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Care & carers

Care Home Costs - Can we get any financial help

(25 Posts)
Betty65 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:13:37

It looks like we are going to consider a care home for my mum after this Corona virus has subsided. Not a decision taken lightly I can assure you.
My mum owns her own home and has savings- not a huge amount but slightly over the limit
Does anyone know if we can claim any financial help with care home costs in any way?

dragonfly46 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:16:03

You can apply for an attendance allowance if she hasn't already but apart from that if she has savings and owns her home the answer is no. You have to get down to below £23000 I think it is, before you can get help and even then you may be asked for a top up depending on the council and the home.

rosenoir Sun 19-Apr-20 12:18:00

When my mother in Law went into care, owning her own home and a little savings she was not entitled to any financial help.

The home let us put off paying the bill until the house was sold.

Would it be possible to have live in carers?.

EllanVannin Sun 19-Apr-20 12:19:03

I doubt it if she owns her home as well as having savings too as both will be taken into consideration.

EllanVannin Sun 19-Apr-20 12:20:29

I would opt for live-in carers too.

EllanVannin Sun 19-Apr-20 12:22:10

Or, carers who are willing to be there in the daytime then perhaps one doing nights rather than them live there.

humptydumpty Sun 19-Apr-20 12:28:17

We faced this issue with my mother. TBH, live-in carers are not a cheaper option - you need to have 2 (or 1 relief carer) as a carer is not going to be on call 24 hours a day!

Witzend Sun 19-Apr-20 12:31:47

We looked at live-in care for an aunt of dh, who would have needed night time assistance to go to the loo, etc., as well as someone there most of the day.
TBH it was going to work out rather more expensive than a reasonable care home - bearing in mind that carers need breaks and time off, not to mention mostly undisturbed sleep. And of course you have all the expenses of running a house, food etc. on top.

OP, if you haven’t yet applied for Attendance Allowance, I gather that Age U.K. are very good at helping you fill in the forms. You need to state how things are on the worst day, not the average, and obviously not gloss over anything.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 12:34:00

I would definitely opt for care in your mums home.

I wouldn’t even give a care home a second thought after the last few months.

midgey Sun 19-Apr-20 12:57:25

Carers are very scarce, we have been looking for three years!

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 13:13:58

We had no problem at all with carers for mum. She died in January and we set up care about 9 months- 1 year before that.

kittylester Sun 19-Apr-20 13:31:30

Talk to AgeUk. You might get some help if she has any medical needs.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:12:58

I contacted the County Council Social Services.

Arranged for a visit to Mums flat. Mum was asked lots of appropriate questions.

Her finances were looked into, and arranged thereafter. Care was arranged immediately.

We/mum could have chosen who she liked, but initially
we were happy to go with the SS expertise. In fact mum stayed with their choice. There were a couple of carers she didn’t like and they were changed to everyone’s satisfaction.

We kept a very close eye on everything, which helped as we could see any weaknesses in the care or where we needed to step in and help.

As mum deteriorated, we worked with the carers who suggested all sorts of stuff necessary for mums comfort.

She had a hospital bed to assist with her bed sores, special sheets that helped in moving mum. They advised on the best adult nappies, best cream. Loads of things.

At the end of her life we knew what to expect and when she only had a very short time left. So we then arranged for us to be constantly at her bedside.

Her last day - the end of life nurse said when to call her and left a load of drugs etc.
In fact neither was needed. Mum was washed changed and made comfortable in the morning, and spent the afternoon asleep but dreaming of my father and talking to him all afternoon.
She woke for about half an hour at about 5pm then dozed until the final perhaps half an hour or more when she went through what has been described as death agony. Not pleasant for the family, but she gradually calmed down and slipped away.

We were all there with our cups of tea and chat and love.

MawB Sun 19-Apr-20 14:25:35

That’s very moving Whitewave I can see how you and your family provided the loving care you could and were with her to the end.
Still sad, but with that dedication you need have no regrets as you could have done no more flowers

Missfoodlove Sun 19-Apr-20 14:28:37

Betty65, If you haven’t already make sure someone has LPA before you make any decisions.
This can be done simply online on the government website.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 14:45:05

maw that is kind thank you

Betty65 Sun 19-Apr-20 18:14:50

Thanks everyone. We have POA for health and finances. She also has carers 3 times a day and I am going at least once a day which I can honestly say is really getting to me, but it’s coming to that time when even that is not enough. Shes not drinking, even though she has 2 jugs of water by the side of her chair. I have put a sign on the wall in front of her saying DRINK, but that doesn’t work. She had a UTI a few weeks ago which made her very confused, however even having finished the anti biotics a couple of weeks ago we can see no improvement in her. I don’t feel she is safe at home. We got her a personal alarm and she just takes it off and leaves it on the table. I am at my wits end.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 18:27:40

betty sounds par for the course.

Is your mum eating?

Mum was confused as a result of not drinking. And like your mum had antibiotics. Mum didn’t eat either. We were often frantic. But having spoken to the doctor who assured us that it was simply a sign in mums case that her body was gradually shutting down. Mind you that was in November and she lasted until January.

It is hard and quite honestly there are times when you can’t see light at the end if the tunnel.

What I would say though is that assuming that you went through the social services as we did they also have a duty of care to the carers and if I were you in would certainly ring and explain how you are feeling. You need some days respite. Perhaps negotiate a break every third day or whatever you feel you need to keep going.

Nothing lasts forever, it just seems like it at the time.

Best of luck and if you want to pm me I’d be very happy to chat.

Scentia Sun 19-Apr-20 18:36:37

It sounds like a home is what is required here. My FiL was neglecting himself terribly even with carers and me going in, so after a visit to hospital with pneumonia I looked around for a care home. We had to sell his house and use all his savings. Once it gets to about 23,500 I will apply for financial help but it is not a given that he will get it and if he doesn’t he will be homeless unless we pay for him. He cannot live alone but absolutely thrives in a home and it appears he doesn’t really need to be in one but if he lives alone he will starve and die. He has gained 2 stone since he has been in the home and he is almost a healthy weight now. He has about 4 years of money left until he needs to look at funding. I would say that you will be in a similar position but your mum sounds like she needs to be in there at the moment, but you may find she improves once she is settled and that is difficult to deal with as you may feel you have done the wrong this but you haven’t. I hope you find somewhere you both like.

Whitewavemark2 Sun 19-Apr-20 19:11:55

The point with my mum was that she did not want to go into a care home. There was never anything wrong with her brain, and the clinicians and social services respected that.

If an elderly person stops drinking and eating it isn’t because they are neglecting themselves, they are doing exactly what their body and brain is telling them to do. It is normal and the beginning stages of dying, which I have learned may take months. But gentle understanding I have learned through experience is what they need.
The day she died we had the doctor come early in the morning, and she thought that mum would be better off in hospital. Mums initial reaction was no, then saw our worried faces and said perhaps it would be for the best, but I felt uncomfortable about it. The doctor dialled for an ambulance and when they turned up they asked her what she wanted, it was clear that she wanted to stay in her own home and they felt that they must respect her wishes and that she would likely die on the way anyway.

I was relieved but at the same time fearful as to how we would manage, but honestly I am so very thankful we did.

Witzend Sun 19-Apr-20 19:18:07

Re the drinking, would she prefer something else to plain water? At my mother’s care home quite a lot of them simply wouldn’t drink plain water, so they gave them small glasses of weak orange or blackcurrant squash several times a day.

M0nica Sun 19-Apr-20 20:10:41

Age UK have a Fact sheet that may help you.]]f

They have other fact sheets on choosing care homes and other aspects of going into care, so check out their site.

Lexin Mon 04-May-20 23:46:05

Betty - there may be some help available from the NHS depending on the prognosis for your mum.
We looked for carers also from the social services first And were waiting for the application to go through. However, it was the district nurse visit that actually deemed my mum needed crisis care and subsequently continuous care which is paid by the NHS. My mum was end of life (6 months or less) so you need to be assess by the DNs and they would initiate this. For us, this worked out the best as we had continuous care in place within a few days.

welbeck Tue 05-May-20 01:58:21

re older people not drinking enough, there are some special jelly-like sweets which contain water, in bright colours, which are designed to appeal and help intake of fluid.

rachaelc Thu 14-May-20 18:07:18

@Betty65 Sounds like a really tough decision. Live in care can be an option that still gives round the clock support. It depends on how well your mum is sleeping? If she is sleeping ok then the Carer could sleep at night so you'd only need one Carer and it would likely be quite a bit cheaper than a care home. If she does require 24/7 support though then you would need two people which would make it pricey. One Carer is about £1100 a week usually. Hope this helps. I run a home care company called Lifted and we offer live in care so happy to help about this and recommend someone in your area.

Just wanted to say that funding support wise there is equity release where you release some of the value in your property for a cash payment. It might not be right for you but if it is helpful it might be something to consider.