1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    A possible opportunity has arisen for someone trusted to help out with general cleaning / running local errands for mum. I haven't even dared suggest the idea to mum yet (sssh!!!! ;) ) ..... May not come off but I wondered if anyone has any experience of having 'hired help' on a more casual basis than through any agency arrangement. The idea of having someone who can could visit regularly / periodically for specific tasks and perhaps be available on a more ad hoc basis is very tempting ..... but - does this fling me into 'employment law'???? Am I OK to just agree an 'hourly rate' and hand over cash ......? What if things suddenly change and the 'help' is no longer appropriate????? Do I have to think about contracts?????

    Or am I just over-complicating things?

    Any experiences/advice gratefully received....

    Thanks, Karen, x
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #2 Margarita, Sep 24, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
    I would say yes , like when someone get direct payments , they can employee anyone they like , as in a friend ,but have to keep records of payment they give them, 'employment law tax NI

    seeing that you have to account for the money of you mother , because you Reg the POA with the courts they may be issue they with how the money is spent so you have to account to them ?

    unless it come out of your pocket and you do cash in hand which as we know people do that , but is illegal
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    I don't think it's quite the same, Maggie. With direct payments, the money comes from SS, so you have to account to them for how it is spent.

    I assume Karen is hoping to pay this person from her own or her mother's pocket. (Although direct payments is definitely worth considering, Karen, if you can get them. You can employ anyone you like then.

    I think the main problem with paying a friend is one of insurance (or lack of it!). I think you'd have to bear that in mind, in case of accidents.
  4. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #4 Margarita, Sep 24, 2007
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2007
    Sorry what I should of said was for example .........

    so then would karen not have to account to those people that she reg her mother POA to ? ( COP )
  5. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Thanks both - yes Maggie I think you knew just where I was coming from - that a casual arrangement - whether it was coming from mum's purse or mine would have me liable for checking tax/NI etc was paid even for a fairly 'token' amount.... never mind accounting for yet something else in terms of EPA if I suggested mum should pay for such help ....

    Hazel - I had never even thought about insurance!!!!!!! :eek:

    Well, methinks that is the end of THAT idea. What a shame. :( I could do with help in helping mum, I know she would be more amenable to help if I introduced it as being from 'a friend' and said 'friend' who would have appreciated a little extra income (not to mention has personal experience of nursing someone with Alz) - seemed like a 'win-win' situation all round ..... but it seems our laws and bureacracy means it's a no-goer...... :(

    Oh well - the old saying - too perfect to be true.:(

    Thanks Maggie and Hazel - if just for confirming my 'vibes' this was not ever going to come to fruition. When the time comes I am sure the COP will endorse my 'paying over the odds' for services ...... :mad:

    Sorry, I really will try to be more positive again tomorrow ...... :eek:

    Love and thanks, Karen, x
  6. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear karen.having to pay for private care? a crime in its own sense!Wheres the justice when our elderley have "paid" into the system,have been through a war!thats justice isn't it? lets make them pay eor saving the country and beholding british spirit!Its beyond belief the way the heiarchy think!love and best to all elainex
  7. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    I maybe looking at this too simply. I 'employ' a cleaner who I class as a friend. She comes every Wed am so that I play golf. The idea is that whilst she is cleaning she is also keeping an eye on my hubby (he does not want a 'bl...y sitter' in his words). It works well.

    Loads of people employ cleaners for a few hours a week. No insurance, no tax - quite simple. Anything wrong with that!??

  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Karen
    When employing someone on the basis that you describe they are classed as self employed.
    You do not then have to bother with Insurance etc (We paid £70 a year for our personal assisstant)
    Just ensure that they pay their own NI,tax etc.
    Hope this helps
    I still have cleaner and she is self emploed.
  9. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    Paying for help

    Have you tried for Direct Payment ? I had that for Peter and used a fantastic Agency. Had a Care plan sorted out. Insurance covered by Direct Payment money.Paper work, keep accounts done every 3 months. If help was needed with the Accounts fantatic help - come to house and sorted it all out. If Peter did not take to a Carer, no problem sorted out others who could do what I deemed necessary for Peter. We ended up with a fantiastic person called Jenny. Peter would do what she asked of him and go out with her for trips. Which enabled me to get some sleep due to my disability. Now Peter is in a Care Home not only do I miss my husband so very much but Jenny who had become a very close friend.
    Wish you the best as there always seems to be another problem for us to sort out, as if we did not have enough to cope with. Good luck. christine
  10. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Kaz

    You are fine as long as the person is self employed, and you ensure that you have it in writing that this is the case. It is then their responsibility to ensure they pay their own NI and Tax. You simply agree an hourly rate, and as they are self employed are not entitled to holiday pay etc.,

    You just need to call an insurance company to check on the personal liability situation. Again though, if they are self employed this may well be their responsibility.

    If you want them to transport mum in their car, then ensure they have their vehicle insured for business purposes.

    When it comes to possible breakages in mums home, you need to check this out with her insurance company.


    Cate xxx
  11. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Tax and NI need not necessarily be accounted for even if she is classed as employed if she classes her work with you as her only or main employment. If she has no other income and you are paying her less than about £100 a week then you would find that no tax or NI is payable.

    Check out www.hmrc.gov.uk for the actual information. (Hope I can give the link for a govt website)

    However if she makes her own hours and can technically send someone in her place you probably would manage with the self employment laws but if the times and tasks and where they take place are specific and if only she can provide the tasks then the Revenue could seek to challenge self employment.

  12. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi Karen

    To hell with regulations and bureacracy. The gardener and cleaner are self employed so no problem. The third is a qualified carer and a friend who looks after Mary for three hours a week and I pay her in cash at a rate set by me (the same as she earns professionally). The fourth is an old friend of Marys who I can call on at short notice and would willingly do it for nothing but I insist that I pay her in cash (she need the money) at the same rate as our other carer.

    All this help wipes out all the high level attendance allowance plus a little more and I consider it an appropriate use of the funds provided and money well spent.

    I couldn't care less if there are consequences of my actions, anything the bureaucrats can do is nothing compared to what I have to deal with now.


  13. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    EXACTLY - thats why I employ someone each Wed am - would not do it without the attend. allowance!

  14. Louise.D

    Louise.D Registered User

    Apr 13, 2007
    I was in this situation a couple of months ago with my mother. I employed a cleaner via an agency at £12.00 per hour. BUT, I did ring the COP to enquire if I could pay my friend cash at £7.00 per hour on a casual basis. They said that this was more than reasonable as long as I kept a record of her name and address. They did warn me about 'benefit cheats'.

    Don't think that this is a no goer. In my experience the COP have been very helpful and understanding. I don't have POA, my brother does but I do the leg work for everything and he rubber stamps it. The person you have in mind sounds ideal.

    You both need the help and I don't think what your suggesting is unreasonable.

    Good Luck
  15. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Gosh - thanks everyone - hadn't realised quite what a response this would provoke! Lots of useful information shared for many others methinks!

    Been looking at this a slightly different way today .... sorry, just to be selfish and claw back to own circumstances - but once again I am sure this will apply to many other carers - my real need is more for help during the working week - when I need someone to be 'at the house' with mum when, for instance, a workman or service person needs to turn up (not particualrly regular stuff - but just recently falling out of OT assessment and sundry other things ..... there seems to a stream of people needing access to the house and mum can't cope on her own). Current answer - take leave from work. As we all know - leave is not exactly unlimited ....... and I have far better uses for it than being at mum's 'waiting in' (sorry, grumpy day)..... next week I will lose a full day's pay or leave to 'entertain' a certain utility company (who shall remain unnamed). Even working part-time - as I know others do here - I am finding it impossible to fit appointments - medical or 'household' - into my working pattern ....... Employers are generally brilliantly, but I am tired of going 'cap in hand begging favours' and pushing their understanding and offers of 'flexibility' to the limit ...... the medical appointments I know I need to be there for - but I am searching for some other outlet for support ...... the 'casual' arrangement with someone trusted seems far better suited ... but is clearly fraught with other problems .......

    Interesting point about COP - I feel I have to justify spending mum's money on anything - even considering a fairly 'token' amount towards gaining help in her home .... Where in the balance sheet do I account for the leave and pay I forfeit because it it seems easier just to 'do it myself' than jump through the hoops of paperwork and checks to get anyone else in???? Methinks the monthly 'balance sheet' might include an extra column for my personal financial losses at the expense of preserving mum's?

    There is unpaid caring and 'running at a loss' caring??????? Sorry to be so cynical ....... :(

    Thank you again everyone, x, Karen
  16. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Karen,you are not being cynical.your being a"clown",trying to juggle everything to make everyone happy!(no offence intended).Is it possible that you could employ a personal carer for your mum.I know the money is an issue,even if you have it.But to employ on a part time basis may be better.There are several agencies (i am sure you know) that may be able to accommodate yours and mums needs.I hope you have success in finding a solution.love elainex

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