire is very good on all this - seem to remember independent living in particular very good in that area. Will crank brain into gear tomorrow when have recovered from slight hangover and managed herculanean feat of taking two kids out for picnic

prufrock Sun 23-May-04 11:09:02

Cd - my experience is in Nottingham (Grandma currently living with my Mum - well in hospital since last night -but needs full time care) so might be different but...
If the care is proper medical nursing, which it probably will be after a severe stroke, then the NHS must pay for it. Often the care home bill is split between nursing care and personal care and you will have to pay the personal bit (Subject to the means testing rules) But after a recent test case the NHS must pay for nursing care even if it is given in the home.
Grandma is at home, because my Mum can't stand the tho9ught of her being in a home, but it is very difficult for all concerned, emotionally rather than practically though. Social services provide twice daily care, the cost of which is all but covered with the allowance Grandma gets (DLA I think). They come every a and get her up, showered and dressed, and then every pm to wash and change her. There are limits on what these sort of carers are allowed to do - they do deal with incontinence, but will not lift, so this would only be an option if he has some mobility (Grandma hadto go back into hospital last night as she went from being unsteady on her legs to being unable to stand)
Mum and Dad then employ the same carers privately to look after G'ma whilst they are at work.
There are huge numbers of options available to your Mum. The best piece of advice my Mum can give you is to get a decent social worker, and badger them lots so they know you will not accept anything other than their best efforts. Do not allow them to fob you off with excuses - there is lots of help available, and the system shoul be flexible enough to meet your needs, but you do really have to fight at the beginning.
Good luck, I hope he recovers well.

hmb Sun 23-May-04 11:19:18

I'd echo the advice to get, and keep a good social worker. My mother's was invaluable in helping us to sort out our problems. She, in consultaion wit the Homecare assistants, identified that mum needed 24/7 hospital care, and started the ball rolling for us.

I hope that things work out well for you.

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