Rules on costs of care and avenues of appeal

Mark.S

Registered User
Apr 7, 2004
8
Leeds
Hello.

Not been on here for a while, but was wondering if anyone was in the know..

My father is in his 70's and over the last six months has deteriorated alarmingly, resulting in him being taken in to a hospital about three months ago.

My mother has just received the results of the financial assesment into the cost of care.

They own their own home, have some savings, a pension , a few shares, an ISA etc, they were in short set for a comfortable if not spectacular retirement. My dad had worked beyond retirement age and made additional voluntary contributions to his pension fund to make sure of this.

They are by no means loaded, and in many ways had always been very careful with their money in order to look after themselves.

When my mum received the assesment of what she/they were expected to pay it equated to roughly 80 odd % of their monthly income, my mum was in a state of shock, contemplating whether she could look after Dad herself ( it would kill her or make her crack up within a fortnight ).

Does this sort of figure sound correct, is there a right of appeal or bodies that are worth talking to / getting involved..

Many thanks for any help that you can offer.
 

Jude

Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
2,287
66
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Mark,

Who carried out the assessment? Was it the local authority or a private company dealing with annuities? Unfortunately it sounds pretty close to correct.

When I investigated private Nursing Home fees [in 2002] I found them to be in the order of around £2,500 per person, per month. This worked out at about 80% of my parents' monthly income at the time. I have both parents with AD, which meant of course I would have to have found at least £5000 per month [plus extra income to pay for personal items for them] and also annual cost of living increases at 5% on the care fees.

What I actually had to do [as POA] was to sell our family home to pay for fees for close care accommodation initially. Unfortunately this is what many people are now faced with because of the lack of NHS funded care for dementia sufferers.

When I was over in Oz earlier this year I heard about a Reverse Mortgage Scheme that had just started up over there. I believe some of the major banks in England have something similiar, although it's not widely advertised yet.

Basically if your parents own their house and it's unemcumbered by a current mortage, you can apply for a 'Reverse Mortgage'. The bank assesses the current price of the dwelling and then the monthly instalments are used to pay for Nursing Home fees and deducted from the assessment price of the home. It's a way of allowing one partner to stay in their family home AND provide sufficient funds to be available to cover care fees.

It might be worth approaching several banks and enquiring. I'm sorry I don't know more about the scheme, but I'd already sold our family home before I found out about it.

Anyway, do shop around before you make any sort of radical decisions. Care Homes are a boom industry because of the huge number of elderly people in this country and in my opinion, the fees are an outrageous scam!

Best wishes,

Jude
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Dear Mark, I am so sorry for the predicament you and your mum are now in. It was much the same for when my little mum became too ill to manage without any help. The fact is, quite bluntly, if youv'e got over X amount you have to pay!!! Sorry it's not what you want to hear is it? The X amount is about 56 thou for care at home. In a home it is about 20 thou. You need to get help to find out the exact figures. As my mum was a widow, I don't know if a couple makes any difference, although I unfortunately suspect not. We had to pay for all her care, although because this policy was being phased in, we did get a little help!! We paid for the respites every 4 weeks, £500 approx for a week each time. We also had to pay for all the home and day care each month as well. As I understand it, the law as it stands means that they will pay until they have less than about 20 thou!! It's B***** diabolical isn't it?!! If you can get a package for home care privately, it may cost less than that provided by Social Services, but if you need to go for a Permanent EMI home it will cost you! Although, it has to be said, if you can't do it somebody has to! Sorry, I didn't mean that quite how it perhaps sounds, but not every one can cope with a loved one with AD etc. at home. It's not fair, it's wrong, but there it is. The AD Society is campaigning against these costs, but until the law is changed this is about how it is. Sorry!! Love, She. XX
 

Mark.S

Registered User
Apr 7, 2004
8
Leeds
thanks for your replies..

I am not sure of the exact figures, nor the exact amount of the savings etc in my dad's name, but i guess it must be just over the £19.500 figure, do you know what happens once the savings drop below this amount?

Many thanks

Mark
 

frazer

Registered User
Sep 9, 2004
42
london
how about if we all got together and set up a new kind of care home? One that was based on care and not profit - or am I slipping into delusion?
 

Mark.S

Registered User
Apr 7, 2004
8
Leeds
thanks again..

when mum hits less than £19,500 what happens to Dad's pension, which is currently being heavily taken into account..?
 

frazer

Registered User
Sep 9, 2004
42
london
lets start doing the scratch cards!
Seriously tho, just listening over the last few days to folk usig up their parents life savings on care - until they run out - wouldnt it make more sense to bunch together somehow? perhaps thats a different thread . .
Mark, we had a very helpful assesor who told us all the info regarding pensions / attendance etc. But we got the most help from our local alzheimers society - someone sat down and went thru it all with us. Well worth giving them a call.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Mark
speak to a financial advisor,the first consultation is free,log onto financial advisors and you will be able to find one in your area.
regards
Norman
 

Sheila

Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
2,259
West Sussex
Norm is giving good advice here, I did this too, put mum's money, such as it was, so that it lasted as long as possible for her and if any left, to do what she wanted to do, leave some to the family. Obviously, this would have been different had she not had AD, but I still got advice on how to make it last for the longest possible time. I also did a prepaid funeral plan as otherwise that would have come out of the remaining 19 thou. when she died. It's awful to have to think like this, but it's your parent's wishes and life savings that are being used and you owe it to them to respect their wishes as far as you possibly can. If you invest the savings as wisely as you can and they are then used up despite your efforts then theres nothing you can do. I f you manage to give absolutely top notch, all care to your loved one, and, still do what they wished with all their heart to do, leave a bit to their kids, then you have done really well I think! Love, She. XX
 

Chris

Registered User
May 20, 2003
243
The Financial Assessment

Mark - the Help the Aged website hav excellent up to date information sheets - very comprehensive - most imprtantly your parents house will not be taken into account whilst your Mum is living there. (and that means it will never be taken into account as long as she is livign there - ie no 'charge' will be put on it. )Should your Dad outlive your Mum its a different ball game - that s how it is for us and proceeds from Mums house is invested to proivide interest to pay her care home fees but now it is not enough so dipping into capital now.

Here is some info from Help the Aged website:

Paying for a place in a care home

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the savings limits usually go up every April.
The rates here are for the year from April 2004. The limits in each country are as follows:
Upper Limit England and Northern Ireland £20,000
Scotland £19,000
Wales £20,500
Lower Limit England and Northern Ireland £12,250
Scotland £11,750
Wales £13,500


If you have more than the upper limit in savings you will have to pay full fees for the care home. If you own your own home, its value will usually be counted as 'capital' if you remain in care as a permanent resident. This usually means that you will be expected to sell it to pay the fees. If you don't wish to sell your house the local authority can allow you to make deferred payments by giving you an interest-free loan which is claimed back when your property is eventually sold. In Northern Ireland the local health and social services trust is not obliged to do this but can use its discretion.
For the first 12 weeks in care the value of your home will be disregarded from the means test.
There are some circumstances when you will not have to sell your house.

If your husband or wife (or unmarried partner) lives in the house then its value will be ignored when your income is assessed.

Similarly, 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, then again the value of the house will not be counted. 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.
If you have less than the upper limit in savings, or when your savings drop to this level, then your income and what savings you do have, will be taken into account to work out how much you will pay towards the home fees. Savings below the lower limit are ignored altogether, while savings between the lower and upper limits are converted into a weekly income using a simple formula.
Your income is worked out by calculating what money you have coming in each week. This includes the income from your savings, any pension you receive, whether State Retirement Pension or an occupational or personal pension, and any income from state benefits, such as Pension Credit. If you are living in a care home and your income is low, you may be able to claim Pension Credit. This will then go towards home fees.
Your local authority will want to make sure that you are claiming all the state benefits that you are entitled to. This is because they will take this money into account when working out your contribution. When deciding how much you have to pay towards the fees, the local authority must always leave you with some money to spend as you wish each week - a personal expenses allowance. (The Government decides how much this will be each April.) Any income you have over this level will go to the local authority to cover your care costs, up to the full amount of the fees.

The local authority should tell you how it has worked out how much you will pay.

Ask for this information in writing. Make sure you understand exactly what is included in the fees and know what you will have to pay for yourself. For example, will you have to pay for toiletries, phone calls, outings or clothing from your personal expenses allowance, or are any of these things included in the fees?
 

Sally

Registered User
Mar 16, 2004
114
London
The uper limit for savings is now £20,000.
If your father has an occupational pension your Mum should still receive half of this, make sure that that is the case. There is also the attendance allowance to take into account when someone is self-funding and I would haave thought your father would now qualify for upper rate ( £58.80 per week). Also find out if he is entitled to a nursing band (lower, middle or higer : £40, £77.50, £125 a week) as this can help. Ask at the hospital about the assessment (when/where/what happened).
Any joint accounts should now be split in two otherwise there is a risk that over the years the local authority will keep splitting the balance so that your mother ends up with less than her original half.

Regards,
Sally