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Money (lack of!) - Carers UK Forum

Money (lack of!)

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Hello all,

I'm interested to know, please, from those who care for someone, whether your caree helps you out with money or pays you a 'wage' for want of a better word?
Carers allowance is not enough to manage on, I find: I don't go out, never buy anything new, and yet I'm slowly sinking into debt, which I simply am unable to sort out.
At the moment my mum pays for a 3 monthly bus ticket (albeit reluctantly) as I dont drive and couldn't possibly afford to pay bus fares every day.
A few people, my sister included, have suggested that I take a small wage every week from mums ever increasing bank account.
I can see the logic - but I feel uncomfortable with the idea.
The most recent chat with a social worker led to her telling me to pay myself the going rate as mums cleaner, since she would need to pay somebody should I decide its too much.
What are your thoughts, please?
Yes, of course. It's a no brainer. Why on earth should you give up your life to look after your mum, if your mum isn't paying you to do so, and therefore you are getting into debt?

If she had to pay for a care worker, or worse, go into a home, she'd be forking out a fortune!

Do you have PoA, or does she control her own money?

She should also be paying all her own living expenses - council tax, utilities, food, travel, luxuries, whatever else. You should NEVER subsidise her!

Why is she refusing to acknowledge what you do for her?
Hi Jenny,

Thanks for replying. I dont have power of attorney, but do have my mums bank card so am able to buy stuff as and when needed. She is, for the most part quite able to understand money, etc, and I make sure that any expenses are paid for out of her money.
Its just my own finances which are abysmal.. I'm slowly sinking into debt,which I've simply got no hope of paying off. (even though I pride myself on being super thrifty)
There is just not enough coming in compared to what is going out.
Mum knows that I get carers allowance and income support, and thinks its enough.
Miss Bee
Please do get POA while Mum is still able to agree and sign up for it. Essential, please believe me.
In the meantime charge Mum for everything you expend for her sake, including petrol or travel.
It is completely unacceptable that you should be financially disadvantaged because you are caring for Mum who can afford care. Plus all the stress that causes you of course.
What I used to do was take out an amount of money from mum's account and spend it on her behalf. I kept a record in a notebook. When it got low I'd draw some more.
Because I had POA I could sign her cheques, so big amounts like a new boiler for example, I'd sign her cheque and keep the invoice as a record.
You have to take charge Miss B. You cannot be mum's lifebelt in rough seas yet drown yourself. No point in that.
Thanks Elaine,

I dont pay out for any of mums expenses: I charge them all to her - can't afford to!
Its just the 'wage' issue I was wondering about. It seems rather greedy and grasping to me, but something has gotta give, I think. I've a 500 odd quid gas/electric bill outstanding from summer last year! I paid off a couple of large lumps, but it builds up again, and I can't keep up and clear it. X
No, it's not grasping - you must pay yourself a wage, as others have said, and even your social worker and family have said. You have no duty to help your mother and she should be paying for her care.
But it isn't greedy or grasping - it's the tough reality of life! Your work now is caring for your mum, for which the state pays you the princely (ha ha not) Carers Allowance, and the rest has to be paid by your mum!

Like I say, if you stopped caring for her and went off to work full time, YOU would have your employment income to live off....and SHE would be paying a FORTUNE to a professional care worker/residential home!

Since I assume she's planning on leaving you her money in her will (with your sister? And thank goodness your sister also thinks you should be paid for caring!), what is the difference to her? If she wants to look at it this way, you're just claiming a bit of your inheritance 'up front'.

Look, the one thing you CANNOT do is get into debt! So EITHER your mum starts paying you OR you get a full time job so you can pay your debts off with your salary, and not get into future debt.

Why does your mum think it's OK for you to run up debts because you can't pay your way without a salary?
I'm afraid I bang on about this. Please try to get power of attorney. Unfortunately my husband's mental capacity declined rapidly and couldn't agree or sign. I've had to go down the Court of Protection road. Its a pain, intrusive and very expensive.
Yes, actually the (nice) social worker urged me to get power of attorney too.
I can't see mother agreeing to that! She makes it her life mission to disagree with most things these days. :( I think she will just take it as more evidence that I'm after her money. She seems to be quite focused on money these days. Think she wants to try and control it - dangerously close to having over the limit in savings, but she keeps worrying about her funeral expenses.
Maybe the nice social worker could talk to your mother? Has your mother made you second card holder or do just use her card? Not really wise if it's the latter.
You would keep records and highlight on statements what's been spent and why.
Do hope she will see the point of it