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Is it possible for my parents to move in with us? - Carers UK Forum

Is it possible for my parents to move in with us?

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Hi.

As things stand my wife and I are currently unemployed after being made redundant at the same time, we are both in our 40's with 2 children aged 7 and 8.

We live in a 3 bedroomed council house in Nottingham.

My Dad has recently been diagnosed with early onset dementia and moved into a care home about 6 months ago, my Mum is now very frail and lives alone in their home which is jointly owned.

We are looking into the possibility of moving them both in with us and frankly don't know where to start, this post and a phone call to the Social Services in Hertfordshire where my parents live have been our first move into this.

I'm waiting for the social people to call back so no input from them at this stage.

I can add more detail if required but really just want any advise available or a point in the right direction.

Thank you.
You need to think VERY carefully about this. I would strongly recommend AGAINST taking dad out of the home, and into yours, as your children will inevitably have their childhood increasingly disrupted and overwhelmed by dad's needs.

Finding the best solution will take time. Do NOT make any quick decisions which you may bitterly regret. There are lots of really sad stories here. Almost everything depends on your parents financial situation.
Who is currently paying dad's care fees?
If it's currently Social Services, if they sell the house then dad will become immediately responsible for ALL his care fees, probably around £1,000 a week, and you can wave goodbye to any inheritance unless mum and dad die quickly. That is the brutal reality I'm afraid.

If you would both like to support mum, could she afford to pay you for the care you provide? Mum's needs will increase all the time, so the best solution would be for mum to accept some outside carers, especially at weekends so you can have time for the children, but you do most of the caring during the week.

IF mum has a large house and lots of money, you could consider moving in with her. Then there is the option of building a separate "Granny Annexe" for mum at your place, but again, if Social Services are involved with dad's fees, this would be problemmatical.
Tell us more about their situation, and we can help you find the best, balanced, situation.
Thank you for your reply.

As Mum is still living in the family home the Social Services pay towards Dads care home fees. They take half his old company pension, his share of their Government pension I believe also.
None of this is taken at source but Mum pays a reduced rate because of it meaning Mum still has slightly more coming in than going out.
Yes, full fees would become payable if the home was sold.

I don't know how that would effect them if they were both to move in with us though I'm guessing any outside help would need to be payed for.

It would be a hard choice to move us all down to live with Mum. Her home is not as large as our and we have 50% discount on our home when we buy it due to the length of time we have lived here, so we would effectively be giving away about £50k.

The other option you mention would be one of us to move down with Mum Mon to Fri, she is financially secure enough to pay for that care as we would lose income by doing that, again as we were made redundant and therefore rely on benefits at the moment.

I don't know how that would work either, financially etc.
This could be financial suicide, with the only party profiting from it being the LA now paying dad's fees!

A lot depends on whether your parents house is permanently disregarded and can NEVER have a charge put on it by the LA to recover the fees they've paid out, after your parents die.

if they CAN (or even have already) put a charge on it, then you have less to lose. You'll at least get to inherit half the value of the house, assuming, of course, your mum herself doesn't need residential care at some point (at which case the whole issue starts up again!) (You will need to be careful if your dad leaves his share of the house to her, as the whole value has to be used up before she gets free residential care paid for by the council - bar the measly £23k she'll be allowed to keep!. Better if your dad leaves his half to you, to take it out of your mum's estate.)(The LA may object to this, sensing he is trying to avoid fees!!!??)
(not sure if they have a case??)

(By the way, does your mum have Power of Attorney for your dad? Somebody needs to!).

I take you are thinking through whether to turn yourselves into 'professional carers' so to speak for your parents, whereby they would pay the two of you to care for them, in your home (eg, with your dad's full pension, etc, which the council would no longer be taking), and this would substitute for your salaries now that you are both redundant.

You say you have the opportunity to buy your council property at a generous discount - are you already doing so, and therefore have you an outgoing mortgage payment to service (ie, higher than what a council rent would be?). Do you envisage your parents selling their property, and then using those funds to buy yours? Would they give YOU the money to do so, or buy it THEMSELVES, or you ALL buy it jointly? (Are they allowed to buy it for themselves if they are not tenants??).

Do you, by the way, have any siblings or any other family who might think that some of the money from your parents' house sale should go to them?

I can see why you are exploring this option - ie, becoming professional carers, being paid by your parents, out of their pension, and keeping the value of their house either to inherit, or to be used for buying your council house outright.

BUT, the VERY dangerous risk you take in doing this is that at some point your dad could STILL need to have residential care, and your mum may ALSO need it at some point!

You are assuming, I take it, that residential care will NEVER be needed because you and your wife will 'see them both out'.

Now, yes, IF they die quite 'promptly' (sorry to use these terms, but this is what it boils down to financially) that may work out well. You'll have a few years, at most, of being professional carers for your parents, and your 'reward' will be to have used their money (either now or when you inherit) to buy your own home.

But if they don't die promptly it 's QUITE another story.

Deep dementia is not a pretty sight. It's a dreadful, pitiable, gruesome sight - my poor 93 y/o mother in law is now immobile, in a wheelchair, needs a hoist, is doubly incontinent, wears nappies, can barely speak at all, and has 'vacant eyes', and hardly recognises me (she's in a home....I'd be INSANE otherwise). She requires constant 24x7 care. She has been in residential care for three years, and is physically pretty fit. She could live for years more. (Average lifespan after a dementia diagnosis is 8 years).

You may have to face this with your dad....and then all over again with your mum.

Robert, the dreadful, cruel, horrible, bleak, depressing truth is that our parents do not die when it is convenient for us that they should do so......

If you start down this 'professional caring for our parents' route it could be the longest, grimmest couple of decades of your life. As BB says, your children's childhood will be utterly dominated by it - possibly ruined completely. Your wife, who will only be caring for her inlaws, may loathe it so much she leaves you, takes the children, and you are left, downsized to a smaller place as she has taken half the house you live in that your parents' have bought for you both with the sale of their own....

That, I would argue, is the very real risk you run -
If the LA are paying dad's fees, and mum is living in the family home but is increasingly frail, then selling mum's home would be unwise, and similarly selling your council home would be unwise.
In any case, your kids need their own home and moving would be a huge upheaval, and not a good idea either, extra stress for little advantage.
I understand you are on benefits, but if mum is claiming Attendance Allowance (is she?). If so, then you would be entitled to claim Carers Allowance, and therefore NOT REQUIRED TO LOOK FOR WORK. Were you aware of this? If she hasn't claimed already, sort this out asap.
Do you have Power of Attorney? If not, sort this out asap.
If mum has savings above £23,000, then Social Services will not pay towards her care. It's really important that she shares her financial circumstances with you.
Hope that helps.
BB, I think Rob's mum lives too far away for 'next door' care - as in, someone would have to go and stay with her in her own home, which would be highly disruptive to the children, losing a parent for most of the time??

Depending on the LA's rules, most particularly the issue of whether the parents' property is now totally disregarded (so his surviving wife never has to sell the house to pay for her husband's fees), I'm wondering whether it might be possible for the parental house to be rented out, to bring in an income for the mum (would half of it go to the dad, though, and have to be used against care home fees???), who could then rent a place geographically closer to her son, who could then look after her (or his wife) 'for money' (ie, her pension or whatever!). (Robert - you need to be careful about being 'paid' to care, as of course the tax man will regard it as taxable income - over the personal allowance and you'll be paying 20% on it - plus you may be liable for paying your own NI as well, as someone 'self-employed'??)

Alternatively, another possibility might be to take your dad out of his care home and THEN sell your parents house, move them closer to you, and/or all four of you buy a larger house (assuming you CAN buy your council house, without using your parent's sale of house to fund it??), and all four (with your children) live there, PROVIDING your parents are in some kind of 'granny flat/annexe'

The 'separate quarters' (and truly separate, their own kitchen/bathroom/bedroom/living room - no shared space at all!) is essential otherwise you CANNOT endure this long term (and if you can I doubt your wife and children could!).

However, as your dad's dementia worsens, he will, at some pointt, even with outside carers coming it to help you/your mum in his care, very, very litkely become 'uncarable for' - remember my grim description of my MIL above! (By way of another example, a friend of mind has brought her father to live with her, six years now, with dementia - he's still going strong! She told me the other day that she'd got him up - as in, he'd started moving around, as he usually does, at about 6.30 am, which is when HE likes to get up - he has NO thought for her, incapable of it! - so she helped him dress and so on - always a struggle to get him to get dressed, always an argument about his clothes etc - and gave him breakfast. Usually he goes into the living room and promptly falls asleep till lunchtime, which irritates her having had to get up at 6.30 just because he wanted to. However, this mornig when she went up to have her own shower, she came down again 20 minutes later to find him in the kitchen, she told me, with his pants and trousers round his ankles, and a freshly produced poo placed in the kitchen rubbish bin......)

I'm not telling you these grim things about the behaviour of those with dementia to 'appall' you, appalling though they are, but to show you what you might well be up against, if your dad does not die of 'something else' first. Can you really face that?

However, let's say, with the scenario of you all 'co-sharing' separate quarters in one property, what you have to find out now, before you go ahead, is what happens financially if/when your dad lasts long enough to NEED residential care again. Will the council start paying again, or will your property be forfeit? It's essential to know beforehand, especially if your parents money from the sale of their current house goes into buying YOUR current property to then sell it for the co-sharing property!

The whole issue of care for the elderly is a horrendous minefield, both financially and emotionally. Caring is a 'lobster pot' - much easier to slip into than break the bars apart to get out of when you having a nervous breakdown yourself (I came that close myself).
In brief (for a change!), I think my key mssage is this.

Taking on the role of 'professional carers' for your parents might, indeed, work out well enough for a while, BUT you should ONLY undertake it if you have a CLEAR and GUARENTTED financially 'safe' exit route, as and when the time comes when you no longer want, or can, keep it going.

In an ideal world, your parents would move in with you, last a few years, you all enjoy lovely inter-generational time together, your children enjoying having their gran and 'dotty-granddad' (nothing worse than that), and then both your parents die peacefully in their beds in quick succession, and are greatly missed, but also somewhat heartfeld relieved that the dystopic scenario I painted above never comes to pass.

In the end, you are gambling on the longevity of both your parents. It might work in your favour - it might not.

Be CAREFUL.
Ok, I'll try and work through the comments as best I can, and thank you both for taking the time to answer.

We are in the process of having forms signed for an LPA (Financial and Health) for my Mum. On the solicitors advice we have not yet done this for Dad, though I don't know the reasoning behind that other than my Mum is his Wife and therefore able to decide for him (?).

A charge on my parents house by the LA. I have no idea. I have been over the paperwork for Dad going into care (I don't have it to hand, it's at my Mums some 100 miles away) but it sounds like I need to know about this.
I have a meeting with Social Services regarding my Dad at the beginning of March (concerns raised after a carer removed his catheter and did not replace it, but it sounds so far to have been with good reason, and also because we have requested he be moved to a home closer to Mum) so is the 'charge on parents house' something I can raise then? I don't think so as it's a meeting involving Doctors etc (I really don't know what to expect). Would it be best to go through our solicitor regarding this charge?
Our solicitor is actually a relative and a partner in a family law firm.

As things stand, were Dad to die the house goes to Mum, and vice versa, and upon them both passing the house is sold and the value shared between me and my brother.
I believe if this situation is changed (ie, half left to me and brother upon death of one parent) then the 'deprivation of assets' comes into it.
So again, is this a call to the family solicitor?

We are not in the process of buying our council house as the rules are for a mortgage to buy it you must be in employment, the hope is, obviously, that one day the inheritance would purchase it outright.
I'm quite certain that if it came to pass my parents would sell their house, share the estate between the children (which for me would mean buying the house and having an annex built for my parents at the bottom of the garden).

This is starting to sound more far fetched with every word I write.

Also, Mum doesn't want to leave and move up to us as she feels closer to Dad where she is, I don't think she is grasping the fact our intention was to bring Dad up too, it's all simply too much for her.

Kind of brings us on to option 2.

My wife has suggested I spend more time with my Mum, to basically care for her in her home now. First problem is I doubt she qualifies right now for a carer, other than perhaps meals on wheels (which she loathes and will have no part off) and a home help to clean up a bit, both of which I imagine she will pay for anyway (I know meals on wheels is free, but she'd rather pay for a better service).
Now, if I was to do this say 5 days a week, Mon to Fri, I would need to stop claiming JSA and I honestly don't know how this would effect 2 things.
1) My families benefits which currently includes Housing Benefit to name just one
2) My Mums income in respect to is she 'depriving the LA of assets' by employing her son / gifting him money, to be with her.

And, for how long would this continue? And, at some point as mentioned, Mum could still need residential care.

I see Attendance Allowance would be claimable as Mum has difficulty washing and cleaning, not just her home, and is very unsteady on her feet to the extent she needs a wheelchair car to attend hospital appointments and does not leave the house other than for those type of appointments.

Regarding cash savings, they have around £45k - £50k between them, which is halved for the purpose of any individual financial review by the LA, so they are on or just under the limit for paying for things themselves.
jenny lucas wrote:I'm wondering whether it might be possible for the parental house to be rented out, to bring in an income for the mum (would half of it go to the dad, though, and have to be used against care home fees???), who could then rent a place geographically closer to her son, who could then look after her (or his wife) 'for money' (ie, her pension or whatever!). (Robert - you need to be careful about being 'paid' to care, as of course the tax man will regard it as taxable income - over the personal allowance and you'll be paying 20% on it - plus you may be liable for paying your own NI as well, as someone 'self-employed'??)
I really don't see this as an option.

My final thoughts.

Living with my Mum for 5 days a week is an option.

I've always hated the fact that an inheritance for my own children depends on an inheritance for me (I'm not sure why I feel that way, the gentry have been doing it for centuries), but it is a priority that when we die something is left for our children, and as things stand right now ensuring my parents are cared for to the best of my ability and that something comes from that that I can leave my own family is the only way I can see that happening.

I have a cousin who's Mum is widowed and is in the very final stages of her life having been cared for at home for the best part of 15 years as dementia took over, she's now bed ridden and will not see another Christmas. We've actually been given a heads up that it's close.
But she has been cared for in her home all the time, other than hospital visits, so it can be done yes?

A lot for me to think about.

I'm away for a while now visiting my Mum and Dad, Mums in hospital having tests, probably going to be there a few days, and Dad has got worse, to the extent he is now not recognising life long friends.

Thanks for the replies.
Robert_18011 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:15 pm
We are in the process of having forms signed for an LPA (Financial and Health) for my Mum. On the solicitors advice we have not yet done this for Dad, though I don't know the reasoning behind that other than my Mum is his Wife and therefore able to decide for him (?).
As I understand things, your mum has no right to make decisions on behalf of your dad unless a POA is in place. There's no point doing one for your dad if he's no longer competent to agree to it. You'd have to go through the Court of protection instead -
think a cost in the thousands.

As I understand it, a council will disregard (it's a legal term) the house as long as your mum is living there. Once she leaves the house, they will place a charge on it (if it's rented) and claim 50% of it towards your dad's costs. Ditto if the house is sold. Take a look here (right click the link to open in a new tab):
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/globalassets/a ... re_fcs.pdf

You could ring the financial dept of your LA and ask if they have a charge on the house, but they may decline to talk to you unless your father authorises it. They have a duty to protect information about him. The law doesn't make an exception for relatives. only an active LPA would change that duty. Whether you can persuade someone to break the law and divulge the information anyway, is up to you. I'm not sure the solicitor would be able to get the information, unless he's acting for your dad.
As things stand, were Dad to die the house goes to Mum, and vice versa, and upon them both passing the house is sold and the value shared between me and my brother.
I believe if this situation is changed (ie, half left to me and brother upon death of one parent) then the 'deprivation of assets' comes into it.
yes. Consult the solicitor.
We are not in the process of buying our council house as the rules are for a mortgage to buy it you must be in employment, the hope is, obviously, that one day the inheritance would purchase it outright.
I'm quite certain that if it came to pass my parents would sell their house, share the estate between the children (which for me would mean buying the house and having an annex built for my parents at the bottom of the garden).
This is dependent upon you and your wife pulling your father out of all care prior to any house sale, as I see it - but be very careful to obtain legal advice on this point. If one of your parents is in care (paid for by the LA) when the house is put on the market, they may feel they have a claim on up to half the profit on the sale (proceeds less debts and costs of sale).

Now, if I was to do this say 5 days a week, Mon to Fri, I would need to stop claiming JSA and I honestly don't know how this would effect 2 things.
1) My families benefits which currently includes Housing Benefit to name just one
2) My Mums income in respect to is she 'depriving the LA of assets' by employing her son / gifting him money, to be with her.
The UK Carers helpline (use the email option) might have more help on the effect on your benefits.

If your mother were to pay you, I'd recommend you present an itemised monthly bill of work carried out/hours spent/rate per hour and have her sign it. Draw up a formal agreement between you about the duties covered and the rate per hour and anything else. Keep the records to prove there was no deprivation of assets. However, the rate you charge will have to be reasonable. I'd advise seeking help from the helpline/your solicitor. Gifts could well come under 'deprivation of assets' if they're out of line with what is expected to be reasonable/normal.
Just a few thoughts, picking up, somewhat randomly, on what you've said.

Re inheritance/children - I would say that the best inheritance your children can have from you is their education/qualifications - ie, their ability to earn their own decent living. That is what we bequeath to them that is of most value - ie, their independence from us!

The next most important thing is their own housing - ie, in this context, a 'lump sum' that can serve as the deposit on their own homes, to get them out of the rental trap (and it IS a trap, in that you might as well flush the rent money down the drain, at least mortgage money does end you up with something 'tangible', even if it's not a goldmine - it isn't 'wasted' money).

Speaking of housing, I would say your own priority is to get your council house owned by you and your wife! I would run the finances really aggressively on this, and see if it isn't worth your while taking 'any job going' to get 'any kind' of mortgage, so that you can start moving the house into your own possession. It will take years to achieve and 'time's a wasting'!

Further to this, would your parents be prepared to make you a formal loan of, say, the bulk of their savings, to put towards the council house purchase and 'fast forward' you to full equity? It has to be a loan for a variety of reasons, including deprivation of assets etc, and also, of course, as your brother might object otherwise!