First time on here, decided i need help!

I am 64 and have lived with my parents all my life in Rochdale, my 88 year old father died 2 years ago following a stroke then heart attack. Since then I have been looking after my 85 year old Mother who has finally been diagnosed as having mixed dementia as well as her ongoing other medical problems. For the past 12 months I have been furlough for a company I have worked for for 23 years. During furlough I have managed to get my mother the high rate of Attendance allowance, am waiting for a decision on reduced council tax and have just sent off the carers assessment form.I take her to hospital/doctors appointments. Basically all my mother does now is make a coffee and turn the television on, I do everything else, washing, cooking, cleaning, housework etc. My health has deteriorated over the past year having being put on steroids for arthritis of the shoulders and probable copd. I found out last Wednesday (24/03/2021) my firm has gone into administration and I have been made redundant. As well as being a shock this has drastically brought forward my need for help and advice about what do I do now, can I look after my mother full time as I have been doing the past year, what benefits are available.

yours hopefully john

In a caring role, the only benefit available is Carers Allowance, it’s £67.25 per week, obviously not enough to live on - there must be other benefits available due to your not working, but I know nothing of those.

Welcome to the forum.

You do NOT have to do everything for mum.
Given your own health issues, it’s really important from now on that you look after yourself too.
Ask Social Services to do a Needs Assessment for mum, that doesn’t assume you will look after mum at all. Her needs are going to increase progressively, and you aren’t going to get any better either (I’m now riddled with arthritis too).
Make sure your house is as user friendly as possible, with a tumble dryer and a dishwasher, and an accessible shower.
If you have a garden with borders, get rid of them.
Every minute you save counts, then you can have a life of your own too. That’s really important so you don’t end up with no support network yourself.
Decide when you are not going to be available every day, maybe 2-4 pm?
That’s your “Me” time.

One very important issue you may not have considered is where you live after mum either dies or moves into residential care. Does mum own her home, or rent it? If it’s a council or housing association property, the chances are very high that you will be made homeless because of a “succession” policy.

If it’s mum’s own home, then as you are over 60, the value of the house will not be considered by Social Services should mum need residential care.
If she has over about £23,000 the council will expect her to fund her care until her savings go below that level.

Hi John & welcome

As well as claiming carers allowance I think you could claim ESA. If you were to get ESA you would not be expected to look for work.

From the web site.

You can apply for ‘new style’ Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re under State Pension age and you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

You also need to have both:

worked as an employee or have been self-employed
paid enough National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years - National Insurance credits also count
Check your National Insurance record for gaps.

You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style’ ESA. Universal Credit can help with, for example, your housing and childcare costs.

You cannot get ‘new style’ ESA if you:

You could also use a benefit calculator. Which can be used in varies ways i.e. answer questions no income and then with carers allowance.

Be aware of the following…

If the person you’re caring for gets a benefit with a Severe Disability Premium or Addition
The person you’re caring for can’t get the Premium or Addition while you’re getting Carer’s Allowance. They should contact the DWP or their local council to let them know you’re getting Carer’s Allowance.

The person you’re caring for might get a Severe Disability Premium or Addition as part of:

income-based JSA

income-related ESA

Income Support

Housing Benefit

Council Tax Support

Pension Credit

Always check with the person you’re caring for before you apply for Carer’s Allowance.

Also be aware …

Check the capital - using a benefits calculator with help.

You cannot get any of the means-tested benefits (income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit) if your capital is above the upper limit of £16,000.

Hi John

Welcome to our forum - I’m not sure if you are aware but we are running some online zoom sessions with carers each week. We set these up during lockdown so that carers can come together chat and share tips and information. If you would like more information please click on this link Online meetups | Carers UK
We would love to see you there and there’s no pressure to share anything. They run every Monday (except next week, its on Tuesday) at 3pm.

We also run a weekly share and learn session on all sorts of topics from singing, yoga, first aid - please check out the link and sign up if anything grabs your eye Share and Learn | Carers UK

with kind regards