I really need some help and input from other members about whether or not I should challenge the local authority which has now decided to charge my mother (via me as I have an EPA) for the full cost of her care package. This is likely to be a long explanatory post, and you know most of it already, but please bear with it...... My mother is 85, lives alone and was formally diagnosed with mixed, AD and vascular, dementia in 2003. We've noticed her increasing confusion for the last 10 years, she had reported memory problems to her GP from 2000 but didn't keep any of the follow-up appointments to the memory clinic. In 2002 I called in Social Services to support her as she seemed very confused, yet was determined to have her 90-year-old boyfriend, who was being discharged from hospital, to live with her. Social Services put in a care package but were unable to do a financial assessment as she couldn't provide them with any details of her income. She didn't know. All her finances were managed by her boyfriend. He died a year ago. Following this, she 'adopted' her gardener, and over the course of the next 5 months 'gave' him £17k, in cheques and cash. On discovering the financial abuse, I moved from my home in the Midlands to be close to her and sort out the court case and the chaos. She hates me, and always has done. I've finally discovered her income and investments, begun to manage her money, and have liaised with Social Services, the GP, the clinic and others to arrange a package of care which will mean that for the moment, at least, she can remain in her own home. She's extremely difficult, has no short-term memory, has few skills remaining, is abusive, and isn't really safe to live alone, but refuses to go into residential care. I have applied for, and got, AA, at the higher level. Social Services have now done a financial assessment on her, or rather I filled in the forms for them using the information I'd painstakingly garnered, and they've decided she should pay the full cost of her care package based on her pensions income. This is at a 'capped' rate of £5.67 per hour, although SS have employed an agency to provide her care, at a cost to them of £9.95 per hour. She has 21 hours of care per week. Direct Payments tell me that if I go with them, they will give me £8 per hour if I manage her care package totally, including timesheets for the staff etc. They point out that this way I'll get more care for the money - but actually they'll be better off if I go on Direct Payments, won't they? And I'll be tying myself into more administrative duties and more hassle for as long as it takes. I wonder if I should challenge the Local Authority, and write a formal letter asking why they're charging her anything at all? I don't believe this is legal. She has a recognised illness, and a lifetime history of untreated mental disorder. She has been financially abused while in their 'care', even though I drew their attention to the inappropriateness of her relationship with the man to whom she gifted money. Finally, the care provided has been so inadequate that I've had to give up my home, career and income to sort all this out. I believe, very strongly, that the NHS should bear the cost of her care, and am willing to fight on this issue. What are your views?