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Social Care - who should pay?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by emerald52, Jul 28, 2019.

  1. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    An elderly relative is enraged that they will be left with £24 a week since their house will be used to fund care home fees. I feel that it is quite right to expect that your home will be used to fund care if you don’t have the spare cash. Why should local authorities have to keep people so they can pass on an inheritance to their children?
    Spoofer4114 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I do agree that those well off enough to be able to afford to do so, should be expected to pay towards their social care.


    when people who've 'spent' their money on holidays / house extensions/ helping out children and therefore voluntarily deprived them selves of capital will receive exactly the same care as people like my mother, but will only be asked to contribute a much smaller amount. Same size room. Same carers. etc but because my parents were frugal and didn't go on expensive holidays, made-do and mended, making, mending their own clothes etc and therefore saved well, it is galling to think, that because she was unfortunate enough to suffer with dementia and lived many years in a Nursing Home, she should have to spend her life savings and the cost of her home to get the sort of care she needed. People who suffer with cancer, like my father are not asked to contribute the huge costs of their nursing care. Ditto with most other 'terminal diagnoses'.

    When one considers the average person lives with dementia between 7-10 years needing a high level of care at an average of £50000 - £60000 a year with a possible total of £350,000- £600,000 and someone else who only needs a small amount of help at home and no nursing care may pay less than £10,000 a year and probably not a similar length of time, it does seem a bit lop-sided. And depends on the 'luck of the draw' exactly how much care is needed.

    And by the way, as I found out as my NH owner admitted , he used self-funders like my mother to 'subsidize' those paid for by Social Services, who were able to negotiate lower rates for their clients, by as much as a £40% reduction.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I understand where you are coming from... but...

    Would you similar for someone suffering cancer? Or any other debilitating disease?
  4. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    Because throughout their working life people have paid into the system through taxes and contributed to society through their work and other ways.

    Having the state care for you when you need it is not a privilege its a right earnt and paid for.

    (Of course that only applies to those who contributed in some way, those that haven't don't really deserve this support)
    borges33, hhhh, lexus300 and 7 others like this.
  5. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    Why do you think successive governments have swept this under the carpet for years? And of course this will not feature in any manifesto for the autumn election. (Unless of course the 350 million quid a week is real and will be used to sort out the problem!)
    ilovesooty, Lara mfl 05 and emerald52 like this.
  6. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    I think the difference is that cancer treatment means you are going to be treated then come back to your home. Living in a care home permanently means you have no need for your home so can free up capital by a house sale to fund it. You could decide to sell your home and move into a very posh hotel instead. It’s only once you have less than £14k in savings. We do have to sort out this matter but never have so far.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    I thought it was £16k, but after nabbing your house you can be left with the princely sum of £22500 to pass on to your heirs.
    Lara mfl 05 and emerald52 like this.
  8. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    These days, councils check very carefully and, under Deprivation of Assets legislation, will penalise those who have voluntarily deprived themselves of capital - very often by paying only the amount they would have paid had the capital still been available.

    That really isn't true. The average time that a person with dementia needs residential care is a little over 2 years. Still very expensive, but even the worst 10% of cases spend less than 6 years in residential care.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
    emerald52 likes this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    But that isn't true for cancers that are incurable or inoperable. There is no fundamental reason that I can see why the welfare state pays for you if the NHS deems it's an illness that can be treated but not if it's a medical condition they haven't found a cure for yet. People's anger over it is about what they think the purpose of the welfare state should be. It isn't obvious why the welfare state should discriminate depending on how curable your medical condition is, confiscating nearly all your money if there's no cure yet, but taking none of it if you can be treated. Nor is there any obvious logic to why the state pays to clean up your incontinence if you are in a hospital but not if in a nursing home.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
    vannie, Lara mfl 05 and emerald52 like this.
  10. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    True but it would be very difficult to use those rules against someone because of how much they had paid for their holidays when younger, or how big the house they lived in.

    In essence if a local authority believes that someone has intentionally reduced their assets (property, cash, possessions etc) with a significant intention to avoid these being included in a financial assessment for care home fees, then the local authority can assess them on the basis that they still own these assets. The intention of the spending is key to LAs being able to use the 'deprivation of assets' rules. As a rule of thumb that means that the person must have disposed of the assets after it appeared likely they needed social care. LAs can't say to an 85 year old 'you spent too much on your holiday 65 years ago'.

    It's giving away assets to others that is more likely to be questioned than how much you spent on your holiday or your house. How much you spent on your house is irrelevant really because it's still your asset.
    minnie me, Lara mfl 05 and emerald52 like this.
  11. Ivartheboneless

    Ivartheboneless Star commenter

    It is about definitions. "Dementia" is not classed as an "illness" (it is of course) so the NHS do not have to pay for it.
    vannie, emerald52 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Indeed so: sorry if that wasn't clear. I was merely making the point that Lara mfl 05 should not imagine that people who have given away their assets will get away with paying less. The council may well try to recoup the money from the patient and/or the recipients of the gifts..

    Exactly. It is best to get legal advice on any such donations.
    emerald52 likes this.
  13. emerald52

    emerald52 Star commenter

    My neighbours are in their eighties and still fit and well. They gifted their house, many years ago. to their 3 adult daughters. They pay rent to the daughters so that the house will not be part of their estate and have to be sold or incur inheritance tax. That is one way round it though I still think that there should be a lifetime tax on gifts like that.
    ilovesooty and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I'm sorry but my experience with my relatives and those of friends, is well above that '2 year average' often quoted in literature. In fact there's someone still in that NH who had a stroke in her 50s and has already spent 10-11 years in the Home and she's still comparatively young and will probably spend many more years there.
    And again post-stroke a friend has a mother who was cared for by her husband for 12 years, until he became worn out and she's now been 8-9 years in a Home.

    It's all very well talking about 'averages' when you're the unfortunate one who defies the 'averages'.

    I'm well aware of that fact. but have also encountered people who've openly boasted about 'they'll never be able to prove I deliberately spent a lot of money on all my cruises after 10 years, so I'm not worried. And others, again boasting, about how they got their relative to pass on the house well ahead of needing care, just in case they would need care in the future. :rolleyes:
    JosieWhitehead, Dodros and emerald52 like this.
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'm sorry, but I've spent 10 years supporting family with dementia and working with the NHS, GPs and other support groups getting the best care for my relatives. Your statement is nonsense. What the NHS pays for and what it doesn't has nothing to do with whether dementia is classified as an illness - and "illness" is not a NHS diagnostic category - but about (generalising) the treatment an NHS hospital can offer.

    And FYI the NHS pays for a number of treatments for people with dementia, including Alzheimers. The treatments do not "cure" dementia but they may slow its progress and alleviate how it affects people's day to day living.
    emerald52 likes this.
  16. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    And yet nnually, an estimated £68m is spent on in vitro fertilisation by the NHS.

    Since 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has stipulated that women who meet the criteria should be offered three cycles at a cost of about £4000 per cycle.

    Infertility is not an "illness" either.
  17. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Spending your money on cruises is very unlikely ever to be a 'deprivation of assets'. Expenditure out of normal income is not disposal of an asset. Gifting a house to family is more likely to get you into trouble with HMRC for Inheritance tax than for a social care assessment, but the key questions from the council will be about the foreseeability of you needing social care at the time you gifted and the intention behind the gift. But the uncertainty of those vague tests is stressful for many people, understandably.
    emerald52 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    I'm sorry to hear that, but it is in the nature of averages that different people will have different times. My own father-in-law popped his clogs so quickly after diagnosis that we didn't even have time to get him into a care home. In contrast, his wife lived alone for 15 years after diagnosis, needing some home care towards the end, but only spending her last 3 weeks in residential care.

    The test the council carries out is whether or not this person knew he had dementia when he spent that money. If he had previously not taken expensive holidays it is likely he would be investigated. However, taking a holiday is a perfectly normal expense, so it is unlikely that action would be taken unless the amounts concerned are clearly excessive.

    The pressure on council funds since 2008 means that many more are now actively pursuing cases of this kind.

    If that was done after diagnosis, it would be treated as potentially suspicious.
  19. Easyasabc

    Easyasabc Occasional commenter

    If they have paid nhs contributions I think it wrong for an elderly relative to lose their home. This way, it only forces elderly relatives to give their home away sooner in case they become ill. It is also sad that our society cares so little for their elderly relatives and leaves it to the state.
  20. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    What if the elderly choose to spend their money funding their grandchildren's tuition fees at university?

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