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Care Funding Question - Carers UK Forum

Care Funding Question

All about money
Hi,

I wonder if some of you guys might be able to help with suggestions on the best way of funding care for my uncle?

He has advanced dementia, and needs 24x7 care, including duing the night. We have been paying carers for the past 2-3 years, and this is now costing around £1500 a week, which I can see potentially rising to £2k or even £3k a week.

We will not consider moving him to a care home - he must stay at home.

I wanted to ask about what care funding might available from the government, as we currently get nothing more than standard disability benefits & carers allowances, none of which puts much of a dent in the huge weekly outlay. The changes announced earlier this week won't affect us, as he will have passed away by then.

My uncle's financial position is this:
- He and his wife own their own house outright, and both still live there;
- He owns a large share of the family business, which is worth more than his care is likely to ever cost;
- He has very little cash in the bank, and little pension income.

Given the lack of cash my uncle has in the bank, his care is being paid for by other family members, which isn't great, particularly if we want to reduce inheritance tax.


So, my questions really are:

1. If someone is means-tested and qualifies for government funding, is this capped? To how much?

2. Is his share of the business included in the means test? I guess it is?

3. If he gave away his share of the business immediately prior to being means tested for care funding, does the means test still view that as his asset? I think it does ?? For how long?

4. If the marital home was my uncle's ONLY asset, I understand that he wouldn't be forced to sell it to fund his care if his wife still lives there, and the government will then pay for (all ??) his care? Does that money then have to be re-paid to the government when his wife later passes away (after Uncle's death) or sells the house?

5. Finally, what would you do in our situation? Continue to fund his care from other family members' money? Sell his share of the business to other members of the family, then pay for his care out of that? Transfer his share of the business to other family members? Something else?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice you can give.
A phone call or email to the carers helpline would be your best line of enquiry with these complicated financial issues.xx
That's a lot of questions! I can't answer many of them, definitely for the CUK helpline BUT you haven't mentioned whether or not dad has had a needs assessment from Social Services? That is the place to start. Once they have assessed his needs (this happens BEFORE any financial assessment) then they will decide what care he needs. Then the financial assessment is done. However, if the dementia is very advanced, then he might be entitled to NHS Continuing Care - which is NOT means tested. Google this on the internet and you should find more details fairly easily. An initial assessment is done, and then a more detailed one is undertaken if it seems likely that the patient could qualify. I hope you are keeping records of all care payments, as they could well be deducted from the Inheritance Tax payable - but that is a matter for a financial adviser when the time comes. It is an issue which I am currently investigating. As he no longer has mental capacity, does anyone have power of attorney for him? No idea whether it would be possible to redistribute his assets, but certainly worth consulting a solicitor immediately to discuss this.