Not a carer, not yet a sandwich

Hello to the great community!

Maybe a little bit about myself: my mum has recently moved into our house, since her mobility is now starting to be very limited. I’m not her full-time carer, but helping her after my work. She is still independent, just needs a helping hand from time to time. I kind of started to think that maybe in some distant (I hope distant) future she would need more care, so it’s maybe a good idea to dig into the subject of care a bit more already now.

My granddad (before he passed away last year) had suffered from dementia and I used to look after him from time to time, when none of his children could do that at that time, and before he actually got a full time carer. Not the best experience I’ve ever had, but made me aware of how important carers are and how difficult and challenging this job it actually is.

I’m a person that likes to help others. Since the wellbeing of my mum had worsened recently, I thought it might be a good idea to join the community or carers and relatives of persons in care to exchange information and experiences.

All the best, everyone!

Hi Evie,

Welcome to the forum. Would you like to tell us a bit more about mum? How old is she? Does she have any specific disability, or just suffering the effect of living a long time?
Does she have separate living quarters in your own home, her own bathroom, sitting room?

Sorting out her financial arrangements with you, at this early stage, is vital.
Did she own her own home before moving in with you.?
Has she given you Power of Attorney?
Has she made a will?

(I have to go out now, will pop back later).


Thank you very much for your reply!

My mum is 63. Very recently she has started to experience those problems with walking, and it’s caused by some multiple factors. She has been diagnosed with arthritis of the majority of her joints, causing her some hip pains, but nothing has been done with it yet. The second thing is veins - she had a Doppler ultrasound which revealed some blood clots - she was advised to wear some knee high compression socks class 2 and was prescribed medications. During the next visit it will be decided if she is illegible to undergo sclerotherapy. The pain in legs intensifies towards the evening, therefore the vein problem seems to be the main reason of these pains, but not the only one. Most probably, the second reason is this arthiritis (hip pain). On the top of all that it was suggested that she also needs to see neurologist, as some destruction of neurons can also be the cause, but this is still ahead of her.
She was living alone for some 10 years, so now it’s hard to get back to live with some other people… But we are all trying our best and it’s not as hard as I thought it would be, after all.

She has her own room in our place, but we share bathroom and the sitting room.
No financial agreements has been made so far, no power of attorney or anything like that. I think she made a will, but this is not something I would like to think about now. She own a flat and most probably she is going to sell it (a neighbour living on the same floor next to her wanted to buy it some time ago to enlarge his own flat, but don’t know the status of that). But honestly, money and financials are last things on my mind now.

Hi Evie,
your Mum is still young and as you say not used to living with others, are you both sure you want to live together for what could potentially be the next 30 years?! If you both do, then that’s great, but if either of you have doubts, use this time to explore other options. Would warden controlled flats or an elderly version of supported living etc suit her better? Obviously it would need to be close by. She could always move back with you, as her needs increased, if that’s what you both wanted.



She own a flat and most probably she is going to sell it (a neighbour living on the same floor next to her wanted to buy it some time ago to enlarge his own flat, but don’t know the status of that).

Be wary IF EVER a care home was the only option sometime in the future.

May never arise but … to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Things MAY change in the forthcoming Green Paper but … don’t hold your breathe.

@Chris From The Gulag

Thanks for posting a reply. I wasn’t aware of this deprivation of assets and am not sure if I understand it correctly…

So say my mum is actually going to sell her flat. Would she then have to keep the money that she receives from the transaction until she ever needs a care home and would she then have to spend the amount fully to pay for the care home? Because as I understand, otherwise, she would be considered as a person that has got rid of her assets on purpose, to not to pay for the care, right?
This problem seems like from outer space… When I speak to my mum about the care home she’s not willing to consider it at all, don’t know if she ever will. As mentioned, she lives with us and is still quite independent, so we wasn’t looking for any care home yet.
Frankly she wanted to sell this flat to get rid of it and so that don’t want to worry about it anymore, since she lives with us. I wasn’t aware of this potential problem… So you say it’s better not to sell the flat? Or what would be the best option for my mum not to be considered as a person that wants to deprive of her flat on purpose?

It’s what happens to the sale proceeds that count … if in doubt , I would recommend AGE UK for guidance.


What counts as deprivation of assets ?

Deprivation of assets applies when you intentionally reduce your assets, such as money, property or income, so these won’t be included when the council calculates how much you need to pay towards the care you receive.

When your council is deciding whether getting rid of property and money has been a deliberate deprivation of assets, they will consider two things:

You must have known at the time you got rid of your property or money that you needed or may need care and support
Avoiding paying for care must have been a significant reason for giving away your home or reducing your savings.

It’s not just giving away your money that could be seen as a deliberate deprivation of assets. Different methods of reducing your money or property could count too, including:

giving away a lump sum of money.
transferring the title deeds of your property to someone else.
suddenly spending a lot of money in a way which is unusual for your normal spending.
gambling the money away.
using savings to buy possessions, such as jewellery or a car, which would be excluded from the means test.

If the local council thinks that you have deliberately reduced your assets to avoid care fees, they may still include the value of the assets you no longer have when they do the means test.

What if I gave my money or home away a long time ago ?

The timing is important. The council will look at when you reduced your assets and see if, at the time, you could reasonably expect that you would need care and support. The local authority must decide based on all the case facts and clear reasons, which could be challenged.

If you were fit and healthy, and could not have imagined needing care and support at the time, then it may not count as deprivation of assets.

In practice , a post code lottery … but with ALL LAs under extreme financial pressure … ???

According to searches made , the " Seven Year Rule " is a myth … which may come as a surprise to many.

Forthcoming Green Paper … let’s hope that changes are made to sort this issue out once and for all.


Thank you very much for your reply.
Don’t know what’s going to be in the next 30 years… So far, so good. My mum likes to be treated individually, therefore I kind of cannot imagine herself being in a care home. On top of that she’s quite introvert and the older she gets, the more introvert she becomes… She has been living alone for about 10 years now, and I think me and my husband is just enough for her to stand on everyday basis. The situation is not easy for everybody, but I think it’s still quite bearable.


@Chris From The Gulag
Thanks very much for your reply.

I got scared at first but now I think it may not be an issue in our case. “Deprivation of assets” rules apply when somebody is deliberately avoiding paying for care. And frankly, my mum is the last person to avoid to pay anything or to try to hide her assets or something like this. When (if) we are going to apply for a care home I think we will be not trying to avoid making a payment for it. Or, we may end up hiring somebody for a live-in care, I don’t know. But this is (I hope) a distant future.

Your welcome.

Deprivation of Assests ?

Always a good one when virtually all LAs are strapped for cash ?

@Honey Badger

Thanks so much. Perhaps I’m just a tiny little bit of being a carer, but the awful rest is just being a daughter.
This is just such a great and helpful community :slight_smile: I’ll be poping in sometimes. Take care!

@Chris From The Gulag
Again, many thanks for your reply.

Again, if my mum pays for the care herself, what is the threat?

Do you think that once the forthcoming Green Paper is in force, there would be some drastic increases of lifetime social care charges?

Best wishes

Again, if my mum pays for the care herself, what is the threat ?

In most cases , none.

Consider the following.

Parent sells property for £ 500k … gifts £ 200k to siblings … £ 300k used to pay for care homes fees.

However , after 6 years , funds are exhausted , and said parent is still thriving on this planet.

All attention will then turn to that £ 200k gifted away.

Green Paper ?

A variation of the existing , failing system , that does nobody any favours … either to those with assests or to those without.

1 in 4 are BELOW the official poverty line … how are they supposed to contribute under , say , an insurance scheme ?

A notional contribution guaranteeing precisely what when it comes to social care ?

NHS … free at the point of delivery … NO charge for the rich or the poor … funded through general taxation.

Anyone complain that … if they do NOT use it , they should not pay for it in taxes ?

Why not social care on the same principle … free at the point of delivery , funded through general taxation ?

I’m really worried that you are wearing rose tinted specs.
Mum should be fit and well at her age. I’ve had lots of surgery and health issues but at 67 I’m very independent and able to enjoy holidays in Greece, involving a fair bit of walking.
You say that mum is introvert, and that with you and your husband it’s just enough, but not easy when you are still in what I call the “Honeymoon” period. Who will care for her if you or your husband are ill, or want a holiday from caring?

If you want to care for mum long term, would it be possible to build an extension for mum, so she has her own front door, own bathroom, living room, and kitchenette?
Then when mum needs more care than you can provide, she could have carers coming in, rather than her move into a care home perhaps?
When I was disabled in a car crash, my son converted our garage into a bedroom for me, I have an ensuite complete with washer/dryer. It’s my nicest ever bedroom. Mum could fund an extension with the money from her flat, but you would need to make sure there was a proper legal arrangement.

You are a carer AND you are a daughter. They are not mutually exclusive. Most unpaid carers are also relatives, friends, neighbours etc.

Personally I always refer to (and think of) myself as partner first and carer second, almost incidentally, and I provide 24/7 care to a severely disabled man.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst. You and your Mum may not want her to go into a care home but circumstances may arise where you will have no choice. None of us expects this at your age (by which I mean young enough to have a Mum of 69) but it is going to happen to far more of us than we would like. I know finances etc are the last thing on your mind at the moment but if something does happen before you get it sorted it will be taken out of your hands and will be horrendously expensive and time consuming just when you least need it. See some of the other threads on lasting powers of attorney for more details, especially about what a nightmare the alternative is. So long as you have the powers in place they don’t have to be activated until you need them or your Mum wants you to have them.

Also as part of long term/contingency planning try to suss out the local care homes and maybe get on a waiting list for the best of them - if there is no alternative at least then she will get the best that’s around. There are still some good ones around but you may have to search hard for one that’s good and local.

Maybe think about getting in touch with social services now and see if they have anything to offer to help with Mum’s physical difficulties - anything under £500 (per item) is provided free without means testing, so it’s worth a go. Just be aware you may have to try several different options before you find what’s right for your circumstances. These days they are trying very hard to keep people in their own homes as far as possible so you should both be working towards the same outcome.

Keep communicating honestly about how the living arrangements are working and hopefully you will be able to agree a set of ground rules which you can all live with and if any particular issue becomes a sticking point perhaps ask on the forum for others suggestions/advice/experiences. You’ll usually get a wide range of responses.

@Chris From The Gulag

Wasn’t at all familiar with the upcoming regulation, the current legal arrangments etc. It all seems a bit unfair, all this assumption that people are hiding their assets to avoid paying for care… To be honest, I’ll wait to see what happens next with the Green Paper. I don’t see really what I could be doing more - or coud I?

Thanks Chris

Your welcome.

The forthcoming Green Paper won’t be !

I agree, mum should be fit at her age, but she unfortunately isn’t… Few days ago she had lumbar spine MRI, now we are awaiting GP’s consultation regarding that. Hopefuly soon she’ll be correctly diagnosed and will get proper treatment and help.
As for building an extension… Currently not really possible, we don’t have enough money to do that. Yes, maybe in the future, when her flat is sold… But these legal arrangements… I’m just so not aware of that sort of things…
Currently we are sharing the same front door, bathroom and living room with kitchen. She only has her own bedroom.
As mentioned, so far so good. This is me, wearing (you guessed that correctly) rose tinted specs… I know I should think about the future, but for some reason I’m postponing this.
Thank you for your support! xxx