Do things change once you hit retirement age?

Hi carers,

My partner cares for his father, who’s physically disabled (with a degenerative disease) and he’s been getting a decent care package domestic/personal care funded by our local authority for over a decade now.

Works out about five hours a day which funds two interchanging PA’s for him via the direct payments scheme who help him with his personal needs and getting him out and about to his clubs and things. It’s worked out pretty well even though he needs more care than they will pay for, so my partner is often picking up the slack.

He’s turning 67 this summer and will be transitioning onto the state pension (no pension credit as he gets a small occupational pension which takes him 30p over the minimum income guarantee) and a family friend is claiming that because he’ll be considered retired from then on, his care package will be reduced. The family friend’s belief is that he’ll end up only being given four calls a day (30mins to an hour each) which seems to be the standard for elderly people in our district.

Both my partner and I don’t think this can be correct, but of course he’s not having any of it and is now getting himself worked up over the thought of losing his care package/PA’s, and I’m concerned about the impact that’s going to have on my partner providing yet more unpaid care. (I know the council need to fund enough to meet his needs but despite repeatedly pushing for more funding they have refused again and again.)

Of course, turning 67 isn’t going to change the fact he’s physically disabled and has additional care needs, or make his needs lessen in any way (if anything his needs have increased in the last couple of years) so how could the local authority justify cutting a care package just because he’s hit retirement age?

I’ve assumed that his client contribution is probably going to increase, since he’s not getting pension credit and he’s now cleared his mortgage too. I also anticipate they’ll be pushing to try and get him into residential care so they can take the house, but he’s not at the point of needing that right now and he certainly doesn’t want it either.

I’m just wondering if anyone here has any experience of a disabled person hitting retirement age and what, if any, impact that had on the amount of care that was funded?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

If he’s assessed as needing a particular level of service, that can’t change on the grounds of age: it would be a breach of the Equality Act. The only reason to reduce a service level is that it is no longer required. If nothing has changed, they can’t cut it.

Thank you for the speedy reply, Charles. This is exactly what I thought.