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Not a carer, not yet a sandwich - Carers UK Forum

Not a carer, not yet a sandwich

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Hello to the great community!

Maybe a little bit about myself: my mum has recently moved into our house, since her mobility is now starting to be very limited. I'm not her full-time carer, but helping her after my work. She is still independent, just needs a helping hand from time to time. I kind of started to think that maybe in some distant (I hope distant) future she would need more care, so it's maybe a good idea to dig into the subject of care a bit more already now.

My granddad (before he passed away last year) had suffered from dementia and I used to look after him from time to time, when none of his children could do that at that time, and before he actually got a full time carer. Not the best experience I've ever had, but made me aware of how important carers are and how difficult and challenging this job it actually is.

I'm a person that likes to help others. Since the wellbeing of my mum had worsened recently, I thought it might be a good idea to join the community or carers and relatives of persons in care to exchange information and experiences.

All the best, everyone!
Hi Evie,

Welcome to the forum. Would you like to tell us a bit more about mum? How old is she? Does she have any specific disability, or just suffering the effect of living a long time?
Does she have separate living quarters in your own home, her own bathroom, sitting room?

Sorting out her financial arrangements with you, at this early stage, is vital.
Did she own her own home before moving in with you.?
Has she given you Power of Attorney?
Has she made a will?

(I have to go out now, will pop back later).

Thank you very much for your reply!

My mum is 63. Very recently she has started to experience those problems with walking, and it's caused by some multiple factors. She has been diagnosed with arthritis of the majority of her joints, causing her some hip pains, but nothing has been done with it yet. The second thing is veins - she had a Doppler ultrasound which revealed some blood clots - she was advised to wear some knee high compression socks class 2 and was prescribed medications. During the next visit it will be decided if she is illegible to undergo sclerotherapy. The pain in legs intensifies towards the evening, therefore the vein problem seems to be the main reason of these pains, but not the only one. Most probably, the second reason is this arthiritis (hip pain). On the top of all that it was suggested that she also needs to see neurologist, as some destruction of neurons can also be the cause, but this is still ahead of her.
She was living alone for some 10 years, so now it's hard to get back to live with some other people.. But we are all trying our best and it's not as hard as I thought it would be, after all.

She has her own room in our place, but we share bathroom and the sitting room.
No financial agreements has been made so far, no power of attorney or anything like that. I think she made a will, but this is not something I would like to think about now. She own a flat and most probably she is going to sell it (a neighbour living on the same floor next to her wanted to buy it some time ago to enlarge his own flat, but don't know the status of that). But honestly, money and financials are last things on my mind now.
Hi Evie,
your Mum is still young and as you say not used to living with others, are you both sure you want to live together for what could potentially be the next 30 years?! If you both do, then that's great, but if either of you have doubts, use this time to explore other options. Would warden controlled flats or an elderly version of supported living etc suit her better? Obviously it would need to be close by. She could always move back with you, as her needs increased, if that's what you both wanted.

She own a flat and most probably she is going to sell it (a neighbour living on the same floor next to her wanted to buy it some time ago to enlarge his own flat, but don't know the status of that).

Be wary IF EVER a care home was the only option sometime in the future.

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/a ... re_fcs.pdf

May never arise but ... to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Things MAY change in the forthcoming Green Paper but ... don't hold your breathe.
@Chris From The Gulag

Thanks for posting a reply. I wasn't aware of this deprivation of assets and am not sure if I understand it correctly..

So say my mum is actually going to sell her flat. Would she then have to keep the money that she receives from the transaction until she ever needs a care home and would she then have to spend the amount fully to pay for the care home? Because as I understand, otherwise, she would be considered as a person that has got rid of her assets on purpose, to not to pay for the care, right?
This problem seems like from outer space.. When I speak to my mum about the care home she's not willing to consider it at all, don't know if she ever will. As mentioned, she lives with us and is still quite independent, so we wasn't looking for any care home yet.
Frankly she wanted to sell this flat to get rid of it and so that don't want to worry about it anymore, since she lives with us. I wasn't aware of this potential problem.. So you say it's better not to sell the flat? Or what would be the best option for my mum not to be considered as a person that wants to deprive of her flat on purpose?
It's what happens to the sale proceeds that count ... if in doubt , I would recommend AGE UK for guidance.

What counts as deprivation of assets ?

Deprivation of assets applies when you intentionally reduce your assets, such as money, property or income, so these won’t be included when the council calculates how much you need to pay towards the care you receive.

When your council is deciding whether getting rid of property and money has been a deliberate deprivation of assets, they will consider two things:

You must have known at the time you got rid of your property or money that you needed or may need care and support
Avoiding paying for care must have been a significant reason for giving away your home or reducing your savings.

It’s not just giving away your money that could be seen as a deliberate deprivation of assets. Different methods of reducing your money or property could count too, including:

giving away a lump sum of money.
transferring the title deeds of your property to someone else.
suddenly spending a lot of money in a way which is unusual for your normal spending.
gambling the money away.
using savings to buy possessions, such as jewellery or a car, which would be excluded from the means test.

If the local council thinks that you have deliberately reduced your assets to avoid care fees, they may still include the value of the assets you no longer have when they do the means test.

What if I gave my money or home away a long time ago ?

The timing is important. The council will look at when you reduced your assets and see if, at the time, you could reasonably expect that you would need care and support. The local authority must decide based on all the case facts and clear reasons, which could be challenged.

If you were fit and healthy, and could not have imagined needing care and support at the time, then it may not count as deprivation of assets.

In practice , a post code lottery ... but with ALL LAs under extreme financial pressure ... ???

According to searches made , the " Seven Year Rule " is a myth ... which may come as a surprise to many.

Forthcoming Green Paper ... let's hope that changes are made to sort this issue out once and for all.

Thank you very much for your reply.
Don't know what's going to be in the next 30 years.. So far, so good. My mum likes to be treated individually, therefore I kind of cannot imagine herself being in a care home. On top of that she's quite introvert and the older she gets, the more introvert she becomes.. She has been living alone for about 10 years now, and I think me and my husband is just enough for her to stand on everyday basis. The situation is not easy for everybody, but I think it's still quite bearable.


@Chris From The Gulag
Thanks very much for your reply.

I got scared at first but now I think it may not be an issue in our case. "Deprivation of assets" rules apply when somebody is deliberately avoiding paying for care. And frankly, my mum is the last person to avoid to pay anything or to try to hide her assets or something like this. When (if) we are going to apply for a care home I think we will be not trying to avoid making a payment for it. Or, we may end up hiring somebody for a live-in care, I don't know. But this is (I hope) a distant future.