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moving in with mum as full time carer - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

moving in with mum as full time carer

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Elyse, I know it can seem unfair that someone works all their life, buys a house and hopes to leave it to their children....only to have to sell it to pay for their care when they are old and infirm.

BUT, if you look at it the other way round, why should any of us (ie, the taxpayers!) have to pay so that someone else can leave their house/savings to their children? Why should someone get 'free for life' care just because they are fortunate enough to live long enough to need it?

Old age is a privilege - and infirm old age is VERY expensive (see my post further up!) - but well, that's just tough really, isn't it? Elderly people who are well, physically and mentally, don't cost much. My MIL, before she got dementia, lived totally within her means until she was 89, and only on a state OAP (about £600 a month) plus a hundred pounds a month annuity (I DREAD to think how badly her late husband's pension must have performed to have ended up with such a rubbish rate of return), and yet have untouched about £30-40k in various savings as well. She owned her own flat (mortgage paid by then), paid all her utility bills, paid for her shopping, paid to visit us by train, paid for buying clothes, etc etc, and still had a surplus at the end of the month. She was entirely self-financing at a modest but comfortable level (she could afford to shop at M&S!).

BUT the moment she got dementia and needed to pay 'someone else' to look after her (help her get up and showered and dressed, made breakfast for her, keep her company, do her laundry, her shopping, her cooking, help her to bed etc etc) she immediately started to run at an incredible loss. Her care home now costs £650 a week and that is cheap I know only too well! But it's still burning through the money she got from selling her flat - I reckon she'll be completely broke by about 96 or so!)

I do understand why it's so, so tempting to say 'well, let's save all that money by looking after the infirm elderly ourselves'....BUT...the price we pay is that we give up our own lives to do so. Is it worth it? That's a question for each individual. For me, I wouldn't take on my MIL's care for a million pounds a year. Not for two million. There isn't the money in the world that could persuade me to take her on, and give up the next ten years of my life going insane. But that's only my choice!

But I truly don't think it is up to taxpayers to pay for elder care so their children can inherit their parent's money.
Jenny - I understand your point, but equally, why should self-funders have to subsidise those who are funded by LAs? The self-funders are likely to have paid taxes and NI all their lives, so have already contributed to public finances. I think there should be a higher threshold to when LAs take over funding, so that individuals are able to preserve a bit more of their assets to leave to the next generation. Why should they have to pay more for the same care and facilities?
Emma, I think that's an argument that could apply in many directions. For example, I don't have children but spent my working life paying taxes to support those who did. Though it doesn't always seem fair, I'm grateful we live in a society that looks after the vulnerable.
Juggler - I didn't mean to imply that those with funds shouldn't pay. I didn't express it very well, but I don't see why they should have to pay higher rates than the LAs pay for the same care. I totally agree, I'm glad that we live in a society that looks after the vulnerable. My husband and I would be on our knees, in a loony bin, or in the ground if we didn't receive support to look after our son who has complex medical needs as well as learning disabilities etc.
I think that's a fair point - the difference in fees between what self-funders are charged, and what the council-paid-for-residents are charged is somewhat galling! It should surely be a level playing field, where the residential home sets its fees and whether they are paid by the residents themselves, or the council on behalf of residents who are below the threshold (wherever that is set!), those fees should be the same.

I'm in favour of the principle of 'redistributive' taxation whereby the better off pay more in taxes so that the 'deserving poor' (define!!!!!!) get a helping hand, and certainly those whom life has dealt a low blow (eg, birth injuries, disabilities etc). However, the issue can get very, very muddy when we start to look at just WHY someone needs to be on the receiving end of a redistributive tax system (eg, the obese, those who chose to have children, addicts, etc etc.) I might, just to be totally 'controversial' also add 'the very very old' to that list, as they are getting 'extra years of life' over and above what all too many of us are denied......(??????)

Anyway, sorry, this is rather going off the topic of the original thread, or at least, broadening it out to very large principles.
Jenny, I would suggest that you are not being controversial, you are in fact being somewhat closer to breaching a legality. You are unfairly, and some may say, almost illegally, discriminating against those who are genetically, or through lifestyle choice, fortunate enough to live longer than average. Discrimination against older people is no less disgraceful than that against the disabled, those of other races and religions, or members of the LGBT community etc., many of whom may also live to a great age!
Good Lord, that's an extraordinary thing to say! I'm genuinely stunned by it! I still can't believe you actually wrote that!

Well, I'm certainly living on a different planet from you - certainly a different moral planet, at any rate!

Probably best to end this conversation now before it gets nasty!!!

Anyone in this world is entitled to anything they want - providing it doesn't negatively impact on other people. Me objecting to having to spend years of my life looking after someone who's already had far, far more years than I have, just so they can go on having even more years of life, is not 'discriminating' against them. Just as me demanding that someone else give up years of their life to look after me so I can go on having even more years of life when I've already had years more life than they have, is anything other than parasitical!
I don't think anything I said was extraordinary, and no more extraordinary than your claim about the burden of alder people living longer than YOU think they should. Why you should be stunned, is beyond me.

You suggested ending the convo, then you continued!!! I, just as you, am entitled to express my opinion. That we appear to disagree, is no problem so far as I am concerned. Shall we take the adult approach?

Perhaps a reality check is in order. The "Good Lord" probably has reasons as to why some live longer than others, as does nature, genetics, lifestyle etc. Some aspects we can control, others, short of committing acts beyond the pale, we can't. An act committed by someone on the other side of the world, can often negatively impact people, thousands of miles away, how do you propose preventing that?
What I can't control I'm not responsible for. But if I were a 90 year old expecting a 60 year to look after me full time, then I am responsible for that, and I'm not entitled to it! (Whether I'm entitled to have multiple people to 'share care' me, for money - eg in a Care Home - is a different issue. If there are people who want to work as professional carers, then yes, of course. If, however, there are a limited number of professional carers, or limited resources to pay them with, then I'd argue that they should focus on younger 'in need of care' people, who haven't had as many years of life yet, as the 'very old' are a lower priority than the 'less old' - on the principle of years of life enjoyed. Ideally, of course, there should be resources for both lower and higher priority 'in need of care' people.)
Perhaps we have a modicum of common ground. I'd agree that an older person should not "expect" their children or younger siblings to look after them. In isolation, that would be unacceptable. The situation should be mutual. However, many of us "younger" people, do choose to look after our elderly and infirm parents, for whatever reason.

I do not begrudge anyone living well beyond the years that they are normally expected to, and, with advances in medical science etc., the number of such people is only likely to increase. Therefore, we need to find ways of caring for them, and indeed finding ways to integrate them, so they continue to be useful and meaningful to both society and to themselves, rather than isolating them, just because they are old.

They have valuable knowledge and experience, and can teach many of us a plethora of useful skills, anecdotes, and more besides. Casting them aside is not the way forward in our supposedly, progressive, society.