Paying for respite, not happy

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Midow, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Midow

    Midow Registered User

    Jun 13, 2017
    38
    Wales
    My OH had his first week of respite at the end of last year. He went in on a Saturday and came out the following Saturday. Shortly after Christmas I received the invoice from the council and was shocked to see we were charged for 2 weeks instead of just the one.
    Upon querying this with the finance department, I was told that the charges run from Monday-Sunday hence we were charged a full week for the Saturday-Sunday then another full week for Monday-Saturday. They tell me a letter explaining this was sent out the day before he came home which I've still not received!
    If I'd known this then I would have booked him in from the Monday instead. Even the social worker was unaware of this.
    Hope this helps others who may not realise this could happen.
     
  2. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    272
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    I can’t believe they have done that to you! I have used the care home run by our local council for respite for my Mum. If she is there for part of their charging week the figure is reduced according to the number of nights she stays. I would write an official complaint to the social worker. You weren’t informed of this and I’m sure you would have either booked Monday to Monday or 2 full weeks.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,793
    Female
    Scotland
    My husband annually goes into respite from a Monday to Monday but this was made clear to me from the start. I have an acquaintance whose Dad went into the same place on the Sunday by special arrangement so he didn’t need to take a day off work. The home should have told you their rules.
     
  4. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    462
    North West
    I am in dispute, only about one day, with the care home we used a few months ago. Charges were stated by the week but I was asked if I wanted to pick him up on the Monday or Tuesday. Given the choice, I said Monday because he goes to day centre on Tuesday. If I was told I would be charged for the Tuesday I would have changed day centre or even picked him up from the home on Tuesday morning. I felt I was taken advantage of because I was at such a low ebb. I presume they are going to say the conditions were set out in the reams of paper they gave me but it still feels underhand. And of course I will not use that home again.

    A very cautionary tale, Midow, thanks for sharing. I too would encourage everyone using respite to ask exactly how much the total bill will be.
     
  5. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    666
    Male
    Kent
    I arranged respite care for my wife last August, at the integrated care centre where she already goes for day care one day a week.

    It's run by the NHS mental health trust and largely funded by the local authority. I had to arrange this via the LA social worker and as I was going abroad for a week, entailing an early morning departure and evening return, it was agreed that I'd drop her off the day before and the day after returning back.

    So the invoice was for 9 days, which I had been advised of beforehand. As the LA invoice at fixed times of the month, I didn't actually end of paying until a few weeks later. Also, as the LA arrange the stay, the charges are at their rate, which worked out quite reasonable, compared with privately run care homes.

    I am hoping to do something similar in July, when our extended family are going to Turkey for a family event.
     
  6. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,142
    Could you still use the paid for, but not used days,later in the year?

    Bod
     
  7. Midow

    Midow Registered User

    Jun 13, 2017
    38
    Wales
    Our council is not known for efficiency or their competence, sadly. I'm considering speaking to my local councillor, who is very helpful, in the hope that nobody else will be "ripped off" and that the charges are transparent. I'm sure there are many in my area who have already been caught out by this.
    I've paid the bill as I just don't have the energy for a battle with officialdom but I'm wondering,though, if the unused week we've paid for will count as one of the 6 weeks I've been allocated annually. I bet it does.
     
  8. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,793
    Female
    Scotland
    Six weeks! That sounds like luxury. We get two weeks in Glasgow.
     
  9. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    if you pay for respite, who says you can only have 6 weeks? Surely you can pay for as many weeks as you want, as long as they have availability?
     
  10. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    269
    I think a lot of homes define a 'short stay' for respite as something like 4 weeks, or maybe more in some cases because any longer than that would mean you would be 'permanent stay' and tied into a long term contract with longer notice period etc.

    What this does underline is a necessity to read the terms and conditions before committing to a care home, which is easier if you're self funding and arranging it yourself, but in this case it's pretty bad the LA didn't know this and point it out.
     
  11. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,696
    Female
    London
    Everyone pays for respite, even if you don't normally have to pay for care at home. Care home charges are different, and people who get respite weeks allocated through the council via a needs assessment pay a subsidised price of roughly £130 a week (could have gone up since we last used it).
    There used to be a time when people in my borough got eight weeks a year but those times are gone - I got three!
     
  12. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User


    Ah, Ok we were never offered ( and never got) anything at all

    I did ask once, and was told to enquire at the local nursing home direct ( self funding)

    yes they did respite.
    could I book?
    No, we could have the bed for a week /2 weeks if there was one available.
    Enquire the week before.

    That enabled us to book a much needed holiday...not
     
  13. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,793
    Female
    Scotland
    There is also the issue of availability in LA homes. If you have already been given two weeks you won’t get more because there will be a waiting list. If you can find a private home which does respite then fine but it’s not easy and may not be as good.
     
  14. Midow

    Midow Registered User

    Jun 13, 2017
    38
    Wales
    Beate is right. The 6 weeks respite is subsidised by the local authority.
     
  15. Midow

    Midow Registered User

    Jun 13, 2017
    38
    Wales
    We had exactly the same issue. We visited about 5 care homes and all said they give priority to permanent residents. I'd love a real holiday in the sun but this makes booking a break almost impossible.
     
  16. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    462
    North West
    An up date on my post above. I wrote a long letter to the care home stating my case regarding the over-charge. They have agreed my point and will reimburse me. I also took the opportunity to alert them to lack of information regarding activities, menus and personal care. They have agreed every point I made and say they will act upon them. This home was inspected just before my OH stayed there and now has a proud banner outside saying "Good". Report was very bland, talking about Christmas fayres and Easter egg hunts. What sort of activity is that for a PWD. I wonder how much watching a Christmas film went on while the inspectors were there?

    I am now left with having to find another home for respite which is annoying because this one was so convenient but I was not prepared to pay up or put up with lack lustre care.
     
  17. KathrynAnne

    KathrynAnne Registered User

    Jun 6, 2018
    272
    Female
    South Yorkshire
    Well done for pursuing this and hopefully the home will act on your comments and be better for future residents. Good luck in finding a more suitable place for respite xxx
     
  18. rhubarbtree

    rhubarbtree Registered User

    Jan 7, 2015
    462
    North West
    Thanks KathrynAnne,

    I seem to spend my time stomping through dementia care in hobnailed boots. With the economic climate the way it is I do not expect something for nothing but it would be good if PWD and carers had some decent, sensible support.

    Having said that I took OH for an abdomen scan to day and my GP had pre-warned them that he had Alzheimer's and they dealt with him in a caring, pleasant way. First time OH was unable to give his date of birth. Sad.
     

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