How to pay for care until house is sold?

Hi everyone, first time poster here, learning how to navigate the the care system.

My mum and Dad, both in their nineties, moved into a care home together in October 2021. As house owners they knew from the start they would be self-funding, so were not assessed by Social Services. Once settled in, they put the house up for sale in December and have just accepted an offer last week. There is a possibility their savings might run out before the sale completes. They have £40,000 left in their joint account and fees are £3750 each per month. At what savings level could/should I withhold payments? Do they have to continue paying until they have literally nothing left in the account? There will still be some bills to pay on the house until it is sold, e.g. insurance.

We explained the situation to the care home manager who said we would have to talk to the council about deferred payment or take out a loan against the property. However, arranging a deferred payment appears to take about 12 weeks, by which time we hope the sale will be almost complete anyway (just praying the sale does not fall through). Not even sure how or if the council could make the arrangement, given that the sale process has now begun, and we certainly don’t want to do anything that could complicate and delay the sale. I have looked at Nationwide’s website (where they bank) and they will not do personal loans/equity release for people in their mid nineties. Where do we go from here? Grateful for any advice.

Contact Social Services asap.
Assessed needs must be met, but you need to ask for the assessment!
Are they in a care or nursing home?

[my emboldening]
Hello Patchworkcat. Certainly follow the preceeding advice. I can understand why a bank is not keen on issuing personal loans to people in their nineties. Forget equity release - that is a long-term scheme for people intending to remain in their house, inappropriate for a house on sale.

A bank website does not tell everything on offer. You could do worse than visit their bank branch and seek their advice. A bridging loan may be possible; that is what the care home has in mind. The security of the loan is on the property and the loan is repaid when the property is sold. If Nationwide cannot help, you could try a similar request to your own bank, where you have a standing relationship.

It sounds as though there is about six months’ worth of savings left. If the house is now sold subject to contract, it is likely that the sale will be completed before then. But things can go wrong and cause delays so you are wise to take precautions against this. Social services start to assist with payments once individual savings fall below £23 250, but of course they need to be registered with Social Services, which is the reason why Bowlingbun advised you to ask for the assessment. Get this done anyway, even if everything else goes well. They may be living in the care home longer than you may expect!

Thank you everyone for your replies. Mum and Dad are in a residential care home. Both have now been approved for Attendance Allowance (Mum at the higher rate, Dad at the lower rate) which all helps. I will be taking up all your suggestions.

My mum moved into a care home, too frail to live at home any longer. It’s all very difficult, try not to “burn out”, but pace yourself.