My name is Linda and I’ve recently started caring for my uncle. He had a fall and broke a few ribs and whilst in hospital he had a stroke. After 8 weeks in hospital, he was allowed home as long as he had full time care. I’ve given up work to care for him full time. My husband and i have moved in with him and I give him 24 hr care.
What i’d like to ask, are there any benefits I can claim ? My husband is retired and in receipt of pension but i have no income at all. Have made an application for attendance allowance but i understand that’s not payable for 6 months and I can’t claim carers allowance until he is in receipt (if he gets it) of the attendance allowance.
Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated
This is a very drastic decision to make. WHy have you made it? Was your life ‘not good’ before you gave it up to move in and look after your uncle?
MOST important is what has happened to your own former home? Did you own it, rent it? Have you sold it, given up the tenancy?
Moving in with your uncle is very dangerous, as if he worsens and has to go into residential care anyway, if he owns where he lives it will have to be sold to pay for care home fees, and if he rents it the tenancy will end when he goes into care and you and your husband will be homeless!
You’ve made a very ‘dangerous’ decision in that respect. What safeguards have you got against being homeless yourself???
Also, if your uncle has less than £23,500 in SAVINGS (not the worth of the house if he owns it), he should be entitled to free ‘call-in’ carers/care workers, to take some of the burden off you and your husband.
Hi Linda … welcome to the canteen.
On the benefits front … Attendance Allowance ( Not PIP ? ) … full sp :
Attendance Allowance: Overview - GOV.UK
Looks like 6 months ( Begs the question of what the carer lives on during those first 6 months ? ) :
You can get Attendance Allowance if you’ve reached State Pension age and the following apply :
you have a physical disability (including sensory disability, for example blindness), a mental disability (including learning difficulties), or both.
your disability is severe enough for you to need help caring for yourself or someone to supervise you, for your own or someone else’s safety.
you have needed that help for at least 6 months (unless you’re terminally ill).
No AA , no CA !
Time to crunch some numbers through an online benfits calculator for you to see exactly what is out there for you and your husband :
Housing front … no immediate problems BUT … should your uncle ever move into a care home , it would then present you and your husband with problems down the line.
More on that aspect if ever needed.
Jenny has mentioned the caring aspect … a Needs Assessment from the local LA is paramount … could provide caring support although at a cost would be for them to decide on a financial assessment.
A long shot but … NHS Continuing Healthcare considered ?
NHS continuing healthcare - NHS
More on that if needed.
I decided to move in and care for my uncle because he is family and i love him dearly. It was my choice with my husbands support. I do not in any way think it was dangerous. I own my own home and my uncle owns his (he has no children). He does not have home care through choice(he has capacity )as he isn’t comfortable with strangers coming into his home and you see so many horror stories. As for my life being “not good”, You couldn’t be further away from the truth, my life was great thank you. My family mean the world to me and i would do anything for any of them. Why any of that should have any bearing on what benefits i can or cannot claim is beyond me. I joined this group for support, not for questions or what feels like condemnation on my reasons for looking after a loved one. This is my first and last time on here as support from you is not what i’ve been given.
Chris. Thank you for the link. He has applied for attendance allowance but has to have needed help for 6 months so it was the interim i was concerned about. I’m sure we’ll survive between us.
Linda, sadly, this forum is littered with carers who ‘rushed to help’ a relative, and lived to bitterly regret it, as they had NO idea at the time of the dangers involved in making such a decision!
Of course if you have a house of your own to return to when and as your uncle either dies, or should, perhaps, eventually need residential care, then you are safe from homelessness. This is NOT the case for some folk on this forum!
Some have been trapped for YEARS looking after a relative that they CANNOT leave or they will become homeless themselves. Some have given up work, have become totally penniless as a result.
Lives are destroyed by caring - you only have to glance at the posts on this forum to see that!
For all too many caring is a lobster pot - easy to slip into, impossible to get out of.
I’m obviously glad, as I say, that you are not going to be homeless when your caring days are over. But there are still other ‘alarm bells’ ringing. You are new to caring - and yet you are already saying your uncle doesn’t want strangers looking after him.
This is a life sentence of its own for you! Most of us can care, willingly and lovingly, for a while … for months even. But what when you want a holiday, a weekend to yourselves, even an evening out? Your uncle’s health is only going to decline in the years ahead. If he only wants YOU to look after him, he has, sadly, ‘chained’ you to his side!
It is the first ‘rule’ of caring that, right from the start, we make clear that we cannot do it all ourselves. That they MUST accept ‘outside help’ as well as us!
Please don’t leave the forum without reading around, and seeing what COULD be round the corner for you.
When I first took on my MIL’s care five years ago I never dreamt it would make me virtually suicidal within six months. I could NOT ‘escape’ in any way at all. Where I went, she came too. ALWAYS. She ‘took over my life’.
Of course it’s lovely that you want to care for a beloved uncle, no one would say otherwise, but read and learn and be prepared to do it on YOUR terms, and the most important of which is that he accepts ‘others’ as well as you.
Please don’t dismiss the scars that many forum members have acquired, thinking they won’t apply to you! If you set up your ‘caring deal’ well now, ‘sharing the care’ with ‘outsiders’ (or even other family members of course - IF they can be relied upon!!!), then fine.
If not, then see how you feel about it in six months’s time, a year…two, five, ten years…
Welcome to the forum.
We always try to be helpful and supportive here, however your original email would set off the alarm bells for many forum members.
It is a very sad reflection on society that after an elderly relative living in rented accommodation dies or moves into residential care, their relatives who have been living in the same home, often giving years of care, are given just one month’s notice to leave, as they have no “right of succession”.
I’m really pleased that you and uncle both have your own homes. Have you and uncle set any “ground rules” for the care you are providing? Arrangements about who pays for gas. electric, food etc.
A live in carer would cost your uncle around £1,000 per week.
Can I ask how old he is, and what is the matter with him?