1. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Why does everything seem to hinge around £ or lack of?! It bluddy shouldn't!

    Flew to the UK a couple of weeks ago to visit Mum (in care home since end Dec. 2015), to try and get POAs in place and put her house on the market. On the day, Mum failed the mental capacity test so it looks like I may have to go the Deputyship route.

    Mum's debit card and cheque book have "gone missing" (along with other personal possessions such as her handbag, purse, specs etc). Her bank won't deal with me, understandably, until something formal is in place.

    The care home want £ in a client "pot" right now to pay for chiropodist, optician, toiletries etc. I had to hand over the last of my sterling to pay for a chiropodist to see to Mum's feet.

    There are outstanding utility bills at her house - I've written to all the utility companies explaining the situation but they are refusing to deal with me as I have no legal/signed authority. The British Gas rep I spoke to actually said "Well, when your Mum is better and back home, she can settle her account then." ***?! After that one I gave up calling them all by telephone and began writing.

    Mum signed the sales agreement with the estate agent (with myself named as Client 2, anticipating a POA would be in place soon) so the house is on the market but now the estate agent wants £ for their online advertising...

    I contacted a solicitor I found from the Solicitors for the Elderly website, who said that I will need a Deputyship for health and welfare matters as well as financial (because Mum & I have agreed that she's to move here to live with me), so that's 2 lots of fees involved and that although I can request that the Court orders that legal costs are recovered from my Mum, if they don't grant this request then I will be responsible for solicitor's/court fees myself.

    All Mum's photo IDs have expired, meaning she can't travel, so that needs sorting and is going to cost £.

    I'm on a means tested benefit myself and simply don't have the £ to pay for all this stuff. Any money I'm able to put by has to go towards paying for flights to the UK, car hire, accommodation etc when I'm there, to visit Mum.

    I feel as if I'm bashing my head against a brick wall right now, in between all the sleepless nights. I need asap to get Mum out of the care home where, "nice" enough as it is, the care is catering to the lowest common denominator (probably a non PC phrase but that's the only way I can describe it) and Mum is nowhere near that level yet. The longer she remains there though, the faster I fear her decline will be.

    Apologies - not sure if this is a rant or a plea for advice or both!
     
  2. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Vicious circle

    So it appears that because I can't afford to pay the Court/solicitor's fees involved that my Mother is going to have to be left to rot for the rest of her life in a care home she doesn't want to be in!

    Last time I spoke to her she was being made to participate in an "artwork" (I use the term loosely) activity - cutting out paper flowers, sticking them on to card and painting them with poster paints. Did she want to be doing this, I asked. No, she said, it's demeaning - they treat us like children just because we're elderly and our brains are failing.

    Oh the irony. If only they (the care home) knew - Mum's an accomplished and exhibited watercolour artist...

    I feel as if we're trapped in a vicious circle with no escape...
     
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    Hi there
    Gosh you are having a rough time
    I can't help with Deputyship but others can
    Does your mum have attendance allowance - the care home should have sorted it but just check they have
    Your poor mum that sounds horrendous for her! and for you to watch
    I can't understand the estate agent asking for money up front - never heard of that before anywhere - check them out would be my advice
    how have her personal possessions 'gone missing' that's not acceptable

    I would phone the Age UK helpline - its open this weekend and speak to an advisor They are really good at the practical stuff and will help you through this muddle
    They are open til early evening each day on 0800 169 2081 and tell them everything you have said. I am sure they will help
     
  4. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Thanks fizzie. I thought I was talking to myself LOL.

    I don't think Mum's eligible yet for AA, though I've already mentioned it to her social worker. I think you have to have had "care needs" for 6 months before you're eligible.
    Mum has her pensions plus some savings plus of course her home. It's just that she's unable to access her own £!

    We still don't know what happened to her possessions - she was in hospital before being admitted to the CH, she then fell in hospital and broke her hip, had to be moved to another hospital for surgery and from there went to a community hospital...so 3 hospitals in total = lots of opportunities for things to be mislaid, not to mention that she had a keysafe fitted to her house and I'm not sure who had the code...

    Thank you for your suggestion re Age UK - I'll give them a bell.

    I am totally at my wits end over here whilst trying to pretend to Mum on the phone that everything's under control, because there's nothing she can do!
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    OK I hope Age uk can give you some practical help but I think you might find that she is eligible because it isn't about the help you get, it is about the help you need so she may well have needed help before she actually received any.
    Whereabouts in the country are you?
    I'm thinking one brilliant way of getting advice is to go along to a carers cafe locally because they are usually super friendly and have loads of local info.
    Does your mum have significant dementia or would she be able to live in extra care housing - that is a flat within a complex where there are carers on site and activities and lunch clubs all within the same complex. These are better in some areas than others. Let me know
     
  6. Selinacroft

    Selinacroft Registered User

    Oct 10, 2015
    936
    Gosh what a nightmare. A couple of practical suggestions if you haven't already done them. There should be some kind of paper trail for your mum's possessions int eh hospitals. I know every time Dad has been admitted they take an inventory of things he has on him such as watch, hearing aid, spectacles, money etc . Thios should be checked off again at discharge- if not- why not . speak to the hospitals and it may still be forgotten in a locker somewhere.
    I know the bank won't deal with you but you can still give them information so let them know the bank card and cheque book are missing . Then if they accept any cheques or withdrawals at a later date it is their problem not yours and mums.
    You can also change the key box code on your mums door for piece of mind so you can control who has the code from now on.
     
  7. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,777
    Female
    South coast
    I have Court of Protection deputyship for mum and I thought I would make a couple of comments
    1 - you dont have to go through solicitors to do it, you can download the forms from the internet and do it yourself. Several people on here have done it. If you get into difficulties the people on the end of the help-line are very helpful. Court fees are £400, which is much better than solicitors fees.
    2 - CoP is very seldom given for health and welfare, even though its easy (and recommended) if you are taking out POA. I dont have CoP for H&W for mum, but havent found this a problem - SS are still willing to talk to me about H&W and worked with me about where mum would live. You can, of course, still apply for CoP H&W, but be warned that you would still have to pay the fees even if it were turned down.
    3 - you can ask to "fast-track" the application

    I dont know if any of this is helpful, but I have found that, for a large organisation, CoP is very helpful and understanding.

    Edit to say that Ive just noticed that you are in Ireland. I dont think that it changes things as your mum lives in UK - but best to check on that.
     
  8. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    515
    Hi HillyBilly

    You sound in a complete fluster, so I think you need to take a moment to think through everything slowly.

    1 - Your mum is safe and being looked after - it's not great that she is being asked to do activities that are not suitable for her, but it's not the worst thing that could happen, and you can have a quiet word at the care home about it.

    2 - Utilities - they can wait - the worst they can do is cut supplies off and get debt collectors involved, but your mum isn't living there so it won't affect her. And if you've written to inform them of the situation, they haven't really got an excuse not to put things on hold for a while. Have you spoken to Citizen's Advice - they should have lots of experience when it comes to dealing with debt and utilities.

    3 - House sale - that will have to go on hold for a while if there is no one who can sign the paperwork. I have heard of estate agents asking for money for marketing, but I don't think they all necessarily do so when you are ready to put the house back on the market maybe shop around and see what different estate agents can offer you.

    4 - Deputyship - that's the key thing, because your mum needs access to her own money. Maybe the Citizen's Advice people could also help with the forms and might have some ideas about how to raise money. Is there absolutely nothing that could be sold, or any little pot of money you could find or borrow to get this moving?

    5 - Photo ID - that can wait until you have the deputyship in place and can access her funds.

    6 - Money for bits and pieces at the care home - if there is no cash, it will have to wait, or maybe they would be willing to keep a record until you have access to the bank account.

    Does that help? As far as I can see, it's the deputyship you need to concentrate on, because once you have that you will have the authority you need to get everything else moving.
     
  9. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    Thank you all so much for your replies.
    I am trying to start this week with positive thoughts and to achieve one thing at a time.
    First step has been to instruct the solicitor to attempt the POA route once more.
    I live in Ireland and Mum's in the UK so everything has to be done "remotely".
    If POA is a non-starter, then I'll seriously have to consider the DIY Deputyship route I think.
    I can see myself getting seriously into debt over all this, which I hate.
     
  10. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    You can do POA online and it saves an absolute fortune. If your mum doesn't have any savings it cost £55 for health and welfare and £55 for finance and if she does it is £110 and it is really simple to do
     
  11. Havemercy

    Havemercy Registered User

    Oct 8, 2012
    124
    The problem with Power of Attorney is that the donor (that would be your mum) needs to have capacity to grant such a power - if she has dementia then she might not have such a capacity - but she might do so might be worth asking the GP or a solicitor to adjudge if she has. If not then it will be a case of applying to be a Deputy through Court of Protection. You probably already know this. Best wishes.
     
  12. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    I thought I'd a suitable solicitor lined up but had to fire her before I'd even hired her (!) as she seemed unable to grasp (despite me putting it in writing and also explaining on the phone) that I'm in Ireland, not the UK. I kept being asked to "pop in" to their offices in order to make an appointment for her to go and see my Mum. Wasn't getting a good vibe about that particular firm so have found another who are already familiar with the care home in question and dementia sufferers in particular. Fingers crossed that the mental capacity assessment goes OK!
     
  13. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    Can you not ask the GP at the care home if she has capacity and if the answer is yes you can sort out the forms online? Just a thought but there are many here more experienced in this than me - I did my Mas when she did have capacity
     
  14. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    I might be speaking out of turn, but if you are having to pay with your own money to get things moving, if you keep a precise record of all the spending, I think you will be able to pay yourself back from your mum's money when the PoA or guardianship is set up. The Citizens Advice Bureau or Age UK should be able to tell you if this is so. You should not be expected to go into debt.

    Another thought - have you checked the bank statements sent presumably to your mothers house from the date she went into hospital to check that no money has fraudulently disappeared from it. Although the bank wont deal with you till you have PoA or deputyship, they surely must take notice of you if you inform them that the cheque book and card are missing, and must therefore stop any money going out of the account, unless it is a long standing direct debit to one of the utilities. Your mother could sign a letter to this effect.

    Who is paying the care home fees now? I dont know if things have changed now, but years ago, when my father had to go to hospital, they discharged him to a care home until a care package could be organised for him at home. Under these circumstanes, you are allowed 12 weeks before you have to start paying, but when eventually he went home with a care package, the care home tried to charge him £4,000. Luckily my sister knew what he was entitled to, and also worked for a solicitor, and was able to have the bill cancelled. Age UK will be able to inform you of the current rules and your mother should definitely be getting Attendance Allowance
     
  15. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,475
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #15 Pickles53, Feb 2, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016
    Yes, keep receipts and/or detailed records of any expenses involved in setting up the deputyship or POA. You can claim back out-of-pocket expenses once the process is complete. This also applies to any spending on your mum's behalf ( though I agree the utility companies and anyone else who is owed money can simplybe told that they will have to wait until you can legally access your mother's funds).

    These are under no circumstances your debts and you should not feel any need to pay them yourself.
     
  16. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    #16 HillyBilly, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    Yes, I've read that that's the case. The problem right now is that my funds are v limited and I don't have the £ in the first place. I'm trying to keep just enough set aside to cover flights etc should the need arise, say in an emergency, but my last phone bill of 170euros that arose due to all the phone calls to the UK speaking to utilities, social workers etc wiped that out!

    I gathered up the last statements when I was over and fortunately, there is no untoward activity on Mum's account.

    I've been told that the first 12 weeks in the CH will be at a reduced weekly rate, in anticipation of Mum's home being sold. Are you saying that the first 12 weeks don't have to be paid for at all? Or is that only the case when it's likely to be a temporary stay? The SW mentioned a Local Authority Home Loan but from my research these have been replaced by something called Deferred Payment.
    I shall look more into the AA situation, thanks.
     
  17. HillyBilly

    HillyBilly Registered User

    Dec 21, 2015
    1,947
    Ireland
    I'm not in the UK so can't get the forms to Mum for her to sign/be witnessed etc and I don't think it's ethical for the CH to be involved at all.
    The question of her mental capacity is the main issue at the moment. Her solicitor will hopefully be able to advise later this week.
     
  18. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,731
    can you just email the care home about attendance allowance to save you some time and money and make sure they are claiming it for her
     
  19. tigerlady

    tigerlady Registered User

    Nov 29, 2015
    427
    Quote Originally Posted by tigerlady
    Who is paying the care home fees now? I dont know if things have changed now, but years ago, when my father had to go to hospital, they discharged him to a care home until a care package could be organised for him at home. Under these circumstanes, you are allowed 12 weeks before you have to start paying, but when eventually he went home with a care package, the care home tried to charge him £4,000. Luckily my sister knew what he was entitled to, and also worked for a solicitor, and was able to have the bill cancelled. Age UK will be able to inform you of the current rules and your mother should definitely be getting Attendance Allowance

    I am saying that it was the case with my father years ago, but he wouldnt have been a self funder, as my mother was still living in their house, and when the care package was arranged, he went home, but as your mother will be a self funder, the rules are probably different - Age UK would be able to tell you but if I can find any information about it, I will pm you to save you yet another phone call to the UK. There is a deferred payment agreement when someone is a self funder while waiting for the house to be sold - The LA value the house and deduct 10% plus the amount that the person should be left with, and then pay the care home fees until the house is sold, when they can be paid back from the proceeds. Age UK do have factsheets which you can look up on the internet.
     
  20. Pete R

    Pete R Registered User

    Jul 26, 2014
    2,045
    Staffs
    You are correct temporary care for reablement does not have to paid for and this is different to the 12 week property disregard (the time given to arrange a sale) where the LA pay, up to their budget limit, what's left after your Mum's pensions/benefits are taken.

    Because of the PoA problems your Mums sale is obviously going to take a lot longer.:(

    The LA may well continue to pay whilst you are sorting this out but you will need to talk to them. A Deferred Payment Agreement is normally for those that do not wish to sell the property immediately but again you will need PoA before any discussion takes place on that. The downside is that most LA's have set up charges and interest so it may not be the best way to go when you do get PoA and are going to sell straight away.

    :)
     

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