Residential care - any thoughts appreciated!


Registered User
Sep 25, 2005
Is anybody in my situation (or has been) and can offer any thoughts please?

My widowed Mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers two and a half years ago. Being an only child with no partner or offspring, I increasingly took it upon myself to look after and support Mum. As her illness has progressed, I have abandoned my life (some of you may know that scenario) and I moved back in with Mum permanently to provide care.

When I lived at home many years ago, the “right to buy” came into being. My parents were people of meagre means, so they relied on me to scrape the deposit together and I paid the mortgage throughout. Ownership was three-ways - Dad, Mum, me. When Dad died joint ownership became Mum and me.

In the years between I moved out and bought my own house some 100 miles distant because of my work at that time. As Mum got older I stayed with her more frequently and I now live permanently back in our “joint home“. I still have the house 100 miles distant, but I rarely get chance to be there and it is empty and in a sorry state of disrepair. Since I moved back in with Mum I managed to get a job nearer to where Mum lives (no easy thing when you’re over 50!).

Social services and our GP have both said I should consider getting Mum into permanent residential care. I’m reluctant because firstly, I think Mum is probably much better in her own familiar surroundings and secondly, I’m told I will have to sell our “joint home” to pay for Mum’s residential care.

It means I would have to move back to a house that is in poor condition, but much more importantly, I couldn’t visit Mum often, being so very far away. I would also have difficulty finding work once again... Rather a triple whammy! Has anybody experienced a similar situation please?

Finally, I’m a first-timer on here and thanks to one and all for sharing their experiences. I don’t feel so alone any more… Thank you.


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
welcome to TP,you are not alone you will find someone here always willing to try and help you.
I would suggest that you telephone the Alzheimer's help line The helpline is open from 8.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday. The number to dial is 0845 300 0336.
Have a look at the fact sheets
There is a mine of information there.
Post when you need
best wishes


Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
Hi Walsgrave,

Welcome to Talking Point.

It is so difficult to work out what options are best when both care needs and finances have to be considered.

First of all, I think I would do some investigation to see if you would really be forced to sell the joint home. As Norm has suggested, the Alzheimer's helpline would be a good place to start, also Citizen's Advice.

I have found these two references online:

Help the Aged article

It says:

But your house will not count as capital:if your husband or wife (or unmarried partner) lives in the house; or if a close relative over the age of 60 or under the age of 16, or a relative under the age of 60 who is 'incapacitated' needs to go on living there.
The local authority may also ignore the value of the house if it is the permanent home of someone like a carer; they don't have to do this, but they can choose to.

Also this otherweb site is worth looking at:

Community Legal Service article - part 8

It says:

If you own your home jointly with someone who does not fit into any of the categories above (for example, a relative under 60 or a friend), your share has to be valued. But if the person who owns your home with you won't or can't buy your share from you, the council may judge the value of your share to be low. If this were the case, there would be little difference to the fees you must pay.

Is there something happening at the moment that leads your mum's GP and social worker to urge you to consider residential care? Does you mother currently get any services - such as visits from carers or sessions at a day centre?

Take care,



Registered User
Sep 25, 2005
Hello Sandy and Norman,

Sorry for the belated response and just to say so very many thanks to both for your replies.

Sandy thanks loads for the excellent pointers (I searched in vain on the web but my online skills are rather dismal).

Mum is gradually getting worse and in particular the social worker said I should consider residential care...

We get 3 visits from carers each weekday and Mum also goes to a day centre on 3 days (Tue/Wed/Fri), so I guess I am really very fortunate! I leave home at 06:30 for work and don't get back until 20:30 most evenings, so without that help I would be even more distraught.

Norman, thanks too and I will have a chat with the good folks on the hotline tomorrow!

I'll let you know how I get on and post findings on the forum - hopefully it may help others in a similar situation.

Thanks once again and so very much appreciated.

Best wishes.

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