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Carers UK Forum • New here
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New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:40 am
by Susan_201012345678
Hi,
my husband and I are informal carers for both my elderly parents. More of a supportive and organisational care ATM.
Both have memory problems and Dad has just been diagnosed with vascular dementia and also has physical disabilities secondary to arthritis , a previous hip fracture and a small stroke last year. He has osteoporosis and fully anticoagulated for stroke prevention.
Mum (who does all the cooking, and most of the washings and shopping) has widespread arthritis (ankles/shoulders/hips/spine) with quite bad curvature in her spine which was aggravated after she had a hip replacement which left her with leg length discrepancy. Also neuropathy in her hands and feet.
Never realised how hard it would be to get them the care and living modifications they need. Leaves you wondering why exactly the NHS seems to be focused on reducing heart attacks and strokes ie getting people to live longer when health and social care is for the elderly is so uncoordinated and fragmented and just doesn't help people maintain their independence. Where's the "rehabilitation"? Even after Dad's fractured hip when he was in hospital for 4 weeks on an elderly rehab' ward the focus wasn't on rehab aspects like getting washed/shaved in the bathroom (as opposed to in bed with a bowl of water), eating meals at the table (Dining room and TV room there but just not used) and dressing independently. Very, very limited OT input and nursing staff didn't seem to have a clue how to encourage independence.
The carers we have going in are about 19/20. Little experience and probably don't even have an NVQ in care. I'm a retired nurse and hoped that (as things like instilling eye drops and putting compression stockings on seem to be classed as social care these days) they would pick up on and report skin issues, red eyes etc. Almost be my extra pair of eyes. The £15.60 an hour he pays is a rip off. I know registered nurses working in the NHS who don't earn anything like that amount.
Would love to try and find a carer privately.

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:56 am
by bowlingbun
How is their care being funded at the moment?
A diagnosis of dementia means that dad is EXEMPT from Council Tax.
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Do they own their home, or rent?
Do they have over £46,000 between them?
Have they had a Social Services Needs Assessment?
Have you had a Carers Assessment?
Do you have any other brothers or sisters?
Are you living with them, or have a home of your own?

All the questions are very relevant, not as random as they appear!!

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:57 am
by sunnydisposition
Hi & welcome Susan

Just a quick reply ...

I'll be back later.

The carer doesn't get the whole fee. It's the agency's who take the large commissions etc.

https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care ... zsg4j2q80m

There is a lot more to getting your own private carer.

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:00 pm
by Susan_201012345678
bowlingbun wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:56 am
How is their care being funded at the moment?
A diagnosis of dementia means that dad is EXEMPT from Council Tax.
Do you have Power of Attorney?
Do they own their home, or rent?
Do they have over £46,000 between them?
Have they had a Social Services Needs Assessment?
Have you had a Carers Assessment?
Do you have any other brothers or sisters?
Are you living with them, or have a home of your own?

All the questions are very relevant, not as random as they appear!!
Hi bb,
I don't mind questions and understand they aren't random. Just thankful that you're showing an interest!
My Dad is self funding
He's just started getting AA 2 months ago
He lives with my Mum so I assume that means they'll qualify for a 25% reduction in Council Tax then?
My husband and I have EPA. It was set up many years ago with my parents as attorneys for one another. My parents have now surrendered their powers and the EPA has been registered with the OPG.
They own their own home
Do you mean over £46k annual income or in savings?
My Dad has a named social worker (since October last year) for all the good she seems to be. Dad was just under an annual review before then, but I requested a review of his needs in October when he started having falls and had a fairly acute episode of confusion during the night and fell. The SW did it over the phone (she's never met him) but I've just discovered that his care plan wasn't updated.

I'm just about to ask for a SS assessment for my Mum and also need to broach the subject of another memory assessment (she had one about 4 years ago which was borderline). Unlike my Dad, she's quite prickly and not very easy going.Reluctant to have people coming into "her" house. Sometimes adamant that she can do all the things that are required, when it's clear that things get forgotten, and she forgets past conversations and events. In a lot of ways , my Mum creates problems that harder to deal with/resolve than Dad does! The ongoing situation since he fractured his hip 3 years past November has been very hard for all of us. It's affected our relationships and also my health (I suffer from anxiety and an autoimmune condition) I'm eternally grateful that I have such a supportive and laid back husband.
I'm an only child
I haven't had a carers assessment, but my NHS pension is £600 a month so assume I wouldn't be entitled to anything
We live in our own home

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:14 pm
by Susan_201012345678
sunnydisposition wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 10:57 am
Hi & welcome Susan

Just a quick reply ...

I'll be back later.

The carer doesn't get the whole fee. It's the agency's who take the large commissions etc.

https://www.which.co.uk/later-life-care ... zsg4j2q80m

There is a lot more to getting your own private carer.
Oh yes, I understand that completely. I didn't word it very well.
Regarding finding a carer privately, what I was trying to convey was that I don't have much confidence in the carers because they're so young and you know they're only on minimum wage or thereabouts. Thanks for the link.
My Dad has a lot of needs, even if some of them only involve checking/assessment.

I must have a look at the documentation from the care agency. I've had some time out from visiting as often since Christmas (and obviously it's COVID time too), so I've not been as "on the ball" ,although I'm at the end of my tether trying to get his social care increased (since last October).

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:54 pm
by sunnydisposition

Re: New here

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:08 pm
by bowlingbun
You sound well organised.
Definitely get mum to have another test, then if positive it will mean she can have AA too, and Council Tax exemption, which I think means the won't pay anything at all.
No one wants to admit to needing help, but it's what she needs, not wants, that matters now.
The £46k is savings, over that Social Services expect people to arrange their own care.

Re: New here

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:29 am
by Susan_201012345678
sunnydisposition wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:54 pm
Have a read ...

https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advic ... assessment
So we could ask for a carers assessment for my Mum?

Re: New here

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:44 am
by Susan_201012345678
bowlingbun wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:08 pm
You sound well organised.
Definitely get mum to have another test, then if positive it will mean she can have AA too, and Council Tax exemption, which I think means the won't pay anything at all.
No one wants to admit to needing help, but it's what she needs, not wants, that matters now.
The £46k is savings, over that Social Services expect people to arrange their own care.
To be fair, having completed the AA form for Dad, I think Mum would probably qualify for the lower rate as she has significant difficulties with anything that she has to use her hands for, has chronic pain (everywhere!), and can't bend down or reach up very far for things. Walks with a stick and has a noticeable limp (unequal leg length since hip replacement and curvature of the spine) despite one of her shoes being built up. I need to get back in touch with podiatry/orthotics too.

Yes, we were caught out about 6 months ago when the care agency had the capacity to increase Dad's care , but Mum didn't want people in the house more often. Then we had a chat and husband and I said it was about what Dad needed so she agreed, but then the carer agency didn't have the capacity to increase care, and then we became aware that the Social worker has to OK the increase even though Dad self pays.
We're not sure if it's better if we carry on getting the care via the council or whether it's easier to just go it alone. If we did that presume that Dad would still have his Social Worker? The system we have goes back to when he was discharged from hospital following his hip fracture. Initially he had the Intermediate care team (NHS) going in for 6 weeks and then carers via the council.

Re: New here

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:33 am
by bowlingbun
If you are sure dad has to pay for the care he receives, then you can do whatever you want.
That means that he has over roughly £46,000 in savings.

After I had a head on smash that nearly killed me, I had a private physiotherapist to help me recover from knee replacements, all paid for by the car insurance in my case. She also worked in the NHS with my consultant, and said how much she enjoyed seeing me, and being able to give me all the sessions I needed, rather than the standard NHS amount.

If you parents' savings are just over the threshold, think about how to reduce their savings lawfully. You can spend whatever you like on proper treatment for them, they can have new carpets if some a getting thin, etc. Maybe a walk in shower.

As a retired nurse yourself, maybe employing a fully qualified nurse for a few hours a week would be better than the no qualification carers?