Council want to move aunt to a cheaper care home after 4 years!

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Water8aby, May 1, 2018.

  1. Water8aby

    Water8aby New member

    May 1, 2018
    2
    Hello all, I have a confession, I am a bit of a fraud, my aunt does not have Alzheimer's, but this seems to be the only forum which can offer proper advice on care fees and top ups, so i really hope you don't mind me asking for advice.

    My aunt moved in to a care home following the death of my uncle. She couldn't cope living on her own and went downhill fast. She chose to go in to a very nice home that had cared for other family members previously, including my uncle when he passed away. Aunt had plenty off money so the fees weren't an issue and she was happy there. In all truthfulness she was so ill we didn't expect her to last more than a few months anyway. The home have done a great job and looked after aunt well and she improved a lot under their care, so much so there is not a lot wrong with her now, apart from old age.

    My aunt has been there for over 4 years and has now run out of money to fund her care, we have sold her house and she has used all of that, and her savings already. The council have said that they will assist with aunt's fees, but they will only pay up to their normal rate of £400 per week. They won't pay for her to stay at her chosen home which is £1,300 a week unless we agree to make up the shortfall of which would amount to about £700 per week. We do not have this sort of money and we have told the council we cannot even consider this.

    So the Council want to move aunt to a cheaper home. I haven't visited it yet, but I have heard that it isn't very nice.

    Is there anything we can do to stop the council moving my aunt or is it a case of tough luck now she is out of money to pay for herself, and we cannot afford the top up?
     
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Volunteer Host

    Jul 23, 2017
    2,348
    Male
    N Ireland
  3. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Volunteer Host

    Jul 3, 2017
    5,548
    Female
    Kent
    Oh dear, I have horrible feeling this will not end well. I am not an expert, but I think that Local Authorities have a cap and they will not go above it. I think your only choice will be that there might be more than one home within the budget, so you might have a choice.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    10,372
    Female
    London
    #4 Beate, May 1, 2018
    Last edited: May 1, 2018
    If the cheaper care home meets her needs then yes, they can move her there. If for whatever reason the care home your Mum is in right now is the only one that meets her needs then they will have to pay for it. Unless it's a very specialist home this might be very hard to argue. The stark reality is that councils are cash-strapped and have budgets they need to adhere to. The joy of being self-funded is choice. If someone else pays, that choice mostly falls away.
    Btw, my maths make the shortfall to be £900 a week.
     
  5. Joodie

    Joodie Registered User

    Aug 10, 2012
    8
    central england
    Might you be able to afford a lesser amount than £700? If so check on other care homes in the area and try to find one that is not quite so basic for her, but also not quite so expensive as her current one.
    If the one offered is really bad can you bring her to your own place till you sort something better out?
    As she has recovered so well does she in fact need to be in a care home at all? Ask social services to explore other options e.g. sheltered accommodation which offers supervision and carer visits.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,374
    Salford
    Hi Water8aby, welcome to TP
    In short the answer is no, the LA have to find one home that can meet her needs within budget and if you decline that then you're on your own, they have discharged their legal liability.
    The figure of £400 is one of, if not the lowest I've seen quote on here for LA care but I guess it's only classed as residential not a care home or a nursing home, although the term "care home" covers a multiplicity of types of care and is so vague it's almost meaningless.
    If the LA only fund people at £400 per week then why should they give your aunt over 3 times that figure is the question?
    You could argue that it would be detrimental to her health to move her to strange surroundings, if the new home was in an inconvenient location you could say that it would impact on her human rights, section 8, to family life as friends and relatives would visit less often but the difference between the two figures is so much that I wouldn't hold my breath on success.
    The LA could argue that by keeping her in somewhere so expensive that by doing so she had done a "deprivation of assets" and that they wouldn't pay at all, if someone spent their money in an "extravagant" way they can be assessed as if they still have the money, if they choose to delve into all her finances over the last 4 years, all expenses, gifts and expenditure can be looked into.
    I've said it before on here that if you live long enough we'll all become LA funded one day unless you're amazingly rich and sadly when the money runs out this is what can happen.
    Some homes will agree that if you're there self funding for X number of years they will let you stay at the LA rate, but with such a huge difference I can't see that happening.
    If the fees are £1,300 and the LA only pay £400 then shouldn't the top up be £900pw?
    K
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,216
    I'm wondering if the reason you think the top up will be £700 rather than £900 is because you think her pension(s) will make up the other £200. I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news if that's the case because thats not how LA funding works. Your aunt will have to pay the LA the vast majority of her pensions to defray their costs. She'll keep the personal expense allowance of approx £23 a week.
     
  8. Water8aby

    Water8aby New member

    May 1, 2018
    2
    Hi I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your advice.

    We are arguing that it would be detrimental to mover her, but I don't I don't hold out much hope of success.

    We thought that difference would be in the £700 range rather than £900 as she has been in receipt of NHS funded nursing care, and I think she will now become entitled to some pension credit.
     
  9. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,374
    Salford
    If the LA are funding then they'll take her pension and any possible pension credits when they take over the funding, less a Personal Expenses Allowance (PEA) of about £23 pw.
    If they're only funding £400 pw and the top up would be £900 pw then I don't much fancy your chances of success in getting the LA to fund that kind of difference.
    FNC is paid to the nursing home and isn't usually deducted from the fees, although I understand that some places do, FNC is to pay the extra element related to nursing care not the "social" aspects of her care which are down to the LA not the NHS.
    Check out the pension credits but as her pension will be taken by the LA to help fund her care I don't believe it matters either way as it won't go to your aunt anyway.
    K
     

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