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care homes and their fees - Carers UK Forum

care homes and their fees

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
Unfortunately I think we are heading towards the end of the road for Mum living with us. She is in moderate severe stage and has begun wandering at night. None of us are getting much sleep, and we are looking more seriously at care homes. She would be self funding for a number of years, but can anyone tell me what will happen once the money runs out and social services need to be contacted for help? We have found one Home which we particularly like, but the fees are more than what the Council would pay, the difference being about £150-£200 per week. I have read something about 3rd party top ups, but we would be unable to make up the difference. Would Mum be asked to leave if she couldn't find these top ups? Surley not .....? When she goes into care, I want her to move once only.

Has anyone any experience of this please?
Hi Ellie,

I think the 'rules' will vary from council to council and would suggest that your first point of call should be to your local Social Services to see what their local practice is. I believe, in practice, that most would try to maintain the 'status quo' and keep the resident in the home they are used to.

You say that she will be self-funding for a number of years but you don't say how old your Mum is or what her prospective life span is likely to be - I really don't wish to sound hard-hearted (I'm in much the same predicament as you) but it maybe likely that her money will be sufficient; it is also likely that the Local Authority will raise their limits on care home funding sometime in the future to the point where the fees would be covered by them. I suppose what I'm trying to say is 'don't cross that particular bridge until you come to it' - but at the same time to be forwarned is to be forarmed Image

Depending on how much your Mum has available another option would be to look into an 'Immediate Needs Annuity' - for the premium deposited the insurer guarantees to pay an annuity to cover the fees. We didn't go down this particular route in the end because it meant paying a premium of some £200,000 to cover Mum's £30,000 per year fees with no guarantee of getting any of the premium back if she died within the first 6 years. If you do want to look into this you must speak to a Financial Advisor who is experienced in this field and qualifed to give advice on this type of annuity.
Sorry for the long delay in thanking you for responding, Susieq. How are things with you now? Has a place come up for your Mum in your chosen home? If so, how did the move go for both you and your Mum?

I shall do as you suggest and speak to social services. I don't want to place her in a Home only to have to be turned out at some point in the future, but I do want to find a Home that is right for her. She should be OK to fund herslef for several years - perhaps I shouldn't worry about after that because anything could happen in the interim.

Mum has no other illnesses, is nearly 80, still mobile and not incontinent. We are told she is moderate severe stage. What stage is your Mum at? It is such a big decision, but I am trying to put her needs first rather than my own although I could sometimes scream in frustration at having no life of my own left - and the burden it puts on my husband, who never complains.

All the best, and hope all goes well for you.
What stage is your Mum at?
Mine is still classified as 'moderate to severe' by the professionals - but in the real world that still means it's bad. If you google 'seven stages of dementia' you'll get the 'official' definitions of each stage - they don't classify dementia as 'severe' until almost the end of life when the ability of the body to function is seriously compromised.

Until these last couple of weeks I would have said that Mum was reasonably fit without many health problems other than those normally associated with old age - osteo arthritis, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. But 3 enforced stays in hospital recently have taken their toll and now she is very poorly and weak - add to this the fall that she had on Saturday (whilst in hospital !) and I think we have a long haul to get her back to her previous levels of fitness.

I would say to you that dementia never improves, it will only get worse with time. You basically have two options - find a care home now whilst your Mum still has some capability and understanding or wait until she is totally 'away with the fairies' - obviously we would all prefer to wait for the second option but then we are putting ourselves under more (and probably unneccesary) pressure. You and your husband's needs are just as important as your Mum's.