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Looking after Mum

Hi everyone. I’m in need of advice and guidance regarding care options and financial support for my 78 year old Mum. She has had an MS diagnosis since 1995, and despite her commitment to remain home based she is now in respite care following a relapse at Easter.

She has recently made the decision that its time for her to move into a care home, a decision that after 30 years of widowed independence has not been made lightly. She currently receives a widows state pension and the lower tier of mobility allowance. Although I feel she should really be qualifying for the higher tier as she cannot walk for more than a few steps using a rolator and only then if a nurse is behind her with a wheel chair.

The cost of care homes in the Nottingham area is just over £1,000 per week. Which means her house and limited savings will only last a few years as the local CHC assessment/application was unsuccessful. I therefore need to know what state entitlements she should be able to claim whilst I look to rent her home in the short term to try and provide a longer financial plan for her needs. The social services and local benefits team have been next to useless and as her only child, living a long way from her, this is proving a real challenge.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Kindest regards,

Hello

To start with, it seems that the only help with a care home will have to come from Social Services. The rules around qualification for social service support in care are complex, so I think you’ll need to keep pushing at them to help your mother.

In terms of her house, I believe that to get social services help with care home fees, her house would need to be on the market / sold. Ultimately her total wealth needs to be under £23,500 (I think) before social services start to chip in. If she kept her house and rented it out, she’d be responsible for all of her care home fees because her net capital would be over their threshold.

With regard to her DLA, to begin with, if she’s been in NHS respite care (ie not self funded respite), her DLA should have stopped after 28 days away from home. If she’s been self funding her care, her entitlement continues. She could ask to have her claim for DLA looked at again if her walking ability has worsened.

You could ask for help with her DLA claim from The Pension Service. But as far as her payment for a care home goes, I think you’ll need to speak to the council for advice.

Sorry I’m not able to help any more. The rules about paying for care are quite complex (as you are probably finding out yourself!).

Best of luck.

Sue

i think your best option is to ring the adult social services care team, they should assist you in this.

My friends mum has just gone into long term care and she has her own home. She will have to sell her house, but until then they are paying for it, and when her estate is all sorted out then they will recoup. If she has over 23,500 she will be responsible for all her care needs.

you should also get advice on options re her DLA. she is 75 would she not be better off now on attendance allowance. my mother in law was put on that. Lucky for us she was renting her long term home so we didnt have this issue.

but i would ring adult social care services. I would not rent the house to be honest. Put in on the market perhaps inflate the price a bit which will give you a bit of a breather. If you rent it, you will have all kinds of things you have to deal with like fire safety, gas checks the lot its not worth the hassle in my opinion. As long as its on the market. the market is quiet at the moment.

good luck i have been through this twice now. Its frustrating and also annoying. Oh yes ring aged UK too they can advise you too. x

p.s. sue is quite right about respite and dla payments.

The reason someone still on DLA over the age of 65 should stay on it is that there is a mobility component to DLA and there isn’t for Attendance Allowance. Once on DLA a person can stay on it even if there is a change in circumstances (so a worsening of health can cause the claim to be reassessed and theoretically increased). So long as there is no more than a years gap between entitlement to DLA ending and restarting, she can stay on it for good. And the rates for DLA and AA for care are the same (apart from the lowest rate for DLA which doesn’t exist for AA).

Otherwise I completely agree with CC. Keeping the house and renting it out isn’t a good option, it could cause way more headaches than it’s worth. Maybe try talking to the CAB or AgeUK about options?

Sue