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advice on caring for elderly parent

(16 Posts)
begonyabampot Tue 13-Sep-11 21:52:30

have a 78 year old father who lives alone. Recently he's been in out of hospital with some heart scares (he has a history of heart problems) and we want to give him options for his future care as we are not sure he will be able to continue on his own the way he has been. My siblings think sheltered housing would be a good option for him as he would have his own place, independence but people and social activities around as he is very lonely. Does anyone have parents in sheltered housing and what are your views and experiences of it? Also does anyone have any idea how much it costs etc?

sneakybeak Tue 13-Sep-11 21:59:08

Just a quick post - (I'm an Occupational Therapist). You could request an assessment from Social Services. From there he could be given a care manager who would work with him to look at his needs.

There is also a new elderly parents topic, so you may find some knowledgeable bods over there!


begonyabampot Tue 13-Sep-11 22:04:50

we would like this but he is very guarded about his money and savings so don't know if he would agree to this. Got the feeling he is going to be very difficult to deal with as he gets older (he is already). Think he thinks one of us might take him in so that the council won't get his savings by him having to pay for his care

begonyabampot Tue 13-Sep-11 22:05:54

Had a look at the elderly parents topic - but it's like a graveyard. Have reposted this in relationships as that might me more appropriate - thanks.

GnomeDePlume Tue 13-Sep-11 22:14:16

My Grandmother lived in sheltered accomodation fora number of years. She was really happy there. She had her own things with her which really made it her home. The wardens were there but didnt take over. They would buzz in each morning and only come if there was no reply. Otherwise they were on call (emergency call pull switches which reached to the floor in case of falls). The flat my GM had was quite small but there was a guest room which all the residents were able to book for a very nominal charge.

There was a television room and laundry room so people werent stuck in their accomodation. There was always something going on to encourage people to get together though I dont think anyone was dragged screaming and kicking from their accomodation to join in.

No idea about cost I'm afraid.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 13-Sep-11 22:17:20

Does your df own his own home or does he currently live in council/housing association accomodation?

begonyabampot Tue 13-Sep-11 22:19:41

he owns his own home, a further flat, and some considerable savings. It would be easier if he had nothing as he will not want to part with his money.

magicmarvin Tue 13-Sep-11 22:49:14

I work for a large not for profit provider of care/housing for older people. In terms of housing, there are lots of great options available. We offer a range of accommodation ranging from bedsits to bungalows to rent or to buy. Our properties are not means tested so it doesn't matter how much money you have in the bank you can rent a property. You just need to go on the waiting list first!

All of our developments have a warden on site from 9am to 5pm (with a 24 hour careline) as a minimum. Our new developments are virtually mini villages with carers on site, a doctor's surgery, shop, communal lounge, hairdressers, etc.

You might want to contact your local council to check what is available. Here are a few of the big providers who might be able to help:-

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 13-Sep-11 23:11:03

There a factsheet that you can access on this site:

Council-run sheltered or warden assisted housing schemes may be means tested and your df is unlikely to qualify. Buying into a privately-run sheltered/retirement scheme can be risky in terms of resale and the ever-increasing service charges.

The majority of sheltered housing schemes require their residents to be capable of doing their own shopping/cooking/etc as the warden is only available for emergencies. However, this does not prevent some residents accessing services such as home helps, meals on wheels etc.

The opportunity for group social activities very much depends on the residents - some organise outings, and evening entertainment/ daytime activities in their shared common room.

If your df doesnt qualify for sheltered housing run by Almshouses or other charitable trusts, IMO you are best advised to look for other ways of meeting his needs.

Is there a pensioners' luncheon club near to where he lives? Do any local churches host weekly afternoon get togethers for over 60s? Be warned - a single gentleman of a certain age can be much in demand at these gatherings!

Perhaps he could sell his flat or house to fund a move close to one of his dc or provide funds to build an annexe to one of his dc's homes?

I would suggest that he/you speak to an accountant to consider the best ways of safeguarding his wealth from the taxman through gifts, trusts, and assignments but, if he's anything like some older people of my acquaintance, he may not wish to confront his eventual demise and/or, effectively, prefer to keep his loot in a mattress under the bed.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Tue 13-Sep-11 23:20:14

Apologies - link here:

begonyabampot Wed 14-Sep-11 00:24:10

Thanks Izzy, problem is he doesn't want to get involved with any clubs or such. He has no friends and isn't good with people including his children so moving in with one us isn't on the cards. Sheltered housing seemed to be the best option as he is still capable and been caring for himself the past 3 years quite well, if miserable and lonely. I've found a website on sheltered housing for his area, I'll phone tomorrow and speak to someone.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 14-Sep-11 00:37:31

Does he want to move? As he's living in a house it may mean downsizing and he may need to dispose of a lot of his possessions.

Rents for sheltered housing schemes are generally very reasonable as are the shared charges for heating/lighting etc, and at least he'll have members of his peer group on his doorstep even if he doesn't socialise too much.

If you find a scheme where he can rent, perhaps his house can be let to fund his new living accomodation? Depending on market rents in his locality, he could make a tidy profit.

begonyabampot Wed 14-Sep-11 00:45:26

I don't think he will want to move, but these recent health episodes make us feel that he will start to rely on my siblings more and more and we want to present him with some options if this is the case. He thinks that his money is his guarantee that we won't let him end up in a care home so that our 'inheritance' stays intact. It sounds harsh but there isn't much of a loving relationship between us and he has and still can be quite toxic.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Wed 14-Sep-11 00:51:49

O dear - if they've never been particularly 'flexible' or reasonable, they can become incredibly stubborn and resistant to change. I sincerely wish you, and your siblings, the very best of luck.

MsGee Wed 14-Sep-11 10:06:17

Sorry I don't have any advice but the specialists on housing and care options for older people are: They will be able to advise on everything related to moving (finances, sheltered housing options etc.).

notsorted Wed 14-Sep-11 10:57:46

Try talking to Age UK helpline and look at their stuff on the web, they can talk through the options.
Also has your father made and Enduring Power of Attorney? It is good to get this sorted now, as it saves a lot of heartache for later.
Sheltered housing does buy a bit more independence in a way as it's easier to live in a smaller space, have company, have some help available. I wish my parents had gone into sheltered housing rather than struggling on in their own home and health problems made worse by their situation.

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