Family disagreement re Care Home funding - advice needed

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Family disagreement re Care Home funding - advice needed

Post by Puzzled » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:17 pm

I'm hoping that some of our members will be able to offer some advice. My very elderly father has been looking after his second wife (my step-mother) for 5 years now, and lately it has become evident that he just cannot cope any longer. He is not all that well himself, and the physical and mental strain is immense - taking it's toll. I'm very concerned for his health and well-being.

The problem is that his wife has daughters from her first marriage and they appear to be resisting our attempts to find a place in a care home for their mother because, we feel, that they do not want "their inheritance" spent on her care. They say the money is not an issue but it is a consideration. We think they would prefer her to continue to be looked after by my old dad, rather than lose the money that their mother has in the bank.

Has anyone any suggestions that we can use to pursuade them that this is the best option for their mother, and also for my father? We doubt that they will want to take the responsibility to care for their mother themselves, as it is very demanding and tireing. In any event, their lifestyles would not really allow them to do it, and we cannot see them wanting to change things to the extent that they would be able to look after their mother.

My poor old dad can really do without the stress that this is causing. At his time of life, he should be being looked after also, but sees it as his responsibility to look after her as he married her. By the way, they both have their own money in their own names, which in both cases is greater than the threshold for state funded assistance.

I have said that if he want to come and live with me when the time is right, there is room for him - but at this stage, I feel I cannot devote my life to my stepmother (she is very controlling, demanding and wants to be waited on 24-7).

Any ideas out there?

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Post by despair » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:16 pm

Sounds like your stepmothers daughters are just like her

I agree that its way too much for your Father and will be making him ill

Does she get full help from Social Services because they should asses her and they may be able to say that she needs full time nursing home care or they can provide assistance in the home

The worst of all of this is that if your Father or your stepmother had not been prudent or had squandered their money through life they would get free care

Its the ones who are prudent who get shafted by the system and then sit in a nursing home being bled dry next to others who get free care

Justice ......forget it

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Post by Pennyfarthing » Sun Dec 11, 2005 10:08 pm

First thing you need to do is get your Dad the allowance he is entitled to as he is her Carer. It's about £50-£60 per week. He deserves that!! This is NOT means tested and any carer gets it. They will pay that from the time you SUBMIT the claim. Then by the time they have agreed the claim he will get a nice little lump sum. He could then spend it how he chooses - pay a cleaner, buy a stack of ready-meals for the freezer, pay someone to come and sit with her for a few hours, whatever will help him out basically.

Check out

You would also benefit from talking to someone at your local Social Services - there will be a person who is responsible for Elderly people. They will come out and fully assess their needs and can probably arrange for your StepMother to attend a local Day Care Centre (even a day a week would give your Dad a break). They will also arrange home help and meals on wheels. If they have to pay for these (as you suggest) then so be it - its their money not her families!!

Also speak to your local Age Concern or look at their website. They give straightforward advice and tons of info. leaflets. Also check out Help The Aged - they're v. good too.

By the way, if YOU are able to be the carer, then you apply for the allowance.

Hope this helps a bit, will give it some more thought.

Don't hang about though - get your Dad the help he needs and is entitled tonow.

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Post by gardenlaw » Sun Dec 11, 2005 11:14 pm

Do you know if your stepmother has an Enduring Power of Attorney to enable her financial affairs to be looked after if she is not able?

Your father should consider making an EPA himself to let you be his attorney, or whoever he thinks would be best able to help.

Remember his wife is your father's next of kin and would inherit some or all of his estate if he died without a will. He may be quite happy for this to happen, but discuss it with him if he does not have a will.

I think you should involve social services and have not only your stepmother's needs assessed but also those of your father as a carer. It will not be easy since your father sees it as his responsibility.

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Post by Puzzled » Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:54 pm

Thank you all for your replies. We are now looking into all the suggestions you have made.

Pennyfarthing, the carers allowance you speak of, is this the Attendance Allowance? My stepmother already receives this allowance, but it is hers, and it is paid along with her state pension, so unfortunately she keeps it for her own use. Dad even ends up paying for the cleaner out of his money, as they will only accept a cheque. My stepmother does not have a bank account, only deals in cash.

However, we are in the process of trying to get the application form completed for Dad to receive an Attendance Allowance in his own right!

Thank you all again for your suggestions and support. I will let you know what transpires over the next few weeks.

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Post by Conveyancer » Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:05 pm

A carer's allowance is different from an attendance allowance - it is paid to the carer. No chance of the same person receiving an attendance allowance and a carer's allowance!

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Post by Puzzled » Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:51 pm

Thank you Conveyancer, I thought that the only allowance that was available would be the Attendance Allowance. My dad will, I am sure be eligible for the AA and he will hopefully be applying for that. I did not know that there is a seperate "Carers Allowance". I note that you cannot apply for both, but I suppose it depends which may be the greater amount, as to which it would be better for dad to apply for. Is the carers allowance paid for by the Pensions people, as is the attendance allowance? Or is it payable by the DSS? Any advice as to who to enquire to re this carers allowance?

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Post by Conveyancer » Thu Dec 15, 2005 10:27 pm

To be honest I am not sure, I think it is the DSS. I only know about the carer's allowance from a personal situation. You cannot get it if your income is over a certain limit. Since you get it for looking after someone it follows that you cannot at the same time claim an attendance allowance as that is only payable if you need looking after.

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Post by patdavies » Fri Dec 16, 2005 10:50 am

For reference, the DSS ceased to exist some time ago.

The Govt Department for these allowances is the DWP (Department of Work & Pensions)

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Post by twig » Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:31 pm

I wish they'd stop renaming these departments. It's all confusing enough without having to constantly track whoever is responsible...

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Post by despair » Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:27 am

Thats exactly why they do it

Cant have more millions of serfs out with the begging bowl trying to get the benefits they have spent 50 years paying NI and tax into the system for

NO NO NO those benefits are reserved for "johny come latelys "who only draw out but will never pay in

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Post by mark1 » Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:15 pm

The first thing that needs to be known is what does your father think is best. He is legally the next of kin. No on else has any say really, only suggestions. If your step-mother is professionally cared for in a decent nursing home there is nothing to stop him visiting every day. They would then have the best of both things.

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Carers Allowance

Post by Angelisle » Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:29 pm

Hi Puzzled,
you can find out as to whether your father can claim Carers Allowance iro Stepmother from the DWP by clicking the link below, you can actually place a claim online now :idea: ... owance.asp

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Post by Pennyfarthing » Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:05 am

Hi Puzzled - yes I did mean the Carers Allowance. Your Dad IS her carer so he should get this. Don't delay applying ... it could take ages before other arrangements are sorted out so at least this would be something for your Dad. My parents are in their 80s and both have had cancer and Mum has had 2 major ops and needs quite a bit of help. Dad does all the shopping and preparing veg and then she cooks it. He puts washing in machine and pegs it out. She sits and irons. She gets dizzy spells and is not too good on stairs so he doesn't leave her for long. They get by as a team and are grateful for the Carers Allowance.

Did you speak to Age Concern or Help the Aged yet?

Not sure I agree with some of the comments about people being prudent etc and others getting free care. My parents didn't have any spare money TO squander. My father worked all his life BUT in a rural area on low pay. There were no benefits/top-up payments when they were bringing up 3 children. Mum worked a few hours a week but grew all fruit and veg for the family and could make a meal out of nothing. Every single penny was accounted for. Neither of them ever smoked or drank and they never owned their own home until my brother helped them buy their council house. They have had one holiday in their whole lives ... in this country for a week (self-catering). They still talk about that!! :lol: They never had money for luxuries yet never owed anybody anything.

BUT a lovely thing happened a few weeks ago - they had several phone calls from a man offering pension advice. They got a bit confused and wondered if it was a scam. I rang the number he gave and checked him out and it was genuine (Dept of Work & Pensions) so he came to see them in case they were not getting what they were entitled to. My Dad told him they could manage on what they get but the guy was great and said "look, if you're entitled to it, have it! " He filled in all the forms for them and they provided evidence of their savings etc and within a week they had a cheque for just over £1000. They were gobsmacked!! That is back payment and they now get extra each week. So a bouquet for the DWP I think - that was incredible service.

Let us know how you get on Puzzled. :)

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Post by despair » Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:15 am


Parents like yours desrve all the help they can get and more

What gets me is the ones who could have saved but instead squandered money at bingo or the pub .......they never knew what it was like to struggle

Equally many of the elderly women currently faced with all their estate being gobbled up in care home fees were left alone in the 1950s with children and there was absolutely no social security help at all for them

One i know worked 3 jobs 20 hours a day while the grandparents cared for the 2 small children for many years ,,,,, 20 yrs later was able to buy a tiny bungalow and now age 89 and going into Alzheimers faces it all being ripped away ...............she will land up sitting next to someone in a care home who having squandered their money and never gone through immense hardship gets free care ..............i do not call that justice or equality

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