Finances Help

I am wondering if anyone can help with some advice about financial issues. My grandma has recently been formally diagnosed with vascular dementia (although she has been deteriorating over the past year and a half). She has over the past 18 months has more and more support from my aunt with her finances. She has, with permission, for this time held my grandmas bank card and has made all the transactions for food, clothes, toiletries, household items, pretty much everything. Last spring we discussed sorting power of attorney but before it was possible to get this though my grandma suffered a stroke which has seen her cognitive side deteriorate massively and now power of attorney is no longer an option. My aunt did try and set something up at the bank but they needed my grandma to explain what she wanted them to do rather than just agree to what my aunt was saying and she couldnt do it. We are in the process of applying for deputyship for my aunt and myself (who my grandma had previously expressed that she wanted to be her attorneys had that have happened) however things have come to the point where my grandma is no longer safe at home and we have made the sad decision to move her into a care home. When discussing top up fees for the care home our social worker has said that legally we are not allowed to access without having POA or deputyship. Now obviously my grandma cannot give consent right now or really understand much of what she is agreeing to, but we have the issue of her needing new clothes (shes lost a lot of weight in the past few months) and needing other toiletries and haircut and whatever else and seemingly no way of paying for it. Does past permission count for anything if we were to keep all receipts etc? or is it just plain no illegal? There was nothing written in the way of permission it was always just verbal.
We also have an issue that with her moving into a care home we are going to need to sort out her household bills and cancel certain things but they will not speak to us at present. Is there any way to do any of this while we wait for the deputyship to come through as that could take months!
Thankyou in advance.

Hi Becka.

In the situation as so described , I consider seeking legal advice is the way forward.

Two recommendations … AGE UK & The CAB … links to each follow :

Age UK | The UK's leading charity helping every older person who needs us

AGE UK … added benefit of being able to handle the issues of residential care / top up fees and all other primary considerations
under one roof.

Has anyone mentioned CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare at all ?

One to bounce off either AGE UK or the CAB.

Welcome to the forum.

How best to deal with this depends on a number of issues, so I apologise in advance for the questions, but answers will help us give best advice.

Does your grandma own her house?
Claim Attendance Allowance?
Have over £23,000 in savings?
Has she made a will?
Who will benefit from her will?

If she didn’t own her house, and had under £23,000 roughly, in savings, then the council will pay some, or all, of her care fees. It would be unlawful for them to demand top up fees from grandma or their relatives to cover basic fees under these circumstances, as a general rule (there are exceptions, depends on circumstances).

In the short term, your aunt could apply to manage the benefits under the DWP Appointee scheme, which is fairly simple to apply for.

Certainly keep all receipts, whether spent from her accounts or on her behalf from yours or aunts.

The one thing you and aunt don’t want in all this is to be accused of misappropriation of funds or deprivation of assetsso keep records and receipts of everything. Better safe than sorry

Thankyou for your advice Chris. I will definitely look into both AGE UK, CAB and CHC.
Much appreciated.

Your welcome.

For AGE UK , meat and drink.

Thankyou Bowlingbun for your reply.
In reply to your questions, she doesnt own her home it is rented, she has savings but not over 23k and no will that we are aware of. She does receive attendance allowance.
The council will pay for her care but only up to a certain amount. As the home we have chosen for her is private they charge a £120 per week top up fee which wouldnt be covered by the council. Her benefits should cover most of this and then we plan to use her savings for the rest plus any clothes daily essentials etc.

The appointee scheme sounds very interesting and I have looked into this since reading your post. Do you know at all roughly how long it takes to arrange?

Thank you

I can’t remember how long it took, under a month.
They should NOT be charging any top ups. It’s a bit late to explain tonight, arthritic fingers!
I’m afraid it’s unlikely she would not be entitled to keep any benefits above about £25 a week If the council are paying towards her care.

We have been told that about benefits too, however we have also been told that as she receives mobility allowance from DLA this wont be taken into account and she will be able to keep that. This will bring her up to around 80 something pounds per week.
If you wouldnt mind explaining about the top ups fees when you can Id be very interested to hear.

AGE UK … Factsheet 10 … the Bible on care home fees … 30 pages worth :

Yes, she should keep her DLA Mobility.
If she has been paying any Council Tax, did you know she was exempt from the day of diagnosis of dementia, as it counts as “severe mental impairment”? What’s even better, is that it’s fairly easy to claim and it can be backdated!

The Council have to set their rate at an amount which will fully cover the costs of local care homes, which have vacancies. So do some research and get written information from the homes nearest to your gran’'s house.
I know my authority, Hampshire, has details of all homes with vacancies in the county. If yours has something similar, it will save a lot of time.

I know it’s not nice to think about, but your gran is only going to get worse, and will end up needing a nursing home, or an EMI (Elderly Mentally Infirm) home. Try to find a home which offers both care beds (for those who don’t need personal or nursing care, can walk to the dining room, etc.) and nursing beds in case she becomes bed bound in the future. Then she will never need to move again, and the staff will be able to get to know her and support both her and you.

Just a quick reply as Im at work. She has been getting her council tax paid for her so wont qualify for any refunds.
I havnt had chance to read on the link you sent yet but I will. Im just wondering if you feel it still applies as we have specifically chosen a home that is classed as luxury and has a few more facilities than standard. Therefore im not sure if the council can refuse to pay the top up as its something we have chosen? I may be wrong, Im still trying to understand all of this.
I did suggest to my family that we find somewhere with resi/nursing as I understand she will only get worse but the majority have decided against this as they feel this home is best for her now.

AGE UK link ?

Full sp on care home fees … everything one needs to know before making a decision.

In your situation, I would still check to make sure that there are some local vacancies at the council’s rate. If not, they must increase their rate to the lowest level of what is available. Then if your place is more expensive, you would only pay the difference.

If “the family” decide it’s the best place, then make sure they agree in writing that they will share the additional cost once mum’s savings have gone down. There have been many people on the forum who have suffered because family have agreed to pay for something, then been unwilling to cough up!

Financing Later Life Care - Which?

Online care home fees calculator may help here … just enter one’s post code.

I will assume that CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is a non stater in this instance ?