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Care Home Top Up Fees

(15 Posts)
Unasmum Wed 15-Feb-17 08:04:08

My 96 year old aunt is resident in the dementia unit of a local care home; she has been assessed as having nursing needs, although these are not considered serious enough to gain full NHS funding. My aunt is completely unable to do anything for herself and is effectively 'bed bound'. Currently she is self funding but getting close to the limit at which she will qualify for Social Services support. However the funds she will be entitled to will not cover the costs of her current care home, or in fact any home in the area. Social Services have confirmed the shortfall and I have asked if they can find her a home that doesn't require a 'top up' for the funding shortfall and they can't find one that provides the dementia and nursing care she needs. They have told me that 'family' will have to provide the 'top up'. My aunt never married, so my sister and I are her nearest relatives and we cannot afford the £500 per month that would be needed. She has no property, so I proposed using her remaining savings to fill the gap, but was told that this was not possible 'top up' must come from a third party. My sister and I are at our wits end, but are we worrying about nothing? Has anyone been in a similar position and can advise me please. Thank you for reading this ramble.

ninathenana Wed 15-Feb-17 08:12:24

Rest assured you cannot be made to pay 'top ups' for a persons care, though they will ask.
If her savings fall below £23,000 ( may have changed) then she is entitled to have her care covered by SS

Unasmum Wed 15-Feb-17 08:28:06

Thank you for your reassurance, the limit is still £23,250 but Social Services have told me that there is a maximum amount they will pay each week and this maximum will not cover her fees. Perhaps they are being cagey and won't commit themselves, but when the time comes they will pay or let me use her savings. Fingers crossed.

kittylester Wed 15-Feb-17 08:41:32

If there is LA funding involved, the fees charged by the homes are often lower than when paying privately - sort of bulk buying.

My mum's fees are lower than when we were paying privately. LA funding started to kick in at around £23000 but to get full support the capital has to be below £14000. (I suspect my figures are not right but ball park!!)
Mum's contribution is more or less equal to her pensions income.

My brother pays a 'top up' which was £35 last time I heard.

Your aunt is probably not entitled to full nursing care as she stays in bed all the time - or so I was told when I queried the amount of LA contribution. But, you've made me think about re applying as mum isn't in bed all the time any more.

Nana3 Wed 15-Feb-17 09:58:22

Kitty and others have covered most points. I struggled to sort everything out for my mum unasmum. Maybe Age Concern are worth contacting for help if you haven't already. That sounds right about there being a maximum amount the local authority will pay. I would say don't rush into anything, take care of yourself, the whole situation is stressful for the carer especially when you feel under pressure and responsible for everything. Guess I'm talking about myself a bit here too, sorry.
Others who help are Altzeimers Society, if this applies, and Admiral Nurses if either of your parents were in the services.

I pay the top up fee of £90 pw.
Lancashire County Council did a financial assessment of mum, they came to my home, have you had this?

My best wishes to you.

Welshwife Wed 15-Feb-17 10:04:47

Does anyone know what happens if there is just not enough to pay the bill when all the bits and pieces have been added up? I have a friend who is likely to find herself in this position as both parents have recently needed to go into a home - house sold and proceeds will pay for a bit but not that long for two lots of fees.

Jayanna9040 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:13:36

Google the Care to be Different website. Relatives cannot be made to pay top up fees. Local authorities are responsible for the total but can chose which home the person lives in. So you can't chose a expensive one and expect the authority to pay. The website exp,ain't the findings of the Care Commission. Don't be bullied/misled.

Jayanna9040 Wed 15-Feb-17 10:14:30

Explains not exp ain't. Honestly what does it think it's doing!

kittylester Wed 15-Feb-17 10:16:47

I would just say that Mum's home is one of the most expensive round here (she's not called the Duchess for nothing!!) and we chose to pay the top up so that we could chose the home.

Lillie Wed 15-Feb-17 10:18:51

We were asked to top up a similar amount. Beware, there was a direct debit form to sign and if the fees go up, (which they do yearly), then the contribution does too.
We declined and the LA made alternative arrangements.
£500 or £600 a month is a lot of extra money to find.

Luckygirl Wed 15-Feb-17 10:46:13

Just say no - they cannot make you contribute. It is their job to sot it out.

Follow this link:

On another tack:
If she is in bed all the time and has dementia, then it is likely that she should qualify for NHS continuing funding. I would ask for this to be reviewed and this time use the info on the website link above - the main aim of the website is to help people obtain this funding. I got this for my Dad but had to be very specific about his needs - indeed I completed the assessment form that the health care professionals fill in and waved it under their nose, having full and clear justification worked out for each section.

Luckygirl Wed 15-Feb-17 10:46:55


Welshwife Wed 15-Feb-17 11:08:55

Thank you ladies for your input - will pass on the details.

kittylester Wed 15-Feb-17 14:48:25

Lucky, it seems logical to me that Mum should get full funding as she is in bed but their argument is that she isn't have nursing care. Just care! confused I did ask for her to be reassessed and they reached the same conclusion. We also talked it through with the Manager and he said that it was illogical but it had happened with a lot of the residents. I'm baffled but 'hey ho'!!

mansfield382 Thu 02-Mar-17 12:47:35

It's 'continuing care' you are looking for - and keep appealing!

The NHS is notoriously bad at agreeing to pay fees for people who are in a home for health reasons rather than social care.
For anyone else looking for care for their relatives, it might be worth having a look at
They are trying to use purchasing power, like local authorities, to get discounts for people who are assessed as self funding.