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Where to start with Sheltered/Assisted living. (warning Long)

(15 Posts)
tanith Mon 09-May-16 18:57:35

Sorry I need to give some of the back story.

I don't know if anyone will remember but I have a 90yr old friend (I was her DIL for 22yrs but divorced her alcoholic son 20+ years ago) we managed to stay in touch despite everything and since her husband died 12yrs ago I've been visiting and shopping for her every month. So, she had a son and a daughter and 6 grandchildren , her son my ex died from Liver disease 3yrs ago and she had a falling out with her daughter and 3 of her granddaughters 10yrs ago with NO contact between them since. {sad}
So apart from my visits and occasional phone calls from my daughters she is alone and very lonely, but she is a difficult woman and has never had good relationships with her children or grandchildren. I just have a conscience that she is alone in the world so keep up my visits, my husband comes with me and help with odd jobs and shopping as we are able.
She lives in her own house about an hour away from us and is very independent, manages to feed and keep house for herself very well but of course at her age is getting a little forgetful and frail nowadays she has resisted all suggestions for help and hates the thought of having people in her house she doesn't know.

Well done if you are still with me grin at last today she admitted she probably will have to 'go into a home' that's how she put it or at least sheltered housing.
So as I am the only one in contact with her its going to fall to me to take this forward and I just spent a couple of hours researching elderly care/homes.

My questions are what kind of home/care should I be looking for?

Should she buy or rent?

Do I persuade her to look at places nearer us?

Am I looking at council/private/ housing association sheltered housing?

Would I be able to help her sell her house and would that have to be done before sorting out a new home ?

She will have money from the sale of her house of at least 300K but I am at a bit of a loss as to where to start and she has no clue about such things or even if she wants to buy a home or pay rent . She is quite well at present but at 90 who knows how long she will be able to care for herself.

Sorry again for the long post but I thought the explanations were needed , I'm sure I'll have more questions as I start this process and I will need to have that 'conversation' with her so want to have at least a little knowledge before then.

Indinana Mon 09-May-16 21:11:23

Oh tanith what a good-hearted person you are. I'm afraid I can't be of any help at all, because the only experience I have is when my MiL needed to go into a care home when my FiL died 15 years ago. She was 89 and there was no question of her being able to live on her own, even in sheltered accommodation, as she had mental health issues. As my DH is an only child, it was relatively easy for us to arrange the sale of her house and make some investments from which her monthly care home bills were paid until her death 4 years ago. (We had an enduring PoA drawn up to allow us to take charge of her affairs).
I do hope others will see your post and give you some practical advice.
Good luck flowers

Pennie1 Mon 09-May-16 21:20:43

This AgeUK factsheet should answer many of your questions:

tanith Mon 09-May-16 21:30:56

Than you both its very difficult as I am not related to her anymore I did wonder about an enduring POA it might be possible for my daughters , her granddaughters to do that for her whether they would be willing I have yet to discover or even if she would agree to that..
I will read the age uk document tomorrow I have a bit of a headache tonight..

trisher Mon 09-May-16 21:56:26

tanith you are so thoughtful and kind to do this. There is a lot of info about things that can help someone stay in there own home here
When I was looking for somewhere for my mum (15 years ago) I looked up sheltered housing in the phone book (remember those!!!) found some local ones and went to see them. Organisations like Anchor housing, Mcarthy and Stone are useful, they both rent and sell. Hope you are able to find something suitable.

janeainsworth Mon 09-May-16 22:04:23

No helpful suggestions Tanith but I just want to say you're a saint flowers

Anniebach Mon 09-May-16 23:05:52

Where I live, those who decide to move to sheltered housing or a care home are allowed to move in for a little while before making decision ,only exception is a firm who sells their little apartments

Synonymous Mon 09-May-16 23:33:50

Tanith just another thought to add to your research list.
Our friends have just moved into a McCarthy & Stone assisted living apartment. The company bought their house from them, price for apartment included all legal work and moving and the place they are in has a restaurant on site and all kinds of other help is available because it is 'assisted living'. The apartment has fitted kitchen, living room, bedroom and large bathroom all well appointed, flooring etc. There is a communal lounge if they want to use it, gardens, activities and clubs and a visitors apartment they can book for their visitors if required.
They are so pleased they have done it as it has taken all the pressure off and made life so much easier. I would take this route if left on my own.

glammanana Tue 10-May-16 08:16:30

Tanith All the information Synonymous has posted is so correct as I worked for McCarthy & Stone at a couple of their developments in Chester prior to retirement,they certainly have the best of reputations,also if your friend does not want to buy outright she can rent from a company called "Girlings" which rents McCarthy properties to clients who maybe want to try the scheme for a few months to see if it is suitable for them they can then revert to long term rental or purchase of their flat.
If your friend does not want to be in an assisted development local Housing Associations do a scheme called Supported Housing where your friend will have the use of emergency call system and a visit from a support worker as many times a week as necessary to see if she is managing herself,this gives her complete independence but the back up if she ever needs it,she would have to apply via the local housing department and register on the list.Hope this helps you x

M0nica Tue 10-May-16 08:19:40

Tanith You are entitled to an assessment of her needs by Social Services. This is regardless of whether she will need any financial input by the state or not. They should then be able to advise you on the type of care she will need. You may need to kick them to make them do it but it is an entitlement.

I also strongly advise you to visit your local Age UK. Their Fact Sheets are very good but the local office can tell you exactly who to speak to locally and can also give informal advice on the best local care homes/ sheltered housing available. When I did advice work for Age UK we knew quite a lot about local care homes, which were the best and which to avoid like the plague.

grannyactivist Tue 10-May-16 09:24:26

Hi Tanith - what a lovely friend you are to this lady. I have very little to add to the previous suggestions except to say that you do not have to be a relative in order to have Power of Attorney. Also, as this lady still seems to manage then I would steer her towards supported housing rather than a care home; at about £800 a week they can eat up the price of a house terribly quickly.

tanith Tue 10-May-16 12:45:25

How lovely you all are I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it yesterday as I really didn't know where to start.
She does have a monthly visit from an Age UK lady who did manage to persuade her to claim a benefit , as she had resisted all my attempts to persuade her but she refuses to involve Social Services in any shape or form I'm afraid because she had an awful experience of a local council sheltered housing place last year when recuperating from a fall. She won't tolerate them or involve them in any way.
I think that stems from fear they will find her incapable of managing her own affairs and may try to involve her daughter which she won't hear of.

You have given me some very useful links and ideas so thankyou for taking the time to help me. I will take my time to investigate them further... the assisted living sounds like it would suit her very well... I will be back to this thread I'm sure.

janeainsworth Tue 10-May-16 17:55:14

tanith It's all very well her saying she doesn't want anything to do with social services - just as long as she doesn't expect you to provide the assistance that they would.
Take care of yourself and your DH first and don't feel guilty if you say no to her sometimes.

Charleygirl Tue 10-May-16 18:51:54

tanith I would think that enduring POA is fairly high up the list, especially if she is becoming forgetful. It is something I am in the process of sorting out for myself. I would think that a solicitor in her area would be cheaper than one where you live.

I wonder if it would be possible to rent a flat in supported housing for a couple of weeks to give her a "feel" of it. Also would all food be provided or would she have to buy eg food for breakfast. Very difficult when she is frail as well as slightly forgetful. Again these places would be marginally cheaper out of London but not so far away that it was difficult for yourself and DH to visit. Good luck.

Anya Wed 11-May-16 08:09:54

Enduring POA was phased out several years ago.

I seriously suggest that you ask her to give you Lasting Power of Attorney, as these replaced the former. There are two types, one for financial affairs and one for health and welfare. They do not kick in until you friend becomes unable to do things for herself but can only be drawn up while she still has her mental capacity intack.

This will ensure that no one else can come in at the last moment and takeover this lady's care without consulting with you. I personally know of a case where an elderly husband, who was coping well with his wife's dementia and caring for her admirably at home, was overruled by a niece in partnership with a social worker and she was taken into a care home. She died within a month having deteriorated terribly in a short time, due to malnutrition and dehydration. He had no POA.

Plenty of good ideas above, but do see if this woman will grant you LPAs in BOTH areas so you can have a measure of influence in her affairs.