Caring for an Oap

My 93 year old mother in law who was till recently in superb health
But now she needs more an more help Bad vision is stopping her cooking etc ,mobility etc
My sister wants to look after her more but she has to give up work days
What help financially can she get ??
Mum get a pension claims nothing else
Any help or advice please

Mum would not want carers she didn’t know as she is very independent

Hi C … a double headed problem … finances and needs ?

Finances … first step … are ALL current benefits / allowances being claimed ?

Pension credit / Carers Allowance immediately spring to mind.

Links for both :

Pension Credit: Overview - GOV.UK

Carer's Allowance: How it works - GOV.UK

An online benefits calculator for you to crunch some numbers … a finances / benefits m.o.t. if you like :

Housing … your mother-in-law … owner occpied or a tenant … social / btl ?

Savings … above / below the magic figure of £ 23,000 ?

Health … age against her … a possible move into a care home … considered ?

Care … Needs Assessment from local LA upto date ?

Outside carers … may well be NO other option if your mother-in-law needs increasing levels of care !

Your sister … Carers Assessment from local LA upto date ?

CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare … a possibility … considered ?

Enough of the basics to ponder on … feel free to ask further questions which will surely arise.

No benefits are being claimed
Tenant in council house
Savings less than that limit

Thanks for reply.
No to care home at any stage
So does my sister have to apply to LA ?
Thanks for advice

It’s NOT mum’s choice who cares for her. She cannot demand that family look after her when she is entitled to outside help.

Mum needs to apply for Attendence allowance asap. That one isn’t means tested.

Make sure too she has an up to date will, and has given Power of Attorney for both finances and health and welfare to those she trusts. These take several week s, if not months , to set up and register so get moving in them asap. You can do it on line and do not need to pay solicitors. These will mean that when she becomes unable to make decisions, her appointees can do so on her behalf.

She also needs to set up a DWP appointee to look after any benefits and pension she is paid

If your sister gives up work she will only get £62 a week for caring. Where as if Mum uses the council carers they will be paid over £700 a week, most of it by the council. It won’t cost mum much

Thanks C.

Finances / benefits :
Mother-in-law … State pension only ? … no other income … not even Attendance Allowance ( Which is the gateway
for your sister to claim Carers Allowance ) ?

Benefits if you're over State Pension age - NHS

Mother-in-law … a tenant … Housing Benefit paid ? Council tax reduction ? Universal Credit rolled out on her manor ?

Sister … no Carers Allowance ? Independent income or another benefit , ESA perhaps ?

Sister … housing … same questions … owner occupied / tenant ( Social / btl ? )

That online benefits calculator is calling … appears to be quite a bit of dosh going unclaimed !!!

Housing :

Mother-in-law … a social tenant. Lives alone ? If not , the question of " Succession " … any problem there ???

Health :

Agree with BB and Mrs. A ( DWP Appointee regarding any benefits … Will / P of A important considerations ).

Assessments … time for both , links for both follow :

Getting a social care needs assessment - NHS

Carer's assessments - NHS

Outside carers … even a few " Free " hours per week will be of assistance to your sister ( Who is under NO duty to care … it is
still optional , believe it or not ? ).

" No care home " … interesting , events may force everyone’s hand in this respect. Following on , CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare… do NOT put those options on the back burner.

Time for more pondering , me thinks ?

"Mum would not want carers she didn’t know as she is very independent "

Yet she’s happy to have her daughter care for her?

The elderly so often like to think that being looked after by their family ‘doesn’t count’ as care…but of course it is.

Actually, she USED to be very independent, but she isn’t any more!

I’m 66 and after 8 operations, some very serious, I’m not as independent as I used to be either. But the longer we live, the more dependent on others we become. My eldest son lives with me, and there are some things I simply cannot do any more. I try to avoid asking him to do things, and it’s always “when you have time” and I try never to nag…

Your mum is now paying the price of living to a grand old age, and is very lucky. There is no shame in her admitting she needs help, but she can’t pretend she doesn’t need help by turning you into a slave.

I suspect you are not far off my own age. Enjoy your life while you can!

good point, yes, she ‘used’ to be independent!

That said, it’s great that she WANTS to remain as independent as she can, because there are old people who are only too eager to ‘collapse’ all over anyone else (usually a put upon middle aged daughter - statistically speaking!), so that she does want to stay at home, stay as independent as she can, is definitely ‘good’;…but…

BUT she does have to accept what she cannot do any more on her own.

The question then becomes - what help/care does she NEED (not necesarly ‘want’ - needs and wants are not the same!)(eg, she may ‘want’ her daughters to do everything for her she can’t, but she doesn’ NEED them to do it - as in ‘anyone’ could do it, including outsiders!), and then WHO is going to provide it.

There’s quite a lot of previous posts across the forum about ‘sneaky ways’ (!) to get the elderly to accept ‘outside help’.

For example, if a daughter is always visiting and then spendin the time cleaning the house because their mum can’t manage it any more, then simply get a cleaner. At first, get the cleaner to come when the daughter is there ‘to help the DAUGHTER’…and then gradually ‘back off’ so the cleaner does ‘everything’ and not the daughter, and finally turns up when the daughter is not there anyway.

As for ‘social care’ (eg, a care worker arriving in the mornigns to help your mum up and shower etc etc), one of the things, again, the elderly find hard to understand is that if they are perfectly happy to do to their GP ‘for free’ they should equally be happy to bge ‘carers’ in ‘for free’ (if they qualify). careworkers coming in is NO different from getting ‘free’ GP time - both have been ‘prepaid’ in taxes earlier.

Finally, stress to your mum that the time you want to spend with her is ‘keeping company’ …ENJOYING being with her ‘socially’, eg, visiting for tea, taking her out, going through old photos, drawing up a family tree, even just watching TV together. Let ‘someone else’ do the ‘chore work’ of helping her have a bath, or cleaning the house. Don’t you and your sister ‘waste precious time’ doing what someone else can do. Only YOU can be your mum’s daughters, loving her company, and keeping company with her…

I think you and your sister should sit down and draw up a list of what help your mum now NEEDS, and what she only ‘wants’ and see how it turns out.

Your list may be different from your mum’s!

But comparing the two should give you a practical handle on what should happen next.