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Help Needed On Avoiding Care Fees

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  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    Best wishes for the op Margaret.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
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    Savvy_Sue wrote: »
    To be fair, in this case the OP appeared to be saying that her mother was worried about not being able to leave the inheritance she wanted, rather than the daughter fearing that what she was banking on getting would be swallowed up in care home fees.

    I am sure it is part of the grieving process for some people to worry about things - and some people worry more than others anyway! The OP may or may not be able to reassure Mum and persuade her to look at staying in her own home, since she doesn't appear to WANT to go into a care home.

    I'm quite sure that if my Dad dies before my Mum, she'll have her name down for the local home within a very short space of time - she certainly doesn't intend to stay on in their present home on her own, for which I'm very grateful as it's FAR too big. One would suggest downsizing, but they've done that once - to a four bedroom house with 2 bathrooms but no walk-in shower! - and I don't think Dad could contemplate the stress of house-buying and selling again.

    HOWEVER, my mission will be to persuade her not to do anything in a hurry: they already go to the local home several days a week for their lunch and afternoon activities, but living there 24/7 is quite different, and she needs to think through the implications of that.

    I am surprised that anyone would choose to go in an old peoples home voluntarily - but, if that is what your mother wants to do and she can find a decent one, then good luck to her - and, in those circumstances, it is fair enough for people to use their own money to pay for it obviously.

    But my understanding is that:
    - the vast majority of old peoples homes in Britain are pretty awful places, where you are considered lucky to have your own room and generally get treated pretty appallingly.
    - that people only go into them if their health isnt good enough to stay in their own homes
    (in which case they are having to go into these places for medical reasons - and that means it should be paid for by the State, not the person themselves. We are supposed to have an NHS after all).

    The one thing that strikes me in this is that the only person I have ever heard arguing that people should be made to sell their homes to pay for having to live in an old peoples home is someone who doesnt own their own home to sell - so they couldnt possibly lose out personally if they ever have to go into a home. A touch of the "green-eyed monster" (aka jealousy) possibly?

    If the only way to stop the State grabbing money out of me in my dotage is to go for equity release on my home - then I will do that and blow (or give away) the lot - to make sure I have been the one to spend my money.
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
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    Another thought - I noticed the comment about single daughters used to care for their parents in their oldage. I do hope that everyone remembers that that is something from the "dark ages" and is now consigned to the history books. Single daughters now have lives of their own to lead - the same as everyone else! (sex discrimination has been outlawed now in the workplace - and everywhere else I trust).

    Don't get me wrong - if anyone tried to give my mother a worse standard of medical care than she needed or tried in any other way to hurt her - then they would have me to answer to (and I wouldnt be in their shoes!). BUT I am not a "carer" and never will be. I have seen the effect being a "carer" has on peoples own lives - and I am not wearing rose-tinted glasses telling myself it would be any different for me if anyone tried to force me to be one. I have lived with the fear for decades there might be an attempt to force me to one day - and of the ensuing row there will be if it ever happens (even though I know I would win it).
    But - I have seen someone speechless and virtually immobile with depression from being a "carer" (and they had CHOSEN to be one - they married the person concerned knowing how ill they were).
  • margaretclare
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    The one thing that strikes me in this is that the only person I have ever heard arguing that people should be made to sell their homes to pay for having to live in an old people's home is someone who doesn't own their own home to sell - so they couldn't possibly lose out personally if they ever have to go into a home. A touch of the "green-eyed monster" (aka jealousy) possibly?

    Well, I must be the exception to this rule - and DH is of the same mind.

    The question of selling your home to pay for residential care does not arise while there is still one of you living at home. They don't take the roof from above your head, and even if they did, you're a 'vulnerable person' who would have to be rehoused anyway.

    If one of is is here alone, and is no longer able to cope to the extent that he/she needs to go into residential care, then it follows that he/she will no longer need house property. People's houses are usually their single biggest asset. So where is the objection to using the value of that asset to pay for residential care - you're never going to be able to go back to it, you're never going to use it again, are you? What's the point of it sitting there, deteriorating, not being maintained, getting shabbier, grass not cut, trees overgrown, or even - horrors - being vandalised? Might as well put it to good use.

    Thanks to all for the good wishes. The cataract surgery yesterday afternoon was absolutely fine. Not a problem at all. Of course there's a lot of hanging about, everyone for the afternoon list (or the morning one) arrives together, you sit in a little day-room which is quite comfortable and you're supplied with tea or coffee at regular intervals. Everything was clearly explained, it was all very 'user-friendly'. The actual surgery, in my case, took 15 minutes. As quick as that.

    The bonus of cataract surgery is that it also cures short sight. I can now read my neighbour's number plate across the road, I opened my eyes this morning to see the patterns on the bedroom curtains, I've never been able to do that before. I was warned by DH's experiences - he had both done April and May this year - and he found the glare when coming outside to be quite uncomfortable. So I bought a pair of non-prescription optically-correct sun-glasses and I took them with me, because even in the little day-room afterwards, the lights were bright. I found I needed reading-glasses, in fact I was warned that I would, but I was also told that I'd have to wait until after the second eye is done and settles down, before I can go back to the optician's for a prescription. I can't wait - got things to do. So I tried DH's reading-glasses which are 1.25, the weakest prescription, found they made a huge difference, can't keep borrowing his because he needs them, so we've been to Asda and bought a pair for £2.

    Best wishes

    Margaret
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Æ[/FONT]r ic wisdom funde, [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]æ[/FONT]r wear[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]ð[/FONT] ic eald.
    Before I found wisdom, I became old.
  • seven-day-weekend
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    Glad your operation went OK Margaret.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    the vast majority of old peoples homes in Britain are pretty awful places, where you are considered lucky to have your own room and generally get treated pretty appallingly
    Very, very few people don't get their own room and the numbers are decreasing rapidly. How one is 'treated' depends on many things: staff training and the cost per week being two of them. Clearly a 1* hotel is very different to a 5* hotel, and the same applies to care homes.
    If relatives or visitors beleive someone they are visiting, or any other resident in the home, is being treated appallingly then they should complain, not ignore it. And of course the same applies to the staff. I'm not saying everything is perfect, it never could be, but things are improving rapidly now.

    Margaret, very pleased to read that all went well for you.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Bogof_Babe
    Bogof_Babe Posts: 10,803 Forumite
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    Margaret, as usual you took the words right out of my mouth re. the "house" relevance. Unless the offspring intend to live in it themselves, which begs a different question, it is obviously going to be rapidly converted to part of the overall estate in financial terms, so why is it considered so sacrosanct?

    When my mum went into care, she vacated an empty house that needed selling. We were lucky enough to get a quick sale, and the money was put into mum's bank account, and from there into whatever investments my sister has sorted out for her (she being the financial whizz in our family ;) ).

    Mum lives in a lovely care home, with her own room and even a balcony overlooking the gardens. The staff are superb, extremely caring, and nothing is too much trouble. However she does pay nearly £500 a week for this. Neither my sister or I begrudge one penny of it, it is not now and never was "our" money. It is important to us that mum enjoys whatever time she has left, and thankfully she has the means to do so.

    By the way, congrats on your successful cataract op. I've had both done, and it does give you a new lease of life!
    :D I haven't bogged off yet, and I ain't no babe :D

  • seven-day-weekend
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    I've had a thought (please forgive me if it has been said before).

    If for example, my husband and I owned our house as tenants-in-common, and one of us went into care , the house would not have to be sold (as I understand it) because you can't sell half a house. Both of us could then will our share of the house to our son.

    When the first of us died, then the house would be owned as t-i-c with the survivor and our son. If the survivor went into care, then there is still only half a house, isn't there?

    Isn't the worst that could happen is theat the Council could put a charge on it, to be repaid when our son sells the house or on his death?

    Would this work?

    NB - I am assuming that our son will continue to live in the house throughout. He does at the moment. (edited to add) - It is his HOME, not just a future inheritance.

    (I understand the points made about having more choice, but for some of us, like the OP's mum, it IS important to leave our children an inheritance).
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
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    7DW what you suggest should work, but you'd need to check out the charging policy for local authorities. The charge would be a debt so it may be that the LA would be required to ensure the debt is repaid at the earliest possible moment, not when your son decides to stay in the house or on his death.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • osmonddiva
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    ceridwen wrote: »
    I am surprised that anyone would choose to go in an old peoples home voluntarily - but, if that is what your mother wants to do and she can find a decent one, then good luck to her - and, in those circumstances, it is fair enough for people to use their own money to pay for it obviously.

    But my understanding is that:
    - the vast majority of old peoples homes in Britain are pretty awful places, where you are considered lucky to have your own room and generally get treated pretty appallingly.


    I just had to reply to that quote. I work in a care home for approx 20 Residents with varying levels of needs. All our residents have their own rooms and most have their own bathrooms as well. I can honestly say hand on heart that every one of our carers loves our residents to bits. We give them the care and respect that we would expect our own parents to receive. Our home is like a large extended family where there is laughter and tears, good times and sad times and always as much love as what there is in our own homes. We have fabulous relationships both residents and their families.

    The press represent the minority of bad homes and the majority of good homes go un-represented as do their wonderfull carers. Nobody really chooses to enter a care home but often there will be a need for it and the majority of times it will be the best outcome.

    I am not involved in the finances so cannot answer rubyreds question but would agree that contacting AgeConcern would be the best idea. I hope all works out well for both you and your mother.
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