Residential care - what happens when your money runs out?!

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
70 posts
BB. You continue to support!! You always have very sound but caring advice for people on the forum. Obviously advice can be taken or dismissed as people see fit.
I'm trying so hard to move along. Sometimes I just can't see the wood for the trees. I can see some 'good' at times.
An example of this. My 16 yr old grandson was able to help an elderly couple who live near to him.The man has dementia. He was causing his wife terrible anxiety and panic because he was insisting he could go out.J said" oh I wouldn't do that today it's going to pour with rain later."The man was pacified and went in. His wife was so relieved. So out of this terrible situation my grandchildren are learning how to be even more caring. That's me being a very proud Nan. I suppose if we look hard enough we can see some positives?? I'm still angry at times. Envious of other couples enjoying each other etc etc. Negatives negatives that I just can't fight all of the time. Sorry I've gone off the thread now with my vent xx
Pet, your grandson sounds like a nice caring lad, you are right to be proud of him.

To me it's natural to be negative sometimes when faced with the decline in health of a loved one - it's hardly going to fill anyone with joy, unless they're a sadist! Sometimes life is very tough and people need to vent their frustrations and sadness to make their load more bearable. That's one of the reasons why this forum is so very useful.

Back on topic, I think it's very hard having worries about funding, in addition to watching a loved one decline with dementia or other serious health problems. Money problems just add to the stress. Like I said before, I think the government should face up to this growing problem and create a fairer, more workable system, which will probably involving raising tax in some way. It's just not sustainable the way things are at the moment and there is huge uncertainty for everyone.
I definitely agree the uncertainty does not help.

Right now, for example, I would say we all need some very clear, very unambiguous, very reliable 'top down ruling' on whether parents can or cannot give away their assets to their children, and not have those assets taken back into account over paying for care-home fees.

The Taxman says parents can give children assets seven years before they eventually die, and not be subject to inheritance tax on that gift. Either that seven year limit should be the same for being liabile for care home fees by selling those assets, or another very clear, very unambiguous and very reliable and DURABLE time limit should be set by the government.

At the moment, it seems councils have an 'open ended' amount of time to try and claw back care costs from children whose parents have gifted them assets which the council want sold to pay for care home fees, so they don't have to.

I just think we urgently need clarity on this, and think that Carers UK is an ideal organisation to lobby for that clarity!
Agreed Jenny!
One poor man at hubby's nursing home was in such a state yesterday. Not only was he coping with his wife's venomous outbursts, he was so so anxious about finances. He ended up telling their social worker he would rather burn the bloody house down than keep letting the government Rob him. They don't care that people are going through emotional trauma one way or another. I really felt for him.xx
Sounds very sad Pet. However, I think his home will be safe as it's normally disregarded for assessment purposes, if the spouse remains living there. Also, if his wife is in a nursing home and is very poorly, maybe she would fit the criteria for Continuous Health Care, which is not means tested. (However, I've heard some horror stories about CHC being refused, despite a resident being close to death and/or almost completely disabled - the NHS will try to avoid funding if they can find a loophole and the patient has savings.)

Here's hoping the system will be overhauled soon, to be clearer to understand and transparent in its intentions. At the moment things seem to be very much a matter of chance for many people who don't have the time/skillset required to battle the system.
jenny lucas wrote:
Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:53 am
Hi, I know there is a lower threshold of savings (I think I've read here that it's something like £23k) below which the elderly don't have to go. Ie, if they have more than £23k they have to use it to pay for care.

But what happens when they are down to that £23 limit? Does the state then take over paying the fees (taking your pension to do so, OK, but of course a pension alone ain't gonna pay care home fees which are usually as much per week as a pension is per month!)?
And can you stay in your 'private' care home or do you get transferred to some not-so-nice council home (eg, if you are in, say three star accommodation, does the council move you down to budget one star?!)

Many thanks, and just trying to look ahead! Jenny.
Hello Jenny, I know it's a while ago now since you submitted this post but I am curious to know what the outcome was, any info would be much appreciated. Kind regards, Gary
Gary, I think that's exactly what happens - you DO get moved off to a (cheaper!) residential home, when you cease to be self-funding.

I checked with my council near me (not relevant now, as MIL is in a care home in the west country, still self funding for the moment, but her money goes further as the care home is cheaper per week - only £700! - than up here in the Home Counties - where it's a £1000 a week!)(makes a difference when you are self funding!).

The council said to let them know about three months before the resident hit that £23k limit, and then wheels would be set in motion.

However, each person has to check with the care home whether the care home accepts council/SS-paid residents.

The first westcountry care home did NOT - they warned me they only had self-funding residents there. So if MIL outlived her funds (she's currently burning her way through the entire value of her flat - she's got a couple of years left max I reckon!), then they would simply 'evict her' once she couldn't pay fees any more. Strictly speaking, I guess we could have gone on spending the remaining £23k on her - though it wouldn't even have paid for a full year (£100 a DAY is £36000+ a year!).

However, things changed last summer as the care home phoned to say they couldn't keep her anyway as she persistently tried to escape, and was always walking out the front door, which was not kept locked. They did their best, but finally called time on her. (It's a lovely home, and I suspect there was a queue of 'easier patients' for her room!).

So, she had to move, and into a home with a 'secure unit' for advanced dementia patients. This was quite nearby, and although not as 'nice' the sad thing is that by then MIL's dementia was such that she didn't pay any attention to her surroundings, she didn't care it wasn't as 'nice'.

The home she moved to DID take self-funders AND council-paid residents, and one of the thigns they've told me is that 'as an when' MIL outlives her money, then she should simply 'move seamlessly' into being a 'paid for' resident, and NOT have to move. Also, because she is already 'there' and because they know the council so well, they should make the financial transfer easier. So that is a real plus.

Obviously, I am hoping she won't run out of her money - though knowing my MIL she will die on the precise day that she becomes eligible for 'free care'. I've already warned my brother in a law and her grandson not to expect any money other than a few thousand pounds to come their way.....(we are fortunate as a family that we don't 'need' her inheritance - not that children are 'entitled' to it - but simply that in many families, parents desperately want to hand on their money/property to their children, and hate to see it 'all go on care'....but there it is. If we live too long, and are too infirm, then it costs a LOT to keep us going, whoever is paying for it, ourselves or our families or the taxpayer.....)

Hope any of this helps, and do post again, possibly on a new thread (since mine was ancient) if you want more clarification. I don't think the rules have changed much in the last few years, but the team of experts on Carers UK itself (emailing is best) have all the latest rules and regulations on the cost of care and funding etcetc.

Kind regards Jenny (whose stress levels, since MIL went into full time care are now MASSSIVELY LOWER) (sad but true, sigh)
A LA should NOT move someone just because their money runs out, because it's against their human rights. I'm pretty sure there's more about this in the Continuing Healthcare Framework, but don't have time to look it up right now.
BB, that's an interesting statement! I mean, if I'd placed MIL in a home which had told me they won't take LA funded residents, I'm not sure how the LA can force them to, can they?

At first glance, to me it isn't a question of human rights, but of contract law, no?

It doesn't seem innately fair to me that a 'private funding residents only' company should HAVE to accept what would inevitably be a lower bedrate from the council??
I'm not at home tonight, don't have access to all the info. It's more to do wwth the LApaying more than their usual rate, due to special circumstances.
70 posts