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Mum's at home now, but what do I do when she can't cope?

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Marcelle123, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. Marcelle123

    Marcelle123 Registered User

    Hi - I'm a new member, Marcelle123 - retired with no children and I live with my husband not far from Mum's house. For reasons of my husband's health, I am not thinking of taking my mother into my own home, if and when she can't cope any more. To be honest, I don't think she'd like that anyway. She is increasingly very argumentative.

    I'm one of a big family but my siblings live a long way away and only two of them visit regularly. My brother owns a portion of my mother's house, and I have an enduring power of attorney for her.

    The trouble is, I feel a bit helpless. Mum has assets - mainly the house but also some investments - but I know that they'd only last two or three years if she went into a dementia care home. At present she can wash & dress, do housework, get simple meals, and we have contact with her every day, give her lunches, take her shopping etc.

    I want to have a plan in place for when she can't do these things, but I am unclear about what to do. My brother's mother-in-law funds her own carers, but she keeps falling in her own home & being hospitalised. Mum has always been unsociable and suspicious of outsiders so in some ways it would be best if we just bit the bullet and arranged a home.

    Is there any professional person we could ask to assess Mum's assets and advise on how to fund a care home, and what allowances she might be able to claim?

    Would a medical check-up be the first step? Her GP?

    Or is there a 'step-by-step leaflet' which explains what to do in such a situation. Obviously, living near her, we can hold the fort for a bit. But my husband's health is my first priority, and stress makes his condition worse.

    This is my first post, but I am also looking forward to reading the other threads. What a great forum - up to now, I've felt very alone, because my siblings don't seem to know any more than I do.

    Thanks for any help and advice - it will be much appreciated.
     
  2. Pickles53

    Pickles53 Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    2,482
    Radcliffe on Trent
    #2 Pickles53, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
    There are specialist financial advisers who can help make decisions about care. We found ours via the website below. The first meeting was free.

    http://www.payingforcare.org


    However, at the time I already had power of attorney for my mum and had been managing her finances for a while so had a pretty clear idea of her assets etc. If you don't have this set up I'd suggest this might be a useful first step as if/when things do get difficult for your mum it's much easier and cheaper if LPA is already in place. You can do this line, you don't need to pay a solicitor.

    https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney/overview


    Age UK and Alzheimer's Society have advisers who can help you claim for Attendance Allowance (non means-tested) and you should also check if you would qualify for Carers' Allowance. The AA form is very long and you may think mum wouldn't yet qualify, but still worth talking it over so you are prepared.

    I would start with her GP if you have concerns about either her physical or mental health. If you write to him/her setting out your concerns, he/she can perhaps call her in for a 'routine' check and use that as a way of checking whether anything needs further investigation.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,439
  4. Marcelle123

    Marcelle123 Registered User

    Thanks for the replies so far. I am going to wait a while till there may be more and then respond properly.

    Just to clarify - when my mother moved to this town & used my brother's money for part of the price of her bungalow, the epa was set up, and I registered it & have been using it for two years now. My mother's investments were scattered among a lot of ISAs which we renewed for a while, but after my husband was ill in hospital last year, I realised I needed something simpler, so now we have it in two separate savings accounts, and we do know roughly how much she has. We are much hazier on what allowances she might be able to claim to eke out her money if she did have to go into a home.

    Thanks for the leaflets suggested, and thanks in advance for any more advice.
     
  5. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,717
    Female
    London
    There aren't any extra allowances for people going into a home but Attendance Allowance can be claimed now already and will not stop in a care home IF she is self-funding. She will be self-funding if she has more than £23,250 in savings or assets. Following that she can also claim council tax exemption as jenniferpa says.

    If you're retired and on a State Pension, you cannot get Carers Allowance but an underlying entitlement to increase other benefits you may be on like Pension Credit.
    https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/overview

    If you are unsure about any forms, Alzheimer's Society, Age UK, Carers Centre or CAB can help you fill them in.
     
  6. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,054
    Yorkshire
    Hello Marcelle123
    a warm welcome to TP - I think you are wise to plan for the future and there's lots of information and support here, as PIckles53 and jenniferpa are already proving :)
    It will be worth asking your mum to confirm now to her GP that she wishes you to be included in all her medical affairs - so that you can make appointments and go to them with her, ask questions and be told information, and are to be consulted in making decisions; have this officially added to her records.
    I don't think an EPA covers Health & Welfare so in the longer run it is definitely worth organising the LPA.
    She is also entitled to an assessment of her needs by the Local Authority Social Services/Adult care (which could include considering her finances so you can find out the LA take on her situation) and you may ask for a Carer's Assessment.
    Sometimes it's worth introducing a 'carer' sooner rather than later, especially for those who are a bit reluctant to have someone coming into the house - maybe a cleaner to start with, 'just to help out, not to take over' you understand (and maybe brief them to have a chat, make your mum a cuppa - whatever may make your mum less resistant).
    Best wishes
     

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