Paying for Care Home Costs

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Trog, May 29, 2007.

  1. Trog

    Trog Registered User

    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    Hi,

    Can anyone help me? My father is currently suffering with Alzheimers and is a voluntary patient in hospital (after having his sectioning removed). We had a meeting today at the hospital to discuss what happens next.

    The decision has been made to find Dad a place in a nursing home. My first question is a general one. Does anyone have any helpful advice etc about the whole process of finding a suitable home?

    Secondly, my parents situation is that they own their own home and also have enough savings to fund Dad's care costs for about six months or so. What happens after that. Assuming that SS agree to the home we have chosen, will they take over paying the costs when the money has run out, or will they expect Mum to sell the house? My mum seems to think that the 'debt' will be added up and that we will still be liable for it and that the SS will refund themselves from the eventual sale of the house, whether by my mother or by myself upon her death (hopefully many decades away!)

    Help!!

    Trog



    :confused:
     
  2. Áine

    Áine Registered User

    #2 Áine, May 29, 2007
    Last edited: May 29, 2007
    hi Trog

    someone else will answer the second question a lot more accurately and easily than i can. as to chosing a home:

    you could do worse than ask the people who are involved in his care now. i think they're not allowed to recommend anywhere, but they'll know something about places, and it's surprising how much info you can give without technically recommending anywhere.

    get a list of nursing homes in your area - social services should be able to give you one.

    think about where in the area might be more convenient for you and mum and other friends or family to visit (it's not always the nearest - could be on the way home from work, at the other end of a good bus route etc) and whether dad has any connection to any particular area, if he's still able to be aware of it.

    drop in on a few homes - don't phone and make an appointment - and see what feels OK. think not only about how dad might settle, but also how you and others might feel visiting him there - are you made welcome, somewhere to sit, somewhere to get a drink etc.

    check out the CSCI reports http://www.csci.org.uk/ they usually have something negative to say about every home, but not everything matters that much (eg scuffed paint on door frames might not exactly be a priority).

    check out waiting lists. when i was looking for my dad it was possible (and expected) to put your name down on several waiting lists of places you liked so you see what comes up first.

    nowhere will be perfect ....... and nothing is like home ....... but hopefully you'll find an option that feels OK for you all.
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    The way it should work is: SS will assess your father's assests. This will be all of any savings he has in his name, plus 50% of any joint savings. As you mother is living in the marital home the value of that will be disregarded. Only in the event that your mother chose to sell the home (for example if she decided she needed a smaller place) would 50% go back in the asset pot. Your parents would be well advised to split the savings at the time he goes into the residential facility: If they had £50,000 in savings, splitting it would leave your mother with £25,000 and your father would quickly spend down to the applicable savings limit, while if they didn't split it, they would both be worse off. Having said that though, if they only have sufficient savings to fund care for 6 months, it sounds as if they have considerably less than that. Allowing for £600 a week, it sounds as if they joint savings in the region of £30000. That should be split bewteen the 2 of them, so that means they are already below the upper savings limit. If you have less than £13000 in savings, you receive the maximum amount. You pay your pension + pension credit - £20.45 personal allowance and the LA will pick up the rest of the bill to their maximum amount. Between £13000 and £21500 in savings you are assumed to have an income of £1 per £250 of capital a week. Note this is the saving of the person going into the residential home. If there is an occupational pension there is a variation that occurs with the pension holder allowed to pass back 50% of the pension to the spouse. but I won't go into that here. So if your father has savings of £15000, he will be expected to contribute his pension + pension credit + £8 - £20.45

    Jennifer

    (Hmm - I've just driven for 10 hours so I may have forgotten something: anybody notice something wrong please correct me!)
     
  4. Westie

    Westie Registered User

    Jennifer,

    Although I'm not yet needing to look into full time care, it is something I am concerned about funding and your reply to Trog is very helpful.

    Can I just ask you to clarify one thing, if possible please?

    I understand the property disregard if the spouse remains in the property (thank goodness!) but a bit unclear what happens should I sell and move to a smaller place. This is very likely to happen after my husband goes into a NH. Is 50% of the value of the new house then taken into account or 50% of any equity realised from the sale? What would happen if a new house was purchased in sole, rather than joint names?

    Don't mean this to sound cold and money grabbing, but just trying to work out the best way to preserve some assets for my children. By the way, our savings would be below £13,000 but we have lots of equity in the house (plus large mortgage!!).

    Thanks for any light you can shed on this complicated matter.
     
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    If you have an EPA, which in this case I believe simplifies the situation, then you would need to purchase the new home in joint names. If it was smaller, then any difference in value would need to be split 50/50 and his part put into his accounts.

    The problem is that after any capital appreciation on the new home over the next few years, the value would also be split 50/50 at the time of selling.

    If you don't have an EPA, then you need one. I don't believe the option of trying to put the house into a single name would be a legal one and it could certainly be challenged.
    Yes to both

    I downsized last year. The process was not difficult once I had researched the things I needed to do. One of these was to appoint a trustee to look after my Jan's interests during the house sale/purchase.

    The costs of moving are also split 50/50 and legal advice tells me that the cost of home improvements that add to the value of the joint asset may also be split 50/50 as long as accounts are kept.
     
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Listen to Bruce: he's been there!

    The problem with something like a house of course, is that while in many areas £250,000 say would buy you a 3 bedroomed house, a 1 bedroomed flat in the same area would actually cost you more than 1/2 that amount.

    Age concern has a number of fact sheets on their site related to this. However the advice is a bit opened ended. For example (copied verbatim from "Paying for a care home if you have a partner")

    "Government guidance says that where necessary residents whould be able to use part of their share of the sale proceeds to enable their spouse to buy a more suitable property"

    However, Factsheet 38, "Treatment of the former home as capital for people in care homes" indicates: The current guidance does not cover some related issues, such as how any funds left over after the purchase should be apportioned or whose name the new property should be put into. The approaches adopted by individual local authorites on these and other related points may vary.

    Clear as mud really.

    You absolutely need specialised legal advice when it comes to doing this. My concern would be: how do you find that specialised advice? I suspect that just wandering off to your local solicitor would not necessarily be a good move: this isn't a straightforward conveyancing issue. http://www.clsdirect.org.uk/index.jsp Community Legal Service Direct is recommended by MIND as a source of solicitors who are familiar with community care issues (search the Directory http://www.clsdirect.org.uk/directory/directorySearch?lang=en). This directory is also available at libraries.


    Jennifer
     
  7. Trog

    Trog Registered User

    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    Many thanks to Jennifer, Brucie and Aine for their very helpful replies.

    I have two further linked queries.

    Firstly, as the marital home is viewed as a joint asset (and it is indeed in joint names), and assuming that my mum stays put and doesn't move, do the social services/nursing home have any claim at all on the property?

    Secondly, due to a separate mental problem that my father has (although undiagnosed until the last month or two, and not treated - diogenes syndrome (extreme hoarding!)), the family home is in an extremely neglected state. No heating at all. No working lighting in most of the downstairs rooms due to faulty wiring (which my dad wouldn't let my mum get sorted), etc, etc. It really is in a terrible state and obviously my mum is now in the process of clearing the house and can then organise the essential repairs.

    Is she entitled to take 50% of any costs from dad's savings? Or will the social services just say she should take it from the £13,000 that everyone with savings would be left with? If she can't get financial help with the repairs (and unfortunately I have no savings at all to assist mum), then she could be forced to sell and to buy something more 'liveable' for a lady in her seventies, which would then mean losing 50% of any capital. It seems to be a lose/lose situation for mum.

    Sorry for sounding so pessimistic, it's just that we are faced with such seemingly insurmountable problems that we are both feeling confused and bewildered.

    Best wishes to you all.
    Trog
     
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    #8 jenniferpa, May 31, 2007
    Last edited: May 31, 2007
    The answer to question 1 would be no, unless your mother predeceased your father.

    Question 2 is more tricky, and I have been unable to find out anything definitive about it. However as any appreciation in the value of the property would accrue to your father, you have to believe that any depreciation would be like wise. In fact, if she allowed the property to run down further, this would affect your father's assets. In fact reading Bruce's post again I see that he has been given advice that the cost of home improvements can be split 50/50 with appropriate accounts kept: I definitely think raising the house to liveable standards would apply.

    Have you looked at this age concern leaflet? http://www.ageconcern.org.uk/AgeConcern/Documents/Older_homeowners_FS13.pdf

    It details possible financial help for older homeowners. I do think you should persue any grants that may be going: faulty electrical circuits would come under the category of "making a house habitable" I would think.
    Jennifer

    P.S. Incidentally don't assume that if she did decide to move, she would only be left with 50% of the assets. LA's have been given guidance that they should allow more than 50% to go to the spouse not in residential care if it is necessary in order to fund the purchase of a new property. With property prices at their dizzying heights, smaller properties are often proportionally more expensive than larger ones.
     
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
  10. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    I checked with two solicitors in different towns and had the same reply.

    Home repairs and improvements have all been paid with one cheque from my account, and one from Jan's, for each job - the sum being divided 50/50.

    Repairs are those to the fabric of the building - roof, walls, gutters. On-going maintenance does not count - leaks, etc.
     
  11. Trog

    Trog Registered User

    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    Jennifer, Skye & Brucie - thank you all so much for the very detailed and helpful advice. Something at last to ease my mother's worries!

    Can I clarify one point? The costs of essential works to the family home, being paid for 50/50 - would mum be expected to take dad's share from the £13,000 that she will eventually be left with from dad's savings, or can it come out of the current (higher) amount in his/their account, which would obviously leave less to provide funding for care home costs?

    Many thanks to you all & very best wishes.
    Trog
     
  12. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    I think this relates to a certain extent to Bruce's point about keeping adequate accounts. Your mother and father will pay for the work when it is done (just like the rest of us in fact). If the work is done before the savings are spent down, then it comes out of that pot. Say today they have £50,000 in joint savings and a bill for a £1000 comes due today: then they would pay it out of the £50000, leaving £49000. If, on the other hand those savings had been split they would each pay half, leaving them each £24,500. If, on the other the bill came due in 6 months, and at that point your father's savings had gone down to £20000 while your mother still had £25000, they'd still each pay half (leaving your mother with £24500 and your father with £19500).

    What I'm trying to say is: the bill gets paid at the time it is due, whether the savings have been split or not. It's possible I am missing your point, so if I haven't addressed the issue you're concerned about perhaps you could clarify.

    Best wishes

    Jennifer
     
  13. Trog

    Trog Registered User

    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    Jennifer,

    No need to clarify - you have answered my question perfectly - many thanks.

    The whole financial situation surrounding care homes/patients/spouses/ entitlements etc is such a complex one - certainly to a "newcomer" at least. Thank you for banishing the fog!

    Best wishes,
    Trog
     
  14. Gwenno

    Gwenno Registered User

    Jun 18, 2006
    34
    Worcestershire
    I have found the help and Advice from an Advocate very helpful.

    You could try Care Aware Helpline

    08705 134925

    For free Advice and Guidance on all Aspects of Funding Care for Older People

    They deal with Care fee funding Benefit Entitilement * State Support * Estate Protection * Legal Issues * Care Support Services * Information Literature Newsletter Updates

    OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY 365 DAYS A YEARS.

    www/careaware.co.uk

    Hope this helps many people

    Gwenno
     
  15. Trog

    Trog Registered User

    Apr 21, 2007
    10
    Gwenno,

    Many thanks for the advice & contact details - I'm off to check out the website now!

    With best wishes
    Trog
     
  16. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Gwenno, that's a very helpful post. Thank you.
     
  17. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,885
    Kent
    Thank you Gwenno.

    I have copied the details for further reference.
     
  18. Sharon G

    Sharon G Registered User

    Jun 5, 2007
    9
    Greater London
    #18 Sharon G, Jun 6, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
    Insist On Getting Your Father Assessed For Continuing Care

    Before you do anything at all. Insist that your father is assessed by the NHS for continuing care. Presumably your father was sectioned because of particularly challenging behaviour. If that's the case, he might qualify for all his heath care costs, including nursing home accommodation, to be met by the NHS. You must demand that he be assessed by the PCT, as well as Social Services, before he is discharged from hospital, and insist that you and your mother are present during these assessments so that they accurately reflect your father's needs. If the funding is not granted, ask for him to reassessed and your father has the right to remain in hospital while the reassessment takes place. If that isn't successful, go through the appeals process. Your father has the right to remain in hospital whilst this is carried out too. Try and get a copy of the assessment criteria - ask for a copy from the assessors - it is your right. The criteria that is used seems to place a great deal of significance on challenging behaviour and so if your father is very resistive to personal care delivery etc, etc, make sure you emphasize this. PCT's make qualifying for fully-funded care as difficult as possible but please, please, investigate this route before you even consider privately funding your father's care. Why don't more people on this site seem to know that they can get their care paid for? It is their healthcare entitlement and our vulnerable elderly have invested a great deal of their money in national insurance contributions. Good luck!
     

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