Planning Ahead

I don’t often post on here, but I thought I’d ask for any advice.

I’m the Primary Carer for 93 year old Mother, she has numerous health issues, we have ‘Carers’ coming in 3 times a day (like a lot of people, Mother has to pay the full rate for half an hour and gets 15 minutes at most, sometimes less).

My time is not my own, I have to be there to let them in (and sometimes tidy up after them, do what they’ve not done).

I’m living in Mother’s home, which will be half my Sisters when the inevitable happens. Sister has a big house of her own.

I feel I’ve begun to ‘say goodbye’ to Mother emotionally very slowly over the past 7 years, (we’ve been told a few times that she might not pull through her problems and she was in and out of Hospital 6 times last year) although I know I still won’t be prepared when the inevitable does happen.

What also worries me, and what I’m really asking, is how do I prepare practically? I feel/fear I will be left in a house that is too big for me, is damp, has a cellar and is only half mine. I haven’t been able to work, due to caring responsibilities, for the past 7 years (only a little cleaning job which ended when the client passed away). I worry about how I will pay bills and ‘live’ basically.

I feel I need to make some sort of plan, but just don’t know where to start or feel like I have the head space to think.

Any advice appreciated.
Thank you.

Are you connected to a local carers group these groups also support ex carers.

What age are you?

Is mum mentally OK?
Does she give you anything for the care you provide?
What are you living on now?

If you were not prepared to care for mum, and not living there, she would have moved into a nursing home and be paying £1,000+ in fees.
I would urge you to stick up for yourself and say that you are very concerned that sister, who already has a big house and is not contributing equally towards mum’s care, gets half the house for doing nothing.

Sunnydisposition, thank you very much for the links. I have read through them all and made notes about relevant bits & will keep them for future reference. They are very helpful.

Bowlingbun, Mother varies mentally and I do feel I can even try to talk to her about ‘the future’ because I feel it would definitely confuse and really upset her. A couple of weeks ago when she was going through another episode of an infection (on top of her usual issues) she said to me she wished she was dead.
I’m currently living on Carers Allowance and my savings, plus I have an ISA and small Pension from work that I am trying not to touch because I know I will need it in the future (I’m 57!). (Mother gets Pension and Attendance Allowance and she is over the threshold with her savings and has to pay the full rate for Carers etc). I use my money for some Bills, food etc and some of Mother’s money for some Bills, food etc (although I don’t like doing this) and I see this and living in her house as my ‘payment’ for looking after her.
Mother says she has always treated me and my Sister equally.
I looked into local Carers Support Groups before the Pandemic and they were attached to Dr’s Surgeries that I am not a patient at, or you had to take the person you cared for with you (not possible with Mother’s lack of mobility, hearing and sight loss).
I do a morning of Voluntary Work in a local Charity Shop and will hope to continue with that.
Thank you for your response.

Look at the Office of the Public Guardian and search for “paying relatives for care”.

Pauline have you looked at claiming other benefits. Depending on your saving capital thresholds I would think you should be able to claim additional benefits. Have you ever filled in a UC application.

Bowlingbun and Sunnydisposition, thankyou again for the advice and links.
I have had a look at the OPG info, it seems a bit confusing, but will persevere!
I have not completed a Universal Credit Application before, but will look into it at a future date as at the moment, from reading the links, I am over the threshold with savings (thinking those would be my ‘retirement pot’) but obviously the savings are going to be depleted fairly rapidly now. I guess there would be no point completing a form until I am below the threshold?
At least I’m a bit clearer in my head about things now, and I know which links to look at for what.
Thank you.

I would like to give you a different view on your finances.

If mum is over the threshold for Social Services funded care, if she was in residential care, it would cost at least £600, probably considerably more.
You are SAVING mum a lot of money every week.
Do not think “I’ll have mum’s money when she dies” because there might not be any left for you, if her needs

Mum should be paying you, it is not right that your savings are being depleted.
Mum should be depleting her savings until she gets below the £23,000 threshold.

Bowlingbun, I understand what you are saying, but Mother’s savings are definitely being depleted and she will soon be down to the threshold. I don’t think that I will have ‘what’s left’ from Mother, I just don’t think that way and I’m using her money to benefit her and help keep her comfortable, as much as I can, while I can. And I’m using more of her money for Bills than I ever used to (which doesn’t sit that comfortably with me!).
But I totally understand what you are saying. It doesn’t seem right to me to ask for, or expect any more payment from Mother. Maybe its the way she brought me up…

Sunnydisposition, thank you, I’ve not had chance to look at that link yet, but will do so later today.

As soon as she gets to the threshold Social Services will help towards her care costs, so by not reducing her savings to pay for her care, to you, the only person it is hurting is you, not mum. Are you aware of Direct Payments. If mum has a Needs Assessment, they will work out how much care she needs a week. Then offer mum the option of care they arrange, or Direct Payments, which can be paid to you. Do you and mum have a joint bank account? If so only half the money counts as mum’s. This way my mum was a lot better off as her care was funded then. If you don’t want to do what I suggest, then let mum pay you but keep it in a separate account.

Sunnydisposition and Bowlingbun,

Thank you for all your links and thoughts.

Things are a bit clearer in my head now and I have made a bit of a plan.
I am looking into opening another bank account, also whether there are possibly new Carers Groups in my area and checking on ones that existed prior to the Pandemic.

Thank you for time and responses to everybody - keep up the good work!