Help please - new memeber


Registered User
Sep 3, 2003
My mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers and is deteriorating rapidly.

The problem I am facing is that 12 years ago I lost my own home due to paying the mortgage on my mothers house (following the death of my father) and my own home at the same time.

I have lived with her along with my children (now just daughter 18) since. During this time I have paid bills etc along with her. The house however remained in my mothers name.

What I am concerned about is that when the time comes that my mother needs to go into a care home then whilst I appreciate the council will not force me to sell the house at that stage.. they could upon the death of my mother force me to sell the house to pay their care costs. Leaving me after all these years with having paid the bills, losing my own home to save hers and being finally left with no home.

If she had cancer then should she need to go into a hospice there would be no charge... why therefore is this not the same?
I have heard that the law was changing ...

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Registered User
Apr 28, 2003
Hello Mariak
I'm sorry to learn of your mother's illness and of the difficulties you're having.

My understanding is the same as yours about your obligations regarding your mothers house and it's an invidious position in which to find yourself. The local authority has discretion in a decision to make you sell your mothers house (that is to say they don't have to) - in effect they could make you homeless in doing so - you could use this in arguing against it. If there are any children under 16 living there or if you have a disability, then this goes strongly in your favour.

I suggest you contact the legal and welfare information officer at the Alzheimer's Society who runs a sort of 'mini-helpline' providing information about legal matters. It's available most (but apparently not all) weekday afternoons between 2 and 4.30 on 020 7306 0801.

I couldn't agree with you more about the unfairness of charging for care for people with dementia type illnesses. Why should people with dementia and their families be denied the free care to which they are entitled? Please take a few moments to add weight to the campaign to change this. There is a link on this website***************.htm

I'm afraid you're probably wrong about the law changing - well not yet anyway. The Health Service Ombudsman (Health Service Commissioner) recently upheld a number of complaints from individuals that their relatives, who had dementia type illneses, had been wrongly assessed by several local health authorities and should receive free NHS continuing care. These people had their money refunded. In at least a couple of cases the money was refunded to the estates of people who had died.

The decision of Health Service Ombudsman, unlike that of say the Court of Appeal, does not necessarily set a precedent in that future similar cases would secure an identical resolution.
However it would be reasonable to expect the Health Service Ombudsman decision in this matter to be considered as background information.

Such complaints (you need to initially use the local NHS complaints procedure) can only be made after someone has been assessed as paying for care. However what you can do is to ask your local authority what criteria they use for assessing if someone should pay for their care and how they apply that criteria. Local authorities have been told they need to review how they apply such criteria.

It all looks like quite a minefield but please don't be disheartened - try calling the Alzheimer's Society helpline (0845 300 0336) who can explain it to you.

Good luck!


Registered User
Aug 25, 2003
gravesend, kent
protecting assets

Hello. I fully agree, as I am sure most would, about what you say. I am an onlychild. My parents own their own home. We saw a solicitor recently. We have instigated a severed tenancy. That is instead of owing the house jointly, they each own half each. They have both changed their wills to leave their respective halves to me. If Dad isn't with us and mum has to go into care, they can only go after half the value of the house as the other half is mine. Check out the Age Concern website. They have many fact sheets they send free. They sent me one about protecting assets. The way we chose is about the only legal way of doing it. If you are seen to be getting rid of your assets to avoid care charges. they can go after the person that has benefited. They can also recommend local solicitors that specialise in this sort of thing. Its all so wrong as you say. Kind regards to you.


Registered User
Jul 9, 2003
South Coast
Hello Mariak

I am sorry for all your problems and worries, especially about the fear of losing your home. I can only back up what Alison says about Age Concern, having just checked out the Age Concern website ( It has an extensive list of detailed factsheets, a number of which deal with the questions about paying for care which I am sure are causing you great concern - you can download them, or phone Age Concern and they will send you up to 5 factsheets.

Something that may be relevent to your situation is mentioned in their factsheet 38, Section 3.1, which includes the following: "...if someone has been paying bills and contributing to the running costs they may be able to establish a beneficial interest...".

It also sounds as though some advice from a solicitor and from the Citizens Advice Bureau at this stage may help you to get a clearer picture, and perhaps help you to take steps to improve your situation for the future.

Kind regards



Registered User
Sep 8, 2003
new member...Gemini here,

Hope every thing goes ok.....

became a member after reading your post

best wishes