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Care Homes - Urgent help please - Carers UK Forum

Care Homes - Urgent help please

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
We've been caring for my mother in law for some years now. After a spell in hospital she needed to move into a care home. Initially she was in a shared room but we expressed the desire for her to have her own room. As part of the financial package the local authority contribute but my mother in law's pension and also the occupational pension she inherited from her husband are used to pay care costs. Without any consultation from us my mother in law was moved into a room on her own yesterday. She was delighted. We have just received an email to say that the family now need to contribute £425.45 per month as a result of her change to a single room.

For one I'm angry that we have not been consulted on this and two, frankly I don't think the room is worth the money (sorry not being stingy but in such financial climate value is important). All in all my mother in law is not receiving a different level of care since she moved to a single room therefore all of the extra costs are purely down to the room.

I would be really appreciative and interested to hear from anyone who has experienced this kind of situation.

Many thanks.
Hi Sylvia,

I'm sorry I have no experience of care homes or advice, but others will be along who have. I think it is worth trying the helpline too for advice.

This sounds a ridiculous amount on top of what is all being paid, for as you say no extra care just a move to a single room. I didn't realise care homes were even allowed double rooms these days - unless expressly requested e.g. by a man and wife.

Is it a council or privately owned care home? Did you chose/MIL choose it?

Hi Sylvia, I would get in a written complaint as soon as possible, making sure you keep a copy of it, challenging what the care home has done, also ask for a breakdown of costs. I can't see how they could move MIL to a single room and expect you as family to make up the costs without prior consultation.
I have a degree in Business Studies, contract law is very simple and straightforward. The general idea is that you must have received an offer, which you have accepted. Usually, this is in the form of a contract which you have signed, which lays out the amounts involved.This assumes that you are legally responsible for your relative? I would suggest that you have a word with a solicitor and/or trading standards (who are very concerned about the running of care homes) and/or The Care Quality Commission (CQC) as the home have to meet certain requirements for registration. CQC might be the best place to start as they have a helpline which is always manned, and they do various publications which might be helpful. They also have a website.
Hi Sylvia

I would advise you to telephone the CUK Adviceline on:

0808 808 7777

but in the meantime...

The local authority should have carried out a financial assessment to determine how much your mother-in-law should contribute towards her care home costs which from your post they have done, i.e. the costs are part-funded by the local authority. A financial assessment of a single adult's income and capital can only take their income into consideration, it cannot use the income of other family members to determine the contribution. Unless you have stated that you will pick up the shortfall in funding, and a verbal agreement counts as a contract in law although it is harder to prove, you should not and cannot be made to pay any additional costs resulting from your mother-in-law's move to a single room.

You have not stated whether it was the care home or the local authority which has asked you to pay the shortfall in funding but there is case law stating that family members cannot be made by local authorities to pay the cost of care or shortfalls in funding.

I would contact your mother-in-law's Care Manager first, he/she is responsible for your overseeing your mother-in-law's placement in the care home and it may be that he/she will arrange another financial assessment and that the LA will pick up the additional costs but I would also call the CUK Adviceline because none of us are experts, simply carers who have acquired information through caring for family members. Good luck.