i’m new to this forum - it’s feels like a great supportive place. Looking forward to engaging with you all.
I hope someone can provide clarity on the below scenario with my parents (Dad 86, Mum 83). I live near Reading, they live in Nottingham.
My father has Advanced Parkinson’s, and my mother was his carer. 2 months ago, my mother had a stroke and was admitted to hospital. I drove up to look after Dad who subsequently deteriorated over the next 4 days and was also admitted to hospital.
Mum came home 10 days ago (she has a lot of rehab to do), and Dad is coming home from an interim bed, tail end of next week. Both with home care packages in place.
I’ve been asked to complete financial assessments for each of my parents. At this point, I know the house won’t be included as part of the funding equation but I’ve been asked to provide details of it on the form, which upon investigation has revealed something I’m not clear about. (Note, that for home care, they are under the c.£23k threshold).
I am very certain that at some stage, one or both of them will have to move to a care home. And it looks like the house is in my father’s name.
Whilst I understand that the house cannot be sold if a partner still lives in the home, I’m not sure what the implications are with one owner on the deeds.
Is the rule applied literally by the authority? Specifically:
If for example my Dad were to be moved to a care home first, with Mum still in the house, would the house still be ‘excluded’ from the assessment until my mother leaves the home, or would it still be included and the authority put a deferred payment on the house (including compounded interest?). Implication is that it would potentially make my mother financially vulnerable.
Would it be adviseable to change the deeds to include their joint names?
I’m not interested in any inheritance btw - they’ve earned their money and it should be used as they see fit/need in my view.
I hope someone can provide clarity - if not, any ideas as to where I can go to obtain it. I had a brief free legal session with Age Uk and they made me more confused.
(I am the nominated power of attorney by the way as and when it comes to that).
The rules councils have to follow are all in the Care Act Regulations. You have a choice for the assessment to be done jointly or singly. Don’t let social workers tell you otherwise. They are both entitled to 6 weeks, maybe more, Reablement Care. Both entitled to Attendance Allowance, payable if they are self funding in residential care. OT assessments of the home should be made and any aids required should be delivered before discharge… Dad entitled to EXEMPTION from Council Tax due to Severe Mental Impairment. Financial Assessment must be done before any charges made.
Mum needs more time to recover, surely? It would be better if dad temporarily moved into a suitable care home while she recuperates. She can’t care for dad if she needs care herself! Make sure that one person is assessing the help they both need. Don’t let them be discharged on a Friday, as it’s impossible to get anyone to respond if there’s a problem at weekends!!!
welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your parents.
As well as what Bowlingbun has said, do email the Carers UK help email with all the details for up to date informed advice - email rather than phone because it is very complex and you can be sure they have all the information and you will have the reply in email form and not miss anything out in note taking - you can always phone for any queries and clarification.
Carers UK information and support
Our telephone Helpline is available on 0808 808 7777 from Monday to Friday, 9am – 6pm or you can contact us by email (email@example.com)
I agree with Bowlingbun, your mother cannot care for your father nor can he care for your mother just now. This would be unsafe discharge.
Any discharge without the full package of care and any household aids/hospital beds etc supplied is an unsafe discharge and should be refused.
Beware there is a big push for care at home, being the better place for them due to shortage of hospital beds and shortage of care homes and demand on them.
To be clear, my Mum is home with a Care package of 4 visits a day and (what appears to be) quite thorough ongoing rehab - physio 2x per week, Speech/Language Therapy/Occupational Therapy.
My Father is being brought home on a re-enablement package - the care home have been monitoring him and have been very impressed saying he has been acting independently. They think a re-ablement package (including carers initially) would be more appropriate and would involve further assessment is more appropriate than simple carers just turning up and doing the basics.
I would say (obviously it varies day to day) I think Dad is in a better place than Mum at the moment. She is struggling to motivate herself to do anything, and is incredibly lonely. She’s very depressed. I live near Reading (they are based in Nottihgam) and at the moment am staying with Mum Sat pm/Sunday to Tuesday (I have to work in London Wednesday onwards). I’m hoping both of them home together will actually benefit them psychologically.
There is one social care worker dealing with both their cases - we have insisted on it.
I will reach out to the email mentioned and explore the situation. I’m looking and trying to plan ahead. Next desired step for my sister and I is for them to move into a self contained flat in a complex around other people. The loneliness problem, I think will be a real problem for the one remaining after first death. And would maybe help mitigate move to care home. But obviously that is pure speculation.
Is the social worker talking to you about long term plans after Reablement ends?! If mum is having four visits a day, the maximum they will provide, that means she has highest care needs at home. What Plan B do they have?
After the free care ends, a hefty bill is looming for all this care,
Having re read your original post, if they have under £23,000 in savings between them, the ceiling is £46,000 for them both, then a lot of their care should be subsidised by Social Services. Income is also taken into consideration.
If one of them needed residential care, the other one stayed at home, then they would have to go into a residential care home which accepted Social Services funded residents. Bear this in mind for a later date.
All four of our parents were very ill for a long time before they died. Two had care needs that changed overnight, ultimately requiring residential care, hence my comment about a “Plan B”. One of them had an emergency placement 15 miles away, the other had given up driving. Had he listened to me, and considered in advance what might happen, she could have been in a home half a mile from his home, on the same road.
Instead, my husband was expected to be the taxi service. He died soon after his dad of a massive heart attack. I shall always believe that our huge caring load, all 4 parents and a brain damaged son, were a major factor.
Thank you @bowlingbun, your insight has been incredibly helpful. Sounded like you had a terrible time. My sympathies to you.
It’s strange, you don’t really consider this sort of thing (you don’t have to) when this happens to others. But there is a whole world one needs to get up to speed on as quickly as possible when it does. And it can be a complete minefield.
I liken it to a sick game of Snakes and Ladders! That’s why I try to help others avoid some of the issues I met. So many social workers really need an intensive course studying the 2014 Care Act Regulations. I never EVER ask for any favours, but I do expect people in need to have the services they are entitled to. I once reclaimed £8,000 from Hampshire on behalf of my mum. I met a horrible woman who wasn’t used to being challenged and tried to bully me. Big mistake!!!
The regulations are here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/care-act-statutory-guidance/care-and-support-statutory-guidance They’re currently under review and will be changed over time but use them as a general guide for now. Local authorities won’t be making wildly different decisions until the new guidance is out. When you open the link, you’ll find a menu of chapters down the left side of the window: one of the options refers to charging and financial assessments. It’s a fairly heavy read but generally the meaning is clear enough. There are also annexes/appendices at the end that are relevant but the guidance will point those out.
At one time the guidance was downloadable, but the government instead updates it regularly based on case law and political changes. A major change is coming in, but it’s not yet clear how that will work. When the update comes, it should clarify things. But one thing we all need to be aware of is the difference between care costs and “hotel” costs. That’s going to feature heavily over the coming years.
BB, seems you can print part or all of it, but not download it …
How to print a copy of the guidance
On your keyboard, press Ctrl + P on a PC or Command + P on a Mac
You have an option to print the entire Care Act guidance (approximately 375 pages) or select a page range.
I’ve recently found something else, previously downloadable, no longer accessible.
It’s the RCGP (Royal College of General Practitioners) How to Support Carers Guide. Lots of useful stuff in the previous one. When I had problems with my own GP practice not following the guidelines, I gave them a link to the Guidance. Unusually, the Practice Manager thanked me, said he had no idea it even existed, and they would implement the recommendations.
My posts all say “Information is Power” at the bottom.
It now seems that there are an increasing number of gatekeepers restricting access to things that could help us!!