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care for the elderly and rights as grandaughter:UPDATE

edited 15 December 2009 at 11:53PM in Over 50s Money Saving
10 replies 1.6K views
julie03julie03 Forumite
1.1K Posts
edited 15 December 2009 at 11:53PM in Over 50s Money Saving
hi someone told me to post here as you may be able to answer all my questions

my nan is in hospital at the moment, she has a brain tumour but is in good spirits, she is awaiting further tests and we will know more after xmas.

before she went into hospital she had discussed going into a home with her son, my uncle. since this has happened he is now started procedures to gain power of attorny with her permission. i have spoken to her today and i believe she is doing all this because she has been misinformed.

she is 86 and is worried when she becomes incapacitated she will have to go into a home as any care you recieve in your own home you have to pay for. she also does not want to live with family if she is ill as she is a very proud woman and does not want us undressing her and taking to the toilet as she finds it humaliating, she lives in charity housing and gets housing benefit but has maybe £6000 in savings though i am not sure.

we have also asked her to think about having more than 1 power of attorny to safeguard her independence.
questions i need answering.

1:will she have to pay for nurses or carers to come to her house to help with dressing and putting to bed etc and what is the upper savings limit for this does it vary from borough to borough.
2:is it true her housing benefit will be continued to be payed for 52 weeks
3:even if she has power of attorny to someone else can she continue to be independent financially ie: take money out write cheques ect until she no longer has the ability to do so
4:is it better to have more than 1 power of attorny, i know i should trust my uncle, but i believe he is acting too fast. and i honestly do not know him well enough, though my nan believes he will always act in her best interest.

she is a very intelligent and independent woman and i would like her to regain as much independence as possible for as long as possible, we dont know what the future holds but we are trying to be positive , my dad her son died 20 years ago and i know this isnt what he would have wanted for her so im trying to get her as much info as possible so she can make informed and positive decisions as she is very much of sound mind.

have also spent some time with her friends at her club and they think she wouldnt like a home, i think her son is finding options that are easy for him and not thinking about the effects it would have on her, she has also in the last 2 weeks improved quite significantly and actually walked a little this is due to steroids draining fluid from her brain.
and as her grandaugher do i have any sayin these matters legally or is her son the only one as my dad is deceased and i feel this isnt what he would have wanted.
thank you for any advice
sorry for length of post

Replies

  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    I can't answer all questions, no real knowledge.

    However my mother was in similar situation, and I had POA for her affairs

    Limits may have changed, but paying for home care is means tested, if "only" 6K savings & on benefits then no contribution required. However the care supplied is very much hit & miss depending where you live, large cities may fare better, rural area may be worse [my mother's was, rural]

    She can continue to write cheques etc if she wishes, the banks "normally" issue two cheque books, one for her and one with POA name as "POA for Mrs xyz"

    Depends where son & you live really, if 80 miles away how are he & you expected to oversee her care, or are you, personally, going to visit daily / weekly to check her?

    You say son maybe seeking easy option, from personal experience [lived 75 miles from mum] he may well be right, rod & back are terms that spring to mind
  • julie03julie03 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    he lives 300 miles away and i live 1 bus ride away and as in greater london bus services quite good plus hubbie is postie so will have a car available to me in afternoons and evening. my uncle has a very demanding job and really unusual hours, she has lots of friends who would still visit and there is also me and my brother and her ex daughter in law who she is still close to. but he says if she goes in a home it will be where he lives so there will only be him to oversee her care, i cant see her being happy as they are not that close, only yesterday she said when he visited it was like they were strangers.
  • Do you have a local Help The Aged/Age Concern office? If so, it might be a good idea to make contact with them; I'm sure they'll be of enormous help, since they will also know the local conditions re. care homes, etc. I'm sure it would be better for her if she does have to go into one, if it were close to her friends and the majority of her family.
  • edited 28 December 2009 at 9:34PM
    monkeyspannermonkeyspanner Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    edited 28 December 2009 at 9:34PM
    julie03 wrote: »
    hi someone told me to post here as you may be able to answer all my questions

    my nan is in hospital at the moment, she has a brain tumour but is in good spirits, she is awaiting further tests and we will know more after xmas.

    before she went into hospital she had discussed going into a home with her son, my uncle. since this has happened he is now started procedures to gain power of attorny with her permission. i have spoken to her today and i believe she is doing all this because she has been misinformed.

    she is 86 and is worried when she becomes incapacitated she will have to go into a home as any care you recieve in your own home you have to pay for. she also does not want to live with family if she is ill as she is a very proud woman and does not want us undressing her and taking to the toilet as she finds it humaliating, she lives in charity housing and gets housing benefit but has maybe £6000 in savings though i am not sure.

    we have also asked her to think about having more than 1 power of attorny to safeguard her independence.
    questions i need answering.

    1:will she have to pay for nurses or carers to come to her house to help with dressing and putting to bed etc and what is the upper savings limit for this does it vary from borough to borough.
    2:is it true her housing benefit will be continued to be payed for 52 weeks
    3:even if she has power of attorny to someone else can she continue to be independent financially ie: take money out write cheques ect until she no longer has the ability to do so
    4:is it better to have more than 1 power of attorny, i know i should trust my uncle, but i believe he is acting too fast. and i honestly do not know him well enough, though my nan believes he will always act in her best interest.

    she is a very intelligent and independent woman and i would like her to regain as much independence as possible for as long as possible, we dont know what the future holds but we are trying to be positive , my dad her son died 20 years ago and i know this isnt what he would have wanted for her so im trying to get her as much info as possible so she can make informed and positive decisions as she is very much of sound mind.

    have also spent some time with her friends at her club and they think she wouldnt like a home, i think her son is finding options that are easy for him and not thinking about the effects it would have on her, she has also in the last 2 weeks improved quite significantly and actually walked a little this is due to steroids draining fluid from her brain.
    and as her grandaugher do i have any sayin these matters legally or is her son the only one as my dad is deceased and i feel this isnt what he would have wanted.
    thank you for any advice
    sorry for length of post

    In answer to your questions.
    1. The assistance does vary from council to council and will depend on their funding decisions. More than likely your grandmother will be expected to make some contribution based on her income. The council may offer a direct payment arrangment where the client can arrange their own care. The downside of this is that an individual may struggle to purchase care at the same rates as the council.
    2. Sorry don't know.
    3. Yes, unless judged to be mentally incapable although some banks will refuse to have more than one person in control of an account i.e. if the POA is registered against the account then certain account facilities may be withdrawn e.g. ATM cards. If possible avoid Abbey in our experience they are particularly difficult to deal with in this situation. Your uncle may be concerned that should her condition affect her mental capacity it will be too late for her to appoint anyone as her POA.
    4. Possibly yes but would depend on how the POA is written. e.g. joint decisions or either POA can act. I can see this causing confusion and arguments regarding decisions. Essentially it is up to your grandmother.

    As far as I know neither you nor your uncle can decide what happens to your grandmother's living and financial arrangements and the social services will support as far as possible your grandmother's wishes. Should your grandmother lose her mental capacity then it is likely that the wishes of the closest relatives will be considered.
  • picasso2picasso2 Forumite
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    To be fair it seems a little early to be making any decisions about the future , you need to know the prognosis as there will be different options available depending on outcomes.

    In the worst case scenario where the condition is deemed terminal with a life expectancy of 6 weeks or less then care can be provided at home by the NHS, free of charge,though this varies from area to area, most large health trusts have this in place.

    Getting power of attorney for older people whilst they are still able to make decisions is more straightforward than waiting until a crisis occurs. I may be wrong but i believe there is now an 'enduring power of attorney' that only comes into effect when such a crisis occurs.

    Should your grandma need to go into a carehome her savings are below the threshold where they will be taken to pay toward the care although i believe her pension and attendence allowance will be used towards the care home fees.

    If a care home is reccomended then support will be given with this process and your grandmas wishes will be taken into consideration , sadly some older people will 'go along' with the wishes of their children to keep the peace despite what they really want.

    Again depending on the prognosis the nhs may make a contribution toward the care home fees, these vary area to area and each area have their own interpretation of the guidance.
    When it rains look for Rainbows
    When its Dark look for Stars
  • Savvy_SueSavvy_Sue Forumite
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    The new Powers of Attorney are of two kinds, and your grandmother might want to consider different attorneys for each kind.

    For example, she might want to involve you in any decisions about her care needs. I can't remember the proper names, I know one is finance and the other is health and care related, and it's late and I'm on a dodgy connection on a netbook, so forgive me for not looking, but try the Public Guardian's website.
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  • BigglesBiggles Forumite
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    picasso2 wrote: »
    Getting power of attorney for older people whilst they are still able to make decisions is more straightforward than waiting until a crisis occurs. I may be wrong but i believe there is now an 'enduring power of attorney' that only comes into effect when such a crisis occurs.
    It's only impossible to get a PoA whilst they are still able to make decisions.

    The Enduring PoA ceased a couple of years ago, the new one is called the Lasting PoA.

    It is very advisable to have more than one attorney (in case one dies etc). Ideally they should be people who you know can work together on decisions.
  • picasso2picasso2 Forumite
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    Biggles wrote: »
    It's only impossible to get a PoA whilst they are still able to make decisions.

    The Enduring PoA ceased a couple of years ago, the new one is called the Lasting PoA.

    Yes it was late and I should have been asleep .:o

    The information you need is here


    www.guardianship.gov.uk


    Again , you need to know the prognosis as this does change things.

    Best of luck
    When it rains look for Rainbows
    When its Dark look for Stars
  • PitlanepigletPitlanepiglet Forumite
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    I would just say that my grandmother had always said that she wasn't going to go into a care home but she go to to the stage where she was having small strokes (TIA's) and needed someone around her all of the time and despite our best efforts as a family we couldn't be with her or in her home constantly to give her enough care to keep her well and safe.

    Reluctantly she agreed to go into care, she was well enough to choose the home and she lived very happily there for two or three years. Her health increased whilst she was there as she was adequately hydrated - at home she had stopped drinking because she worried about being able to get to the loo etc. She got taken drinks regularly, she had an ensuite bathroom and care at the touch of a button. Her quality of life was significantly better than it would have been if she'd stayed at home.

    She wasn't forced to sit with the other residents in a shared lounge, she wasn't a terribly sociable lady, she loved her own company and given the racing pages and a TV was more than happy on her own and the home respected that. They also asked residents how they wanted to be addressed and respected that - lots of the oldies like to be Mrs Whoever and not just called by their first name.

    It's not necessarily a bad thing and caring for an elderly relative 24/7 is incredibly difficult and I am not surprised that your uncle wants to move her nearer to him so that he can at least assist with that care giving.

    It's lovely that you care and hopefully you can keep that up by writing to her if she moves, my Nan loved getting letters.
    Piglet
  • julie03julie03 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    update: we have been told my nan has terminal brain cancer and she will not see another xmas , she told me last week she would prefer to stay in london, but this evening i recieve a call to say she is moving to a care home 300 miles away, i am devestated, her son my uncle is not the most attentive of sons, he knew this would be her last xmas and couldnt even be bothered to come and see her he has been once in the last 4 weeks, between family up here we are managing to see her 6 times a week, she will be lucky to get a couple of hours with him,

    i spoke to her on the phone in the hospital and asked her if she thought she would be happier staying in london she said " oh i expect so" then i asked her do you think you would be happier down there and she said " oh i think i will be ok" i dont think she knows what she wants and i would like to see her have more time to make a decision but she is going at 8 tomorrow morning , the nurse said she will try and get the mcmillan nurse to call me so i can express my concern but she cant guarentee it,

    i feel my hands are tied, i have tried talking to my uncle but he said he cant do anything and to be quite honest he doesnt seem to care about anyone else but himself, sorry for the rant but i am so frustrated and upset. between all of us in london we make sure she gets everything she needs ie daily paper, chocolate , pork pies etc i know he wont pay much attention to the smaller details of her needs, the ones that make her happy
    pitlanepiglet ; he wont assist with care giving , he wants control and to ease his guilty consience

    thank you all for your advice so far
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