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Elderly parents

Care home fees - can you top up LA payments?

10 replies

SHparent · 18/09/2023 13:37

I've hunted all over and can't find an answer to this question so I'm hoping someone here with elderly parents might know...

My dad recently moved to a care home, on discharge from hospital. Following his assessment period, his social worker has said he needs to stay in a care home. Dad has pretty much nothing financially so it has to be LA funded.

His social worker said he will talk to the care home dad is currently in to see if they accept LA rates (NHS has funded for now). If they do, all fine he can stay there. If not he has to move somewhere that will accept LA rates.

But if the care home wants more per week than the LA pays, is it possible top it up? i.e to pay the difference? I've no idea how much it would cost, it would be me and my brother paying it as dad hasn't any money really. We can't afford to pay full care home fees for him, and we are nervous of asking either the care home or the social worker in case they push us to take him on financially. We just can't afford that.

Getting him into this care home has been a long and difficult journey, but he has settled into this care home really well, the staff are lovely and it seems a really good, caring place. We would love the peace of mind of knowing he is somewhere he's happy, and we're happy without another move...

OP posts:
Azaeleasinbloom · 18/09/2023 13:42

I found this for England. I am in Scotland, and here it was possible for MIL, but think very carefully before you go down that route to ensure you plan for any increases or additional costs for your Dad, while ensuring you are providing for your own future needs. It’s a really kind thought, but if your circumstances change, you may find you have to move your Dad anyway.

Care home top-up fees

What care home top-up fees are and when you might have to pay them.

piscofrisco · 18/09/2023 13:55

Yes you can. So a child can top up fees for a parent over the LA payment. But only if the LA agrees to it which varies from region to region. It often happens when someone's capital goes below the 23250 quid threshold but it would be hard physically or mentally for them to move. So the LA take over the payment to their threshold and the family top it up to the amount of the total cost.

piscofrisco · 18/09/2023 13:56

Try caresourcer website for further guidance on this-they have a really good funding guide.

EmotionalBlackmail · 18/09/2023 13:56

You can but be very careful about offering - wait to see what SS/care home come up with first.

You could potentially be looking at £100s per week for an indefinite amount of time so do work out the max you could afford and for how long.

Shellingbynight · 18/09/2023 14:40

Yes you can, in fact when Social Services take over the funding they are likely to actually ask you if you/another relative would like to. You are not obliged to, it's your choice. They will tell you what the difference is, so at that stage you will be able to find out how much you would need to pay.

As an example, in my area the local authority funds placements at around £700 per week, and my mother's care home asks for £1100 per week, so that is the type of gap you could be covering.

Bear in mind there will be financial negotiation, and the first offer made by the local authority is not necessarily the final one. In my mother's case they made their basic offer, the care home refused, and then an agreement was reached between the two so that she could stay where she is (I am not making any financial contribution).

DahliaMacNamara · 18/09/2023 22:01

I really wouldn't get into volunteering that kind of financial commitment unless hundreds of pounds a week are nothing to you. They're unlikely to stay at the same rate year on year either.

VeryQuaintIrene · 18/09/2023 22:10

"They're unlikely to stay at the same rate year on year either." This. My mum's care home had an automatic 4% rise each year which really mounted up when she was alive.

SHparent · 19/09/2023 07:50

Thank you for all your replies, so helpful!

It's interesting to hear they may ask us about making a financial contribution when they are negotiating with the care home. I guess then we'd know the cost. But I was thinking a few hundred pounds a month, not a week...!

Dad is 91 so the point about how long we'd be paying for is had to evaluate. He has a heart problem, very poor mobility and probably dementia (being assessed) but otherwise is very strong. Particularly his mind where he is Olympic levels of stubborn - if he decides he isn't ready to die, I expect he just won't!

Anyway, thank you all for your kind replies. Much to think about.

OP posts:
Stressfordays · 19/09/2023 07:59

Yes, you can top up but care is very expensive. I assume he's on a d2a bed that's why the NHS are funding currently.

What I will say is, it is not in the LA or the care homes interests to move your Dad and they will likely come to some arrangement. I don't think I have ever had anyone move over funding issues in my 7 years, they have always made some kind of arrangement.

countrygirl99 · 19/09/2023 12:08

After MIL had her stroke FIL wanted MIL to go to a care home that didn't accept LA rates and expected us to find the difference of £450 per week. For some reason he thought that was an acceptable ask even though it's more than DH brings home. He very quickly got told we had 4 elderly parents to consider and it wasn't going to happen. That was 8.5 years ago and she is still going strong. We'd be bankrupt by now.

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