Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
Beverley - at the risk of sounding like a broken record: I have seen no evidence ANYWHERE that social services would or could object to your father paying you to be his assistant. The issue appears to be that you don't want to pay taxes on that money. I understand why you feel that way, and I don't blame you. However, there is that solution.

I don't know what the current tax allowances are. Have you calculated how much you could be be paid without paying tax on the money and then add it to any expenses that your father could reimburse you for?. Alternatively, don't forget that if you do receive the carer's allowance you also get credited for NI contributions which may not seem a big deal at your age but could be important down the line.


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Beverley, it makes no sense at all!

I was going to suggest direct payments, but that wouldn't work either, because as far as I know your dad couldn't employ someone who lives in the same house. Do you have a friend or relative who would be prepared to spend some time with your dad, for a fee?

Alternatively, move to Scotland!:D


Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Dear all,

My mum does not qualify for Continuing Care, isn't in a Nursing Home or even an EMI Unit, so some of you are clearly in a different position to us. As my MP (kind soul, really concerned about my case) told me, I am very lucky to only have to be paying "hotel costs!!! He was also misguided about top-up fees, implying that we were foolish to sell mum's house (the government has been so good in abolishing that rule, he told me), as we could have kept it, keeping mum's capital below the threshold, having her paid for in a care home, and us topping up the fees from the rental income. When I pointed out to him that top-up fees are not allowed to be paid for by the resident he stopped corresponding with me! Anyway, mum's house was a little terrace in need of much internal modernisation and expenditure on furniture and appliances to make it rentable, and would bring in about £400 a month before tax and expenses. Net about £250. Given that we would have to pay the top-up fees of £100 a week (perhaps less) and would not be able to touch her £250 a month, it wasn't on. The £250 a month would gradually build up to put her above the limit for LA fees anyway. And being self-funding she is able to claim Attendance Allowance and a higher rate of pension credit - it all helps.

Helena, mum's property sold for only £130,000, so together with her modest savings IHT is not an issue for us.

Jennifer, oh dear, I was being sarcastic about getting rid of mum's money as quickly as possible. I bet some people do it! If I had intended that I wouldn't have spent £55,000 on a Care Fees Plan, which if mum dies within 2.5 years will result in almost half her estate being "wasted", but if she lives more than 6 years (and has no illness which indicates she might not), the bulk of her care fees will be covered by the Plan. It gives us peace of mind, so we have risked it. I was not advocating that people should deliberately deplete their relatives resources unnecessarily, but it is back to the "why scrimp and save?" issue. Today I told mum I had booked the chiropodist for every visit (learnt that the chiropodist comes every six weeks but only sees 6 residents at a time. Given there are 24 residents, that means mum's toe nails cut one every 6 months). "Ooh, I can't afford that" she said, and I thought "Sod it,it will be paid for".

Being self-funded, mum does get attendance allowance and a higher rate of pension credit (which I never knew about), so even on a modest capital of about £140,000 after the sale of her house, I am pretty confident we can support her for quite a long time. And if my MP is right that mum only ever has to pay for "hotel costs" (I think he is forgetting the 24-hour surveillance, the time spent in social interaction between carers and resident, the bottom wiping, the administration of drugs - I've never had any of that in a hotel!), then if she goes into an EMI unit or nursing home, it shouldn't cost us any more. Wishful thinking?

I seem to have worried quite a few people by suggesting that when their self-funding money runs out they will have to move their relatives. I apologise if I have raised issues which might not apply universally. I was just a bit "on my high horse", feeling cross about it all. I am sure there are lots of homes who would not ask a resident to move from the home or even move rooms, and would accept lower fees. Indeed, we visited one when looking for mum's home, a lady aged 105, clearly in her last few weeks of life, the proprietor told us the lady had been with her for 15 years and she was "keeping her" whatever it took, and wasn't moving her to another room. I thought that was very compassionate, but it was not a home we would have chosen for my mum at the time. The care home where mum is had a situation just before we made our initial visit, where the resident or his family had been unable to pay the fees and had moved him elswhere without any consultation, and the manager said "I wish they had told me, I could have worked something out". Yes, it might be a cheaper room, and we saw a couple of cheaper rooms and didn't like them, but I am coming to realise that if the resident is able, they spend little time in their rooms anyway, they are in the communal areas from about 7.30 a.m. till about 8.30 p.m. And sometimes a small room is cosier than a large one. There is a lady in a very small room in mum's home, and it is full of personal stuff, cuddly toys, photos, and is actually very homely. Mum is in a double room, so we are paying premium for that cos I thought she might use it as a sitting room, but she is never in it, except at night - and it looks so empty. And even then, she is wandering about at night! I thought she might like some furniture from home, but her response was "I'm not using my own furniture, at these prices I will use theirs!". I don't think the room is as important as the staff and the general care. And if they are at the top of the house it doesn't matter so long as they are secure and monitored up there in the night. Mum does like the fact that she can toddle off to her own room not far from the lounge when she wants to, I think you have to consider each person individually.

I would suggest that when your relative is approaching the stage of not being self-funding, you discuss the situation with the manager (and of course Social Services, who will then want to get involved), and plan accordingly. Yes, several people have rightly said that a lot of care homes rely on the "block booking" by social services and have to offer them lower fees to keep a regular income coming in.

Hmm, things have been said about the difference between a charity-run home, a private home, and one owned by a larger corporate organisation. Mum's is the latter. Yes, the home is under the control of the organisation but the manager appears to have some autonomy on how it is run. One thing she is stuck on is the lift. It keeps breaking down, and the maintenance man is there almost every week. The staff do their best when it breaks down. But there are no plans to replace it. She is furious. She asked me to write to Head Office, which I will. They have spent a lot of money recently on refurbishing the dining room completely, decorating the lounge and hall, and fine. But a reliable lift is more important.

We did look at a charity-run home, Salvation Army, but it was far too posh for mum. Tassles everywhere, even on the drawer knobs, they'd never have accepted my mum's laddered tights, about which she doesn't give a hoot. And twice the price of mum's home. Heck, mum is a working class ex-factory girl, she doesn't know what tassles are for.

Anyway, I am not noted for my short emails, and this is a short one!

Sorry if I have unduly worried people, I was getting worked up about the apparent lack of support from Social Services and getting cross about everything else while I was at it.

I am sure there is a solution to everyone's problem. Hope you all find it.

Much love



Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Dear Margaret, and anyone else who is 'self funding'............
What does it matter, in the long run, money is only money.

This is Lionel today:
He would look the same wherever he was funded:

Yes, it mattered in the early days, Lionel had a say in where he would 'end' his days. Almost his choice, but what choice?
The illness wins in the end.

There will never, ever be enough monies in the world to give me back my Lionel. self funding or otherwise.

I am glad we have enough to give him the dignity he would like in his final years.
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Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Phew, everyone, what a lot of issues. I have probably missed some out here, cos I made my usual brief notes about what people had said, and then didn't understand my notes.

Margarita, I WISH THIS SITE WERE MONITORED BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, THEY MIGHT THEN UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE BEING A CARER, OR A PERSON WITH DEMENTIA, WITH ALL THE EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS, ALL THE PRACTICAL PROBLEMS, ALL THE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS, AND THEY MIGHT THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Sorry about the capitals, but I wonder if the AZ society would like to copy in the government on our messages! Seems a good way of getting our message across. I did email my MP and suggested he spent a couple of hours on this site looking at people's problems, but I bet £1m that he hasn't bothered.

Natashalou, consider a Care Fees Plan. You seem in a similar situation to me when we sold mum's house. I am not saying I made the right decision or that it will suit other people, but it does give you some security and peace of mind. We consulted Help the Aged, the chap who came had a wealth of knowledge, and while he might have "pushed" one or two things our way that we weren't convinced about, the minute he saw we weren't convinced he came up with something else. I think his job was to see how you FELT about certain investments, and I think he did it very well. We ended up with a Care Fees Plan which kicks in after 3 years (2.5 now). If mum doesn't live that long, we have lost the money, £55,000 in mum's case, the amount you pay depends on how long the company thinks she will live. But if she lives for 7 years, we start to benefit, and will benefit by today's equivalent of £1,200 a month, which coupled with her state benefits gives us about £2,200 a month towards her fees, plus the income from her capital invested, plus obviously using some of that capital as well. WE think it is the best bet for us, but everyone is different, but do get either Help the Aged or some other advisor to give advice. Help the Aged's advice was free, though I have to say their literature didn't make that clear and we were a bit worried at first. A legal advisor may not be the best person to advise on plans for long-term care, plus your normal financial advisor is not either, unless he has qualifications specifically in long term care plans.

Beverley, apart from Social Services being happy or not with you being paid for looking after your (dad?), and why not, there is the tax issue, and an insurance issue. The normal rules are that you would be classed as an employee of your father, no problem there, and he would be liable to deduct tax and NI if your income were above a certain figure, currently £5,225 per annum. He might also be liable for Employer Insurance, not a clue on that. But there might be some exemptions for private carers, I don't know.

I am not actually sure why you are wanting to do this, as between you there will be no gain, he pays you £5,000, you gain £5,000. What is the point, unless your aim is to deplete his assets, which is presumably a legitimate way of doing that.

Investigate cos it might be a possibility.

Thanks Jennifer for telling me that my mum's Care Plan is not classed as Capital.

Love to all, ain't it hard? Keep sharing.



Dear Margaret

Firstly, may I say thank you.

A personal thank-you from me to you, Margaret, the detail of which nobody needs to know, apart from me, and you, if my thanks is received with your understanding of my own possible-situation, and my understanding of yours.

I could have written what you have posted over the last couple of days, but I did not have the courage to do so. So, I can only express my thanks to you for having written a couple of messages that I would have wished to write. If only I had the guts that you obviously have.

I am expecting that my thanks to you may be demolished somewhere along the line from me to you, or even without further comment from anyone else reading your posts to a situation that PINGED into my own circumstances. So I may well be EXTINGUISHED.

In which case, all I can say is thank you.

My family protective Umbrella is over you!



Registered User
Jan 10, 2008
… the Health Care provided from our taxes should not depend on how a person has previously lived their life. Those who accumulated savings ..... should not be disqualified from Care provided from taxation.


I see your point, Clive, and I don't think I made mine quite clearly enough.

The health care is not the issue here, but under the current system it cannot realistically be separated from the issue I was really thinking about, which is accommodation. Perhaps the cost of a residential or nursing home should be split into health costs and accommodation costs, with the health costs coming from taxes - I have no problem with that - and the accommodation being paid for by SS if we need it or our own resources if we can? It seems to me that it would then be not very different from the situation before the need for more care forced a move. (which is not perfect, I know, but let's take one step at a time!)

I do feel that savings are a bit different from assets such as a house, and it is essential to address the question of the rights and needs of the rest of the family. However it is fiendishly complicated to devise a rule which will be fair to everyone. It might well be impossible but that should not stop us trying!

One final point: I'm not sure that our society could afford to support everyone who needs residential care. The money comes not from the taxes we have paid in the past (that is all long gone) but from the taxes we and the younger generation are paying now - just like the state pensions. The average age of our population is increasing, so that income is likely to decrease in real terms, while the need is likely to increase. It does not add up. We will not be disqualified from Care provided from taxation: there just won't be enough to go round.


Registered User
Nov 7, 2004
Hi Scatterbrain

Nice to have a discussion about these issues. Yes, I do think it is right to discuss it in a section for “support for people with dementia and their carers” because the cost of this illness to the Cared for, Carer and Society causes many of us frequent sleepless nights and frustrated days.


I do agree that it is fiendishly complicated to be fair. When I was Caring for mum I was driving 120 miles a day. Every day I was charged about £10 by the Government in fuel tax for the privilege of using my car to travel to Care for mum. It was a very big disincentive, and I frequently wondered whether I should have just given up.


Savings are no different to property. The ill person who previously had prudently spent a small sum on a small house and invested the rest of his wages to produce an income (or pension) for his old age should not be treated any different to a person who spent all his money buying a large house and therefore had no money left to save to produce an income (or pension). This is all relative and does not depend on how much a person took home in wages.


I agree completely that it could soon become impossible to support an elderly population from taxation and that the figures do not add up.

However one way that is sure to make the situation worse is to have a system that penalises anyone who has not spent all his wages (ie has savings) and reward those who spent every penny with free Care. This just encourages people to spend every penny, use equity release, or use fancy trusts and life insurance policies.

Presumable the answer is to make everyone pay into an insurance fund that will pay out if Care is needed in old age. When I was young we thought we were paying into such a fund… it was called National Insurance, and we thought the NHS would look after us from Cradle to Grave.

Feel better for that.



Registered User
Jan 10, 2008
we thought we were paying into such a fund… it was called National Insurance, and we thought the NHS would look after us from Cradle to Grave.

Hi Clive,
you've put your finger right on it!

Being practical, I think that all we can do is make the best of what we have, in the system prevailing now, and maybe work to improve it for those coming after us. And don't worry: I'm not going to start on politics!!!

What I meant about savings being different was that the house might be someone else's home too, whereas the savings might not be shared in the same way. On reflection however I think you may be right.

Thanks for the discussion - it makes it easier to keep a positive attitude if you don't give in mentally but keep on thinking about stuff and asking the hard questions.

Keep on thinking!