Help please care home funding with house and son

maggiemmaggiem Forumite
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Hi all,
I've looked through the threads as I am sure someone has asked this before but can't see the answer. A relative has fallen recently and is in hospital. The hospital are recommending a home as she is unlikely to walk again and is mentally confused. The problem is that she lives with her adult son. He has always lived with his parents. When his father died some years previously the house was transferred into his mother's name. There are some savings, possibly around 20K but we are assuming that she will be self funding in a home because of her assets. Is there any sort of protection for him? It seems so hard he is having to try and find a care home for his much loved mother whilst trying to work out what will happen to the home he has always lived in. Actually I am not sure he is worrying about that at present but we are worried for him.

We (OH and I) suggested he visits CAB to ask for options but just wondering if anyone on here has faced similar problems? Having started this process with my mother I was not impressed with SS support (basically non existent) and do not want to find out that if he had only done such and such he would be better off. I have advised him also to apply for DLA and it may be that she will qualify for some form of nursing support if unable to walk - I am not sure of that.

Apologies for the ramble - he will want the best possible outcome for his Mum but it can be so hard trying to sort out these things at a time when you are naturally very upset.

Thanks,

Maggie
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Replies

  • The LA will not take the home into consideration if a spouse, relative over 60 or disabled dependant is living in it.

    http://www.ageconcern.org.uk/AgeConcern/info_guide_2.asp#How_much_will_the_local_authority_ask_me_to_pay_towards_my_care
    Trying to keep it simple...;)
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    maggiem, she may be entitled to Continuing Health Care - read through this thread http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=800521
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • maggiemmaggiem Forumite
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    Thanks for replies. Sadly her son is under 60 - we were trying to work it out but think he is 54.

    I'll check out continuing care information,

    Maggie M
  • Have a look at this website for some very good factsheet info on funding care home fees.
    www.counselandcare.org.uk

    As you say it is likely that the council will consider the mum liable to pay for her care home fees due to the property asset and savings. There is a provision for the council to defer payments by putting a financial charge on the house and pay the fees until such time as the property is sold. There are some advantages to this in that no interest would be charged on the fees paid until the mum's death and the fees which councils pay to the care homes are generally substantially less than the open market price paid by self-funders. I believe this deferment is discretionary and has to be requested from the council.

    It may be possible to agree with the council that the son has a beneficial interest in the house if he has contributed to household expenses. If this is possible it will protect part of the house value from use for care home fees.

    If it is decided that the house should be sold then the council should be asked for a 12 week disregard where they pay for the first 12 weeks of the care home fees to allow time to release capital from the house. This disregard is only applicable if the savings other than the house are under the savings limit which is currently £22250 I think. The mum's income and some benfits would still be assessable in this circumstance as the mum's contribution to the care home costs.

    I do not think DLA would be applicable due to the mum's age but it should be possible to claim Attendance Allowance which is non means tested.

    Do not expect much help from SS as they generally disappear when self-funding is mentioned.

    I should also mention that if the mum recovers enough to be cared for at home then the value of the house and any savings under £13500 are disregarded when care at home financial contribution is assessed. Savings over £13500 are assessed as having a notional income of £1 per £250.

    The only other care home funding option is NHS funded Continuing Healthcare which is covered in the thread mentioned above. Generally dementia on its own would not be considered as serious enough to qualify for CHC but don't let that put you off. Please note that an initial check list assessment for CHC eligability should be carried out prior to hospital discharge but is often not done effectively, the results of this assessment should be communicated to the patient or the patient's representative but is often not done. If the patient/representative are not satisfied with the results of this assessment they can request a full assessment be carried out by the PCT CHC team. I would recommend that the son press for this process to be carried out. Just the fact that he is aware of the correct process will concentrate the minds of the discharge team.
  • maggiemmaggiem Forumite
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    Thanks very much especially to Monkeyspanner - confirmed our worst fears really but very helpful to have the information about an assessment by the continuing care team. This is so hard because it needs someone who is
    very upset and not thinking clearly to make lots of decisions and feel strong enough to challenge people who he assumes are only their to help. I know from experience how hard looking round homes was; they varied from awful places where residents were sat in upright chairs round a large TV with a prounced smell of urine to lovely places where staff seemed to really care about the residents - but the latter were not easy to find. I too found SS were not very interested in self funded although very keen to know what funds were available.

    Maggie
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    The reason that social workers can give less support to self funders and their attorneys/families is because they carry a responsibility for those whom the state funds and they have to take priority. We all know how heavy social workers caseloads are and they have to prioritise.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • Errata wrote: »
    The reason that social workers can give less support to self funders and their attorneys/families is because they carry a responsibility for those whom the state funds and they have to take priority. We all know how heavy social workers caseloads are and they have to prioritise.

    I am sure we all appreciate the case load of Social Workers now more usually called Care Managers. However they do have a duty of care to all their clients not just the ones without any money. They assume money equates to knowledge or at least the ability to obtain knowledge. Unfortunately money makes little difference to someone with severe medical problems and in need of care. In my experience if social workers spent less time trying to avoid providing information and actually tried to help when asked they would save time in the long run. I get the distinct impression that the priorty is resource management not care provision and management.
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    MS, I agree with you there is a duty of care to all clients but as with everything in life there have to be priorities. From your posts I know your experience of social workers may not have been of the standard you expected, but not all social workers and SW depts are unhelpful. It's far more common for people to decry something - especially on a website such as this one - than for people to praise it. Social Workers are currently damned if they do and damned if they don't, but we would be in a far, far worse state if they didn't exist.
    Resource management, care provision and management are all part of the equation. How could it be otherwise?
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • weanieweanie Forumite
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    In my experience Social Workers are usually well intentioned and provide a degree of information and assistance [eventually] when asked via a less than satisfactory system. This system takes time and if an 'end user' is facing a crisis, the luxury of time is not available and creates frustrations.
    I also agree with Monkeyspanner in the view that S Workers [and I would add a lot of others too] have a perception of people in 'need of care' as being of a higher priority to their case load if the individual has a need for council funding rather than personal assets to be used.
  • My experience is not that all SW are universally bad. As with all walks of life they vary from those who go out of their way to help (very much in the minority I'm afraid, and generally put upon by clients and co-workers), through those who have been ground down by the system, to those who are obstructive and generally unhelpful.

    My main concern is that the system's priorities have been perverted by the adoption of inappropriate managment theory which has put the budget priorities above the clients needs, and the service has as a result lost focus. Many of the time pressures felt by SW are increased by slavish adherance to proceedures which derive from this daft management theory much of which have been discarded by the commercial sector a long time ago. We have seen the results of this in Social Services departments given satisfactory to glowing reports based on their proceedures whilst individual clients are let down in day to day practice. Many Social Workers struggle to provide the service they would like to provide in this enviroinment and as a result there is a good deal of stress induced illness which can only worsen the case load of those who struggle on. It is IMHO a bit like WW1 'lions led by donkeys'.

    Sorry just realised I am dragging this thread off-topic.
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