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Is it illegal?

(38 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Feb-19 17:04:58

Grampy and I were having a discussion about social care today and we got to wondering about the following scenario.

You have a partner or relative who has Dementia, possibly also other serious health issues. They are in hospital and due to be discharged. BUT they cannot live alone or with you.

Can you be forced to take them home either with you or into another care situation or could you just walk away and wash your hands of the situation?

I know this is a moral and legal issue but we were just talking about legal implications not moral. ( This is just a hypothetical situation and I am not planning on dumping Grampy anywhere in case anyone is concerned for his welfare :-) )

Does anyone know what the legal standing is?

annsixty Thu 07-Feb-19 17:19:48

When this happened to one of my friend's whose partner was diagnosed with a brain tumour she was rung almost daily to ask if she had made arrangements for him.
She could not have him at home, the house was not suitable and she was told if she did not find a home for him ,the authorities would choose one for him.
She did find him a home where he died 5 weeks later. I assume his fees would have been sorted out by SS, she paid full fees but after his death did get some back as he was entitled to nursing care.
She had a battle to get it but she did.
Legally if the patient has funds available you cannot wash your hands but somehow it would be obtained by SS or the home.

NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Feb-19 17:24:53

Not that I'm advocating abandonment in any way Ann but what a position to be in. We were just playing devils advocate and wondering if you just left someone there, liquidated your assets and moved would they hunt you down or what law would you be breaking?

Its a minefield isn't it?

MrsJamJam Thu 07-Feb-19 17:28:29

You have to be tough in standing your ground in insisting that your home is not suitable as the hospital will put a lot of pressure on to free up the bed. It is SS responsibility to find suitable placement but you can do that if you are willing. If nursing care is needed the NHS funds it but if social care it is LA funding. Hence why they are both trying to pass the buck, preferably to you if they can make you feel guilty.

ninathenana Thu 07-Feb-19 17:31:09

I know if you say you cannot cope they cannot make you.
DD has worked for adult social care on the financial side. I will be asking her about this when she arrives here

NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Feb-19 17:41:56

Thanks Ninathenana , I'm just curious and googling didn't really give a definitive answer. I also wonder if being married changes the answer, if its just someone you have lived with ,with no legal commitment?

Florence64 Thu 07-Feb-19 17:48:43

I would imagine if (say) you had a house that you jointly owned you might be forced to sell it to use half to pay for your partner's care, or if it were a parent then their home would be sold. If you (say) sold your home and pocketed the money and went off round the world and your other half owned half the house then they would probably come after you, but if you were just living with a partner in a rented house and had no capital I can't see how they can make you do anything.

Nonnie Thu 07-Feb-19 17:56:25

I don't think they can make you pay even if you are very rich, it would have to come out of the assets of the person going into a home. I seem to remember hearing that if someone else lives in the home the money doesn't have to be found in their lifetime but I'm sure someone will know the facts.

EllaKeat Thu 07-Feb-19 18:01:39

The problem is, if you say you cannot accommodate them, and will not source care for them, they could be housed in the most horrible care homes, the ones where there are loads of vacancies...... This almost happened to my mum. She had advanced breast cancer and severe dementia(she did not know who we were).
She had been in hospital with a uti and they wanted to discharge her. I live 90 kles away from her, my brother over 200. My step dad desperately wanted her home, to care for her. Problem was, he did not encourage her to eat - if she said she was not hunhry, he did not feed her. She had not been bathed for several weeks, jer nails were filty, her hair was matted, but they still wanted to send her home to him.
We pushed and pushed for continuing care, but in the meantime, I found a local, lovely home for her to move into. Brother and I agreed to cover the costs if needed (we knew that she was dying).
She lived their, happily, as far as that is possible, for 9 weeks before she died. We ended up just paying for 3 days care (?)

Had it been left to social services, she would have been homed in the most desperate, horrible care home. We could never have seen her in there.

I guess the moral is: what would YOU want if it was you? Go for it, and sod the expense!

EllaKeat Thu 07-Feb-19 18:03:07

Oh Lord, so sorry for the typos and their?their? THERE!

megan123 Thu 07-Feb-19 18:12:30

My OH was a CN in a hospital with such patients and he said over his time there, there were instances where the partner/relative could not cope and they refused to take them home. Visits were made to the relative's home by Social Workers to discuss this and alternative arrangements were made for the patient.

MacCavity2 Thu 07-Feb-19 18:13:10

Very interesting question and a bit of a nightmare for our generation. Such a thin line between social care and nursing care. I shall be interested in all the information that will be discussed on this post.

muffinthemoo Thu 07-Feb-19 18:17:20

It's not illegal and you can't be forced to care for any other adult.

Yes, you will be put under heavy pressure but no one can force you to do so.

NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Feb-19 20:48:39

It’s not something my mothers generation seemed to have to deal with , and I wonder what my grandchildren’s generation will have to deal with .

annsixty Thu 07-Feb-19 21:00:25

My H has been in care now for 8 weeks .
His dementia, stroke and poor mobility meant that sfter a year, many with demantia, at my age, 81 , I could no longer care for him.
I chose his care home, a very nice but no frills place, and yesterday I received the SS assessment of my contribution to the fees.
On top of those, which are not inconsidersble, I have been asked for £100 per week for top up fees.
This will leave me considerably tight for money.
I have contested this and wait for a judgement.
Anyone who feels like doing a runner has my sympathy, they wont get away with it but full marks for trying to evade a very unfair system.

M0nica Thu 07-Feb-19 21:12:43

Providing you are not married to them, you can just walk away and leave them to the tender mercies of SS. And that happens rather more often than we would want to believe.

If you are married to the person concerned, then SS can come after you for half the marital assets.

annsixty Thu 07-Feb-19 21:21:59

Of course you will all realise my post above was very tongue in cheek,
I could no more leave my H to the mercies of the system than any of you would.
I want the best for him regardless of the cost.
It just seems unfair that dementia is treated differently to other illness.
My H now has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, when his condition deteriorates I may get nursing costs paid as he is considered too frail to operate on.

NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Feb-19 21:30:15

We all know how much you struggled to care for your DH Ann , no one could have done more . It’s heart breaking that with everything else you have to deal with now having financial challenges is adding insult to injury.

It’s such a flawed system, it’s why we were discussing it because it’s so hard to get your head round.

Charleygirl5 Thu 07-Feb-19 21:43:08

A friend of mine, much older, is in hospital at present following a fall at home. She has dementia and it is another friend who is her next of kin and has POA for money but not for health. The friend lives 30 miles away and does not want to care for the hospitalised friend. We were discussing this evening if she would have the responsibility of looking for a care home for the other or whether SS would take over. We have all been friends, mainly from work for 40 + years but I have known the non hospitalised friend since we were 11 years of age.

agnurse Fri 08-Feb-19 00:35:51

I don't know how it is in the UK, but here what would typically happen is that the patient would be assessed for what we call Alternate Level of Care, or ALC. They would stay in the hospital for the moment but would be charged the regular monthly rate for long-term care (this is set by the government and is the same rate they would pay to live in a nursing home). They would have vital signs taken once a week and an assessment once a month. This is rather common especially on geriatric units.

westerlywind Fri 08-Feb-19 01:53:22

I was carer to a family member. My occupation was nothing to do with caring for people. I had no nursing skills or any other skills like physiotherapy or occupational therapy. The person I cared for was twice my size. I am small and was skinny.
I dont know the amount of times I was forced in to caring as best I could. There were many failed discharges. Months were spent in hospital. This was clearly one very ill person who needed better care than a non nurse could provide.
There was a discharge where I tried to demand a stair lift to be installed at home. The discharge was forced through without a stair lift. I spent 6 months manhandling a 15 stone person up and down stairs.
Death came after more failed discharges and horrible experiences with bullying NHS and SS staff.
I was then diagnosed with multiple illnesses and conditions. I really do wonder if I had not been bullied would I have been ill now. Or maybe if I had more help would my health have survived. I dont know but it is questionable.

RosieLeah Fri 08-Feb-19 06:51:24

muffinmoo...thanks for saying that. This is something I have wondered about myself.

M0nica Fri 08-Feb-19 08:52:43

What you can be sure of is that if SS or the hospital know there is someone, especially a relative, who cares about the elderly person and who can be bullied or emotionally blackmailed into taking that person off their hands, my goodness they will do it.

At various times I have been the person responsible for the welfare of 5 different relatives and in three cases in all I was subject to everything either the hospital or SS could think of, nothing was too low or too threatening that they did not use, it to try to make me agree to hospital discharges where no satisfactory further care plans were in place

PECS Fri 08-Feb-19 09:09:23

There are big sustainability issues with improved health and medical care. Expectations are higher. We live longer, survive illnesses we would not have previously lived through, resulting in more more, older people needing supported living. Many, many good things as a result of improved medicine but the negative is how & where are older but incapacitated people to live?
I think that maybe those that do have assets should pay towards care costs..but we need clearer guidelines on care vs medical & on when payment is made & how to protect other members of the family from financial & emotional distress.

NanaandGrampy Fri 08-Feb-19 09:31:23

I agree PECS , it seems that the system hits you hardest when you are at your lowest and that surely isn't right?