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Hi there, i'm new to this forum after much research online and finding this Forum. Here is a little about me;

My name is Kirsty and i'm 28 years old living in Newcastle Upon Tyne, I am currently in a Full Time Caring Role in a Private Care Home based in North Shields. I live with my Grandparents and have done ever since I was only weeks old but I class them as my Parents as they have treat me like one of their own and I really appreciate their time and dedication to raising me to be the woman I am today.

As of a few years ago or maybe more my father (grandfather) discovered he had Chronic Kidney Disease which he has to attend a Dialysis unit 3 times a week, firstly being at a Hospital but now closer to home, he has also been suffering from really bad camps in his wounded arm and legs late at night. He is also a diabetic and requires to take loads of tablets for his diabetes, high blood pressure etc.

As of late my mother (grandmother) has recently got arthritis roughly nearly everywhere on her body and also requires my help with every day things like ironing, making the bed, helping her put on her clothes etc. She also has high blood pressure and has to take multiple tablets etc.

Due to working 12 hours, 2 to 3 days a week at my current care home I am not only worrying about my parents but my parents are struggling without my help and I would like to know from anyone who is in the same boat as myself and wanted to know if there was any chance of myself taking up Full Time Care for my parents and getting paid for it? 2 to 3 days a week working Full Time might not seem like a lot of work but taking into consideration my Parents are in the home 7 days a week all day and all night by themselves. My mother can't walk around the supermarket anymore due to her bad knees and joints, neither can my dad and even now walking with a walking stick is becoming a chore, they have to get it all delivered and everything else.

We all live in a Bungalow and currently in the process of putting in a walk in shower due to my parents struggling with getting in and out of the shower as of late.

I hope this was a good enough introduction to me and my parents, I hate seeing my parents struggle and as a Carer my natural reaction is to help them along their journey and make sure they are comfortable as possible.

Kirsty xx
Hi Kirsty ... a holding reply until the calvary arrive.

PURELY on your own income front as a first consideration.

Providing you meet the criteria for caring ( A minimum of 35 hours per week ) , you may qualify for Carers Allowance ( CA ) ... £ 62.50 per week ... as a base income ... in essence , £ 1.79 per hour.

Thereafter , you can continue to work less hours in your present role provided that your earnings do NOT exceed £ 116 per week ... whole sections elsewhere on this site as to options available.

Not many take in the fall in income without several large gulps of air before the disbelief sets in !

Even worse if your caring duties are in the order of 50 / 60 or even more hours per week ... the money ( CA ) stays the same , the rate per hour drops , below £ 1 an hour for many carers !

Smelling salts ... ?

As can be imagined , a bit short on the brandy front around 'ere.

Welcome to ... CarerLand.

If you like , a second NHS ... one anyone on the outside hardly gets to hear about ... staffed by , around , a mere 6 million of us.

If the above helps you decide as to the way forward , on the income front as a first step , let us know and others will guide you as to other considerations ... local SS assessments amongst others.
Hi Kirsty welcome to the forum, I would advise going down Chris's route to start with and keeping the job but dropping the hours. Not only does this keep the family income up but gives you a change of scene, and a bit of social intereaction.

I think you need to review things again when the level of outside help for parents/ grandparents would need all needs paying for and you find yourself working two hours to pay for one hour of a carer at home. It gets to the point where it really isn't worth working if you can do most of the care yourself. Make sure of course that grandparents pay you - if they are self funding this is just by mutual agreement but if funded by SS, then you may need a more formal arrangement and be paid as part of a DP. If you are doing all of the care for parents/ grandparents and they are receiving Attendance Allowance (not sure if they would get one payment each or one between them) perhaps they could give some of this to you unofficially
Kirsty, I think the key question is 'Getting paid for it BY WHOM?' - that's the rub!

Now, if your parents are sufficiently 'wealthy' to be considered above the self-funding threshold for care-workers-coming-into-the-home, which basically means have they got savings above the £23,500 mar (I'm not sure if their pension or other income is taken into account), then, really, they can do what they like with their money, and if they want to hand some over to you 'in exchange' for more care, then they can. The point is they won't be getting any 'paid-for' care-workers coming in anyway, and if you don't look after them then they just have to pay professional care-workers to look after them. Neither the LA nor the SS will provide anything 'free'!

(Unless they POSSIBLY classify under NHS care.....different issue!)(eg, Continuing Health Care CHC - very hard to be elgible for!)

But, if your parents pay you 'officially' - ie, they 'employ' you to be their carer/care-worker, then yes, they can if they want to do so, BUT, you may then well have to tell the taxman, and, even if they don't pay you more than your annual Personal Allowance (around £11k I believe at the moment), you'll probably still have to pay National Insurance (though I believe you have to earn something like £5k a year to be liable for NI).

There may also be all the tedious HSE implications as well, if you are an 'official' care-worker, 'officially' hired by your parents to care for them, etc etc. Not sure on this, but others here are.

This is why in a lot of families that are not eligible for 'free' care anyway, they simply 'give' their relatives money 'in exchange' so to speak (though this, too, can be a minefield - the taxman only lets parents give £3k a year to children, although this is only an issue in real life if parents will be stung for inheritance tax, which for your parents means they have to be worth over £600k in total).

However, if you are hoping that the COUNCIL or SS will pay you to look after your parents, that's a whole lot trickier! Since you already ARE a care-worker, it might be possible, but if the council/SS have arrangements with existing agencies, they may not want/be able to pay an 'independent' so to speak.

As Chris is saying, you can claim Carers; Allowance, but this is only around £62 a week, and limits your outside earnings as he warned. However, there are all sorts of things you can deduct against outside earnings, eg, if you need a car for work, if you pay into a pension, which can all help to bring your earnings down to the threshold that allows you still to claim CA.

Overall, the state does NOT make it easy for family to look after each other without substantial financial penalties. Bascially, they want relatives to look after the infirm elderly 'for free'.

Finally, whatever you read here on the forum, you may well be advised to email the team of experts on Carers UK itself, for an 'authoratative' answer. I'm only repeating (possibly inaccurately!) what I've read on this forum over the years.

Good luck with it all.
Kirsty, sad though it is, you will need, at some point, say next year maybe, ie, not necessarily immediately, to start looking ahead to the time when your parents/grandparents are even more infirm than they are now.

We ALL want our parents to 'pass away peacefully before their quality of life gets too grim'.....but this seldom happens.

The elderly can 'limp on' for years and years and years, getting older and frailier and weaker and more dependent. You really do have to 'think ahead' and ask the really hard question 'Do I want to be my parents full time carers in ten years time, in fifteen years time?'

How old will you be then? What about if you fall in love and want to marry, and have children? What will happen then to your parents?

I know it's hard for 'youngsters' like you to think of becoming even in your thirties, let alone middle aged etc, but the years of youth do pass very quickly. How much social life do you get now? Do you have boyfriends (or girlfirends etc). What about your education, do you want to get more qualifications and build a career (even if it's in care-work, eg, managing a care home or whatever!).

I'm sure you'd love to 'see your parents out' so to speak, but it may well not happen easily, or soon. How much of your life do you want to 'set aside' for them, however loyal and grateful and loving you are?

You don't mention the dreaded D word - dementia - but it can strike 'at any time'. My now 93 y/o MIL was the LAST person I ever thought would get dementia - but at 89 she did......it made 'caring' an order of magnitude more difficult. (She is now in a home, alas).

Even without dementia, care needs of the elderly just go on increasing, and what may be 'doable' now by you, may well become impossible - as a care-worker in a residential home you will, sadly, know just 'how bad' it can get......

Overall, I do urge you to think VERY carefully before 'giving up your life' to dedicate it to your parents. So often it can be an overriding impulse of love, but without the realisation of just what one is letting oneself in for. What we can do for a year or two, a few years, a handful of years, may become intolerable after five, seven, ten and more years......

And that is without even thinking about the financial implications of any decision you take now!
Just on the employment front ... and NOT through Direct Payments ... purely from your potential new employers , your grandparents.

IF there are any problems , not resolvable amicably , would you contemplate taking legal action under Employment Law to seek restitution of whatever ?

A whole new ball game ... employer / employee relationship ... do either party really understand the new position before embarking on it ?

" Granddaughter ? Lovely girl . love her to bits ... but I still fired her as my carer ! "

Not as contradictory as it reads ... different parameters.

Paper work ... employment law ... health and safety / pension / working time directive / sick and holiday pay ... all already out there no matter who is the employer ... a supermarket with hundreds of stores or one person employing another ... the law IS the law.

One for further consideration ... particularly if your grandparents do NOT themselves seek independent advice.

Not immediately presumed " Undue influence " but ... given the capacity for each party to make an " Informed " decision ... debatable.

A little way down the line but ... worth mentioning even at this very early stage.

The options available seem simple enough ... many are NOT once you examine them more closely.

Other readers look away now ... we all live in the real world ... there are , of course , simple ways to produce the correct end result ... acceptable to both parties but ... not to the authorities ... especially if a care home is contemplated some months / years in the future ... and a contribution from the local LA needed.

Avoiding a risk is better than running one !
Kirsty, what do you really want to do? Care for them or get someone else to care for them?
Do they have over about £46,000 between them? You need to sit down with them and talk honestly about their ability to cope and how you want to support them, BUT they must also accept outside help.
Don't agree to 24/7 care, or you will be trapped increasingly until they both die. That's the brutal truth.
Again , on the financial angle.

Outside care ... assume only half a day , 12 hours , per day , 365 days a year.

Your posting would suggest more hours ?

Even on the minimum wage , that clocks upto £ 32,850 per annum.

It doesn't stop there.

Holiday pay and pension contributions on top ... say a minimum of £ 35,000 per annum.

Ignoring higher rate for weekends / public holidays ?

Perhaps , even , a second carer needed at times ?

Big numbers on anyone's criteria ...

Only real option is the caring route ?

Or I'll cover the weekends and public holidays ... £ 35,000 now becomes £ 22,500.

Fine but ... my life , my time ... severely contailed ... future partner happy to accept ?

Not unknown for two single carers to form a relationship through the common bond of caring ( Only another carer knows what I am going through syndrome ) which , inevitably , is relegated to a secondary one as one or both sets of caring duties prevail.

Past problems have highlighted dating sites and ... I am a carer upfront ... great selling point ???

" I meet you on Wednesday , say 7 o'clock , may have to bring mother if friend doesn't turn up to cover me. "

In CarerLand , when one becomes a carer , their friends tend to evaporate pretty sharpish ... even fellow siblings
... some return , like vultures ... at the end.

Future problems ? Possibly ... depending on the decision you reach now.

Jenny's previous posting takes on even more significance.

Brutual but ... as I said earlier ... welcome to CarerLand.

Wherein even the simpliest of things tend to create problems.

There is no answer ... only you yourself can provide it.

.... and there is not just one way of addressing the question !
:) Thank you all very much for your replies, I have taken everything into consideration. My mum has an appointment to see her GP today and I will decide what i'm willing to do after the Appointment. I will get back to you to let you know. Thanks again
Your welcome.