Hi I’m new here and trying to find any type of information about caring.

I live with my elderly mother and stepfather, both need care.

I work full time but sooner or later I’m going to have to leave work to care full time for both.
I am trying to find out what benefits I can claim before leaving work as I have a mortgage and other bills :thinking:.

Any information would be great.



Hi Mark … a brief reply to keep you going.

Outside support ?
( What there is and who provides it. )

An online benefits calculator … time to crunch some numbers ?

Turn2us Benefits Calculator

Mortgage ?

Welcome to the new scheme … with a sting in the tail ?

Many on here will recommend becoming a care manager … as opposed to being a carer.

I will assume that CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare is NOT part of the equation ?

Finally , AGE UK … ensure both parents are on their radar :

Hi Mark,

You do NOT “have to give up work” to care for your parents, in fact no one can be forced to care. Quite honestly, you cannot afford to give up work, because the allowances are pitiful.

Your role should become that of care “manager”, making sure that they get all the care they need, without you providing the “hands on” care they need. This worked very well for me and my mum, but sadly she only accepted carers when it looked like I might not live for much longer.

Start by making a list of all the practical help they need, and what they struggle with.
Then shuffle it into order of priority.
If you tell us what is at the top of the list, we can share how we dealt with it.

Write up an action plan.
Problems with washing up? They need a dishwasher.
Problems with laundry? They need a washer dryer, or a tumble dryer. (Washer dryers have their limitations, I still prefer my tumble dryer to my W/D, and it’s cheaper to run).
Bathing problems? Get a bath seat or shower.
If they live in a house, do they have a downstairs toilet.
Garden problems? Be ruthless. Flatten the borders and get a mowing service for the lawn.

Sort out money issues sooner, rather than later.
Make sure all their financial information is in one place, and if possible, get them to agree to a Power of Attorney.
Have they made wills?
Are they claiming Attendance Allowance?

Welcome to the forum.

I strongly recommend you avoid leaving work if you can. You will struggle financially if you do and it’s very hard mentally, socially and emotionally being a full time carer too. Much better to secure extra help for your parents from paid care workers, a cleaner, gardener etc and you help with the overseeing and organising of the care. If the whole juggling thing is getting too much, see if you can reduce your working hours/ go part time.

If you are intent on giving up work altogether, in addition to the links from Chris, there is the Carers Uk upfront guide

If your parents don’t receive outside support yet or their needs have increased since their last assessment, there is info here: Needs assessment | Carers UK

Your parents can also apply for Attendance Allowance which can be used to make their lives easier e.g. paying for a cleaner, a mobile hairdresser etc


Bump. Typing same time as BB.


Great reply’s…thanks to all of you.

My mother suffers with her spine, it is not strong enough to keep her up. She can easily fall and does so.

My stepfather as Alzheimer’s.

I’m taking on more and more duties around the house, all the usual day to day things. Plus hospital visits, doctors and picking up their prescriptions.

I recently left another job because of the working hours, I was away from home a lot and doing night shifts. I would like to try and keep my job, but I know sooner or later I may need to leave.

Time for some serious reading … and contemplating … Mark ?

Housing … not mentioned … yet … future possibility of a care home ?

That’s where AGE UK come in … everything you need to know under one roof.

Yes Chris…

I see I have a lot of homework to do…:thinking::roll_eyes:

I have spoken about housing with my mother, first attempt was met with a firm ‘No!’ :-1:
But, I am persistent if nothing else.
We live in a second story flat, so as you can imagine getting up and down the stairs is chore.

When it comes to that CHC / NHS Continuing Healthcare link , something a little stronger than coffee ?

Not too much , mind !

Time for a care needs assessment then! You need a break and they really do need more help than you can give them. Call or email your local council to ask for a needs assessment done by a social worker. They will also do a financial assessment.

Start viewing care homes too. Read reviews carefully

Four key questions to ask:

Do staff receive adequate training? Use this question to find out about staff training courses and so on. If possible, ask the manager this question and watch his reaction. It will tell you a lot.

What are the resident to staff ratios? There should be at least two members of staff at the home. Get a list of staff if possible to count. Or see pictures.

Are residents happy? What do families think of the care home? Read the inspection reports. Ask to see good and bad feedback by loved ones. Make notes during your visit. Ask questions.

Is the care home accessible? Look around the home. Visually assess it with hazards in mind. Is it safe? Where are the fire exit doors? Make sure to inquire about any safety policies and procedures. Jot down anything you see. Pay attention to your gut feeling. Ask where medication is kept etc. Learn as much as possible. Remember this is a fact gathering mission.


Hi Mark,
I don’t think you have said how old you and your parents are? It is relevant.
For instance, when it comes to giving up work, are you about to retire anyway?
If not, do you expect to walk back into work when your caring role is over? That is NOT easy.
If so, then haven’t you any plans for your retirement years and are you prepared to sacrifice them? (whatever you think now, you are NOT prepared!!)
I would echo others here and say NO to giving up work. Cut down perhaps, if you can mange financially, but you need the ‘away from Caring’ (nursing), proper conversations, the outside world, other people, something more than old age, sickness, commodes, daytime TV and refusals to co-operate.
Sooner or later your parents will need 24/7 care in a Home. None of us ever want to ‘put’ our parents in a Home but in the end needs must.
In retrospect, having found a Home which ticked all my Mum’s want boxes and found it not at all what I expected, my priorities, if I had to do it again, would be, in order of importance -

  1. Friendly, well trained staff, who speak understandably and clearly and interact in a caring manner.
  2. Well cooked, tasty food but with a lot of adaptability for individual tastes, preferences and allergies.
  3. A light, airy room, with space for a few bits of familiar furniture, TV, pictures etc.
    4, Compatible residents. Someone to talk to, (if applicable). (It’s the difference between a residential Home and a Nursing Home. A Nursing Home’s residents are often beyond communication, but if one’s parent needs the nursing care, what can you do?)
  4. Open, non defensive management, who listen to and act on any concerns.
  5. A programme of entertainment and activities.

Things like fire escapes and strategies for evacuation are important but hopefully not needed daily. A sympathetic and caring staff is.
Also, when visiting a Home to suss out suitability, use your nose. What does the place smell of? Use your fingers. Are surfaces sticky and dirty? Use your eyes. Waste or dirty laundry around? What’s happening in communal areas?

Caring for elderly parents is a minefield in a bog. Sudden shocks and sinking. So many, many of us plunge into this morass with the best of intentions and highest of hopes, In reality the only way to survive is to stand on the edge and oversee the experts as they do the wading in. Not many people accept that and then regret it.

^wss. All of it.