advert
advert

Understanding the Costs of Care for the Elderly in Their Own Home

Care of the elderly can take on many forms. It can be provided in a secure environment such as a residential care home or nursing home or in many cases a person may choose to have their care provided in the comfort of their own home. Specialist care providers exist that can tailor a care plan to meet the costs of care for individuals needs and adapt that care plan as care needs change.

Providers of home care are registered with the Care Quality Commission www.cqc.org.uk in England and Wales. The Care Quality Commission regulates the companies providing care services. They have specific criteria to meet on registration and will receive regular checks to ensure that they are maintaining standards. You are able to review the care providers report on the Care Quality Commission website.

In addition to this regulation the national professional association for organisations who provide care for people in their own homes is UKHCA (United Kingdom Homecare Association) www.ukhca.co.uk . They have a vision where a choice of high quality, sustainable community-based care is available to all. (more...)

Where can Carers Turn for Help in Providing Long Term Care for the Elderly?

As people get older they may start to rely upon their family or friends for assistance with minor chores around the house for example cleaning, cooking and shopping or perhaps more personal care like helping them to get up and dressed in the mornings or putting them to bed in the evening. As dependency increases this can have a major impact on the person who is providing the care.

The demands of the person needing care may start off quite simply but as their needs increase the carer can often find themselves committed in some cases to round the clock care. This level of commitment may come at the detriment to their own family or their career. Caring for someone on a day to day basis can be very stressful and leave you with very little time for yourself.

There are organisations that are able to provide carers with support and advice on long term care which may ease their burden. Organisations that can help include:

  • Carers UK – this organisation can offer a wealth of information support for carers. They offer guidance on financial matters, caring for a spouse or partner or an elderly relative. They can offer practical help on looking after yourself and surviving life as a carer
  • Mind UK – www.mind.org.uk offers support for those who care for a friend or relative with mental illness such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or other mental condition perhaps as a result of an accident. Those that care for those with a mental health problem can find this more challenging than caring in other area because the symptoms of mental health conditions are unpredictable
It is comforting to know there are organisations available to assist you. They can put you in touch with other people who may be experiencing similar situations. For carers it is important to have access to respite care so that they can get a break.

Paying for Your Long Term Care in Scotland

Paying for care is not a small matter. Whether it is care provided at home or in a residential care home, costs of care services can quickly add up to a significant amount. Today, as care during old age has become a ubiquitous need, it is more important than ever to understand the care system and to plan for long term care in advance.

In the UK, the state and the NHS provide help with costs of care to those who may be eligible to receive it subject to a means test in the case of certain benefits, and a needs test in the case of others. The system is different in Scotland, England and Wales. Let us first consider the paying for long term care in Scotland and its implications on the elderly.

For residents of Scotland over the age of 65, care at home is given free of charge, provided the local council has assessed that care is required. In such a case, the cost of care to be met by the individual is limited to personal living costs, and the potential cost of day care. This type of assistance from the local council does not affect other benefits such as attendance allowance, disability benefits etc. (more...)

Government Proposal to Secure Long Term Care Fees on Your Home

The government have just announced a new proposal to offer home owners local authority loans to fund the cost of long term care for the elderly. At present if you have assets exceeding the upper threshold of £23,250 which includes your home you are required to fund the cost of your care yourself. The cost of the home is disregarded however if it will remain the home of a spouse or partner or a relative over the age of 60, an incapacitated relative still lives in it or a child under 16 still lives there and the person needing care is responsible for maintaining them.

If you need to pay for care at present the options for funding may be to sell your home to release the capital, you may consider letting the property out which would generate an income to help with the cost of care. The new proposal by the government is to offer loans which will be secured on your home and would only be repayable on death. This will effectively remove the stress of needing to sell the home straight away. This option will work in a similar way to equity release. They are going to charge interest but at this stage the level of interest is unknown.

Some local authorities run deferred payment schemes in their localities. These schemes are a loan from the local authority to cover the cost of care and the debt is secured on the home and repaid on death or the prior sale of the property. These schemes have the added benefit of being interest free until 56 days following death. (more...)

How The Dilnot Report Affects Long Term Care

The Dilnot report published in 2011 was commissioned by the coalition government in July 2010. They received a response to the issues raised by individuals and organisations on the provision of care. The commission received over 250 responses from various groups and individuals which included the financial services sector, local authorities and care providers.

The response received were covering various area of care provision such as the reform of state funding systems, raising additional funds and improvement of advice and information for all concerned.

Over all there was great support for a joint funding model for individuals and the state to provide care. It was also stated that any reforms made must also support working aged adults and not just the elderly care. There was also a call for more integration of services because the present system for assessment and provision of long term care is disjointed and does not work effectively. People need to be able to plan for a future that is more certain. If the recommendations of the report were to be adopted the cap on the cost of care to the individual may have opened up the market for providers to design new products to cope with the demand for funding care. The present system of charging and provision of care can cost an individual their life savings. (more...)

Home loans to help pay for elderly Long Term Care

In the last couple of days the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley has announced proposed changes to the way care fees for the elderly are paid. It was announced that a scheme that should come into force by 2015 would prevent the need for an elderly person or their family having to sell their home in order to cover the costs associated with providing their long term care.

There is in fact already a Local Authority funded scheme in existence that allows this to happen. The deferred payment scheme is not well publicised as many Local Authorities do not have the funding available to cover the cost and those that do offer it have limited funding so the option may be refused. This scheme allows the Local Authority to pay for your care costs in the form of a loan that is secured on your home. The loan will need to be repaid on death or if the property is sold before this time. The loans available on the Deferred Payment Scheme are interest free until 56 days following the death of the individual. At this point interest will start to accumulate on the loan outstanding until the debt is repaid.

The current proposal to extend the home loan for care scheme to all Local Authorities has indicated that there will be interest charged on the loan from the start of the arrangement. Whilst the availability of funding through the Local Authority my offer the individual more options for example, by retaining their home this could be rented out to provide a level of income that can in turn be used to pay some of their care fees, there would still be a danger that if care continued over a long period of time the funds available my run out. (more...)

Deadline Looming to Reclaim Entitlement to Care Home Fees

If you are a loved one have been paying for your own care since 2004 you may be entitled to make a claim for some or all of these costs to be refunded to you. The pivotal decision depends on many factors but in essence many people have been paying for their own care when it should have been fully funded NHS Care that assisted them. The way in which assessments are carried out changed in 2007 using different criteria for assessment.

The Government have opened up this claims appeal as there was concern that those elderly people with serious medical and nursing need were wrongly assess and had to pay for the total cost of care themselves.

Because of the sheer volume of claims being made upon the government now they have issued a deadline for new claims to be submitted of 30th September 2012. Access to free continuing health care on the NHS is needs tested rather than means tested, this essentially means that if someone qualified on the ground of their health and medical needs it would not matter if they had assets of not as their care should be funded for free from the NHS. (more...)

Is the Social Care Insurance Scheme the answer to care costs?

Andrew Lansley the Secretary of State for Health has recently unveiled proposal s to help the elderly with the growing cost of care. Last year the Dilnot report on care suggested that a cap on how much an individual should have to pay for their long term care should be instigated. The suggestion was that each person should have to pay no more than £30,000 toward the cost of their care, however this was perhaps a little unrealistic when we consider the current financial situation the Government is facing. With cutbacks in all public services and public spending it was perhaps a little optimistic of the public to expect this recommendation to be adopted.

Whilst the government took on board the contents of the Dilnot Report their proposals are somewhat watered down. Andrew Lansley is suggesting a Social Care Insurance Scheme which would effectively put a cap on the cost of care at a figure of £100,000. This scheme would not however be free to all, but instead individuals would have to opt into the scheme to benefit and pay a premium to ensure that their costs for care and accommodation would be capped. Effectively taxpayer would have to stand the 1-10 danger of catastrophic costs exceeding the limit of £100,000.

The Treasury have already stated the current economic situation meant they were "unable to introduce the new system at this stage". So over the past 13 years there have been two independent commissions, three public consultations and now three white papers. Yet ultimately ever increasing costs of providing care and the increasing longevity of the nation means that the government are not or will ever be in a position where they can offer fully funded care for everyone.

The Purchase of a Care Plan can Help Protect your Beneficiaries

When the elderly become unable to look after their day to day needs they and their families are faced with the prospect of looking for care. This care may initially be just a couple of hours per day to help with cooking, cleaning and shopping, which in most part can usually be provided by family members. Because of the pressures of their own busy lives this may not always be possible and often the extended family may live many miles away.

Professional long term care may be the answer to this problem although this option will usually come at a cost, unless your assets fall below the lower means test limit of £14,250. Many individuals may delay getting the care planning they need because they are worried that all they have saved over their lifetime may be used up in paying for care.

By seeking out specialist financial advice at the start of the process they can give you valuable care home fees advice which can put you in a much stronger position to be able to preserve some of your assets for your beneficiaries. By looking at the cost of a potential care home or provision of care in your own home then taking into account any pension income you may receive there would normally be a shortfall between the two. This shortfall can be covered with the purchase of a Care Plan which is a form of enhanced annuity payable for the rest of your life. (more...)

Legal Reassurance for Those in Elderly Care

The elderly will need to seek legal advice on many matters in their later years. The services that require may include setting up a lasting power of attorney, making a will and arranging trusts to protect their assets. It may also include conveyancing for the sale of a property or arranging equity release perhaps to pay for their long term care needs.

It is therefore vitally important that they choose a legal professional that they can trust and who is well experienced in dealing with the specific needs of the elderly. A national independent organisation called Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE) can provide details of suitably qualified and experienced solicitors, lawyers, legal executives and barristers. They are there to help and guide vulnerable older people their families and carers.

Solicitors for the elderly offer a full service of advice on the following subjects:

  • Trusts, wills and estate planning
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection work
  • Probate and the administration of estates
  • Trusts
  • Advice on Care issues including; preservation of assets in the event of long term residential or nursing care
  • Care home contracts
  • Advice on financial responsibility and funding criteria for long term care
  • State benefits
  • Equity release plans
  • Mental Health Act
The solicitor who you instruct to act on your behalf will be transparent with their charging structure and will usually provide you with a written estimate for the work they will carry out on your behalf. They may charge by the hour or have a fixed pricing system for certain types of work such as Lasting Power of Attorney or making a Will. (more...)

Financial and Elderly Care Assessments

Care Assessment
As a nation we are all expected to live longer and the sad fact of life is that with longevity it is highly likely that many of us will require some form of long term care in our later years. When the time comes you can request an assessment of your care needs or for an elderly relative for which you are acting as an attorney.

Your care assessment will be carried out by a Social Worker or care professional and would normally be carried out within the comfort of your own home. It is best if a close relative or friend is in attendance to offer you support.

Following your assessment your local authority will provide a report recommending the type of home care or residential care that is required. (more...)

How Your Home is Affected by the 12 Week Property Disregard

So you have worked hard all your life. You have paid you mortgage and finally you own your property outright. In your later years your health starts to fail and your need for long term care has arisen. Many people feel that their only option at this stage is to use their only asset which is their home.

However it is worth looking closely at how property is treated in the assessment of paying for care. Where an elderly person has a spouse or partner still living in the property or if that home is the main residence for an elderly relative over the age of 60 the value of the property will not be taken into account.

If the individual has a dependant who is under the age of 16 living in the property the value will also be ignored. In some other instances the Local Authority may have the discretion to use the 12 week disregard perhaps where someone has given up their own home to move in with the elderly person in order to provide live in care. (more...)

Local Authority View on Deliberate Deprivation of Assets

In years gone by many people believed that there was an unwritten understanding that you could gift away your savings and property to your family or other beneficiaries and it would therefore place these assets outside of your means test for paying for long term care. Many families with elderly relatives believed that if assets was passed over a certain length of time ago is would fall outside of the means test conducted by the Local Authority and therefore leave them with nothing to cover paying for care so their local authority would pick up the cost.

In reality though the Local Authorities were wise to these tactics and they would investigate where an elderly person’s assets had gone and more importantly the reason for their disposal. The deliberate deprivation of your assets is illegal to avoid paying for care.

However the law is understanding in that it appreciates that people may wished to give away their assets for other legitimate reasons. In some instances a transfer of property may take place in order to mitigate some inheritance tax liability for the beneficiaries. In order to prove this as the reason for the transfer the individual would be seen to make a market rate of income if they were to remain in the home after transferring ownership. (more...)

Point of Care Long Term Care Annuities

So you are faced with the prospect of providing long term care either for yourself or for an elderly relative. The first issue to combat is where the care will be provided. I may be beneficial for you to remain in your own home or if this proves to be too costly you may need to reconsider a move into residential or nursing home. Once a decision has been reached about the location of the care the next question will usually relate to the cost of care, who will need to pay and is this method of payment sustainable for the lifetime of the individual.

It may be that when you are assess your assets fall below the lower means test limit which is currently £14,250 and therefore will qualify for your care costs to be paid for you by your Local Authority. The other reason why your care costs will be covered would be if you qualified for continuing NHS health care. You may receive this benefit if you are assessed as having a primary need of medical care/nursing care. If you are considered to be a self funder you will need to ensure that your assets are managed correctly in order to provide an income to cover the care costs for the rest of your life.

The most common way to achieve this is by purchasing a point of care annuity also known as immediate needs annuity which provides the income required. (more...)

Pre Funded Long Term Care Insurance Products

Due to the ever increasing costs of providing care for the elderly, many people have taken specialist financial advice surrounding Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI) products. Whilst many of these products are no longer available to new investors it is important to understand how they all work as legacy products are still in existence and could be called upon in the future to help you pay for your care needs.

The types of care plans fall into two categories:

  • Pre Funded care Plan - also known as future care plans– which can be an insurance policy paid for with regular premium of as a lump sum.
  • Point of need care plan – also known as immediate need – usually purchased with a lump sum and aims to provide income to cover care costs for the rest of the individual’s life.
  • Pre funded care has more or less disappeared from the market, one of the explanations for this is a higher than expected level of claims on the policies, in other words – the underwriters got their calculations wrong. Actuaries would have based the premiums for such policies on anticipated life expectancy and how likely a claim would be for individuals taking into account such things as their current health, medical history, family history and even where in the country they lived. Due to improvements in medical care many more people can expect to live for longer and therefore the insurance companies would be expected to pay the income to the residential home for far longer than initially expected.

    There are two main types of pre funded care the first of which is a typical insurance policy that would have required the regular payment of premiums and would have provided protection just in case care was required. As with most life insurance policies this type of protection would not provide a repayment of premiums if not claim were ever made or generate a cash in value at any time. (more...)

Using Investments to Pay for Residential Care

With improvements in medicine the number of people requiring residential care or nursing care is set to rise considerably over the coming years. Many of these elderly people will have worked hard all of their lives and may be facing the prospect of using up their lifeÂ’s savings in a very short space of time paying for care.

The process will start by the local authority doing an assessment of your care needs and providing you with an individual care plan. This will establish where the care will be provided for example care in your home or a residential or nursing home.

It is then the responsibility of the local authority to conduct a means test in order to establish if you are to be a self funder. A self funder is someone who has assets in excess of the upper means test limit of £23,250. Your assets will include all savings and investments held in your sole name or 50% of any jointly held assets. There is an exception though with single premium investment bonds which are a form of life insurance plan. (more...)

Long Term Dementia Care

Dementia is not a specific disease but a term that covers a collection of symptoms relating to cognitive impairment. Different symptoms will present themselves dependant on which area of the brain is affected.

Someone who has difficulty remembering or struggles to reason is likely to be suffering from cortical dementia. The cerebral cortex controls our ability remember and an example of this type of dementia would be AlzheimerÂ’s and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. If the part of the brain that is affected is the area beneath the cerebral cortex this would be known as sub cortical dementia .

HuntingtonÂ’s disease and Parkinson’s disease are both associated with sub cortical dementia. (more...)

Palliative Care For The Elderly

When you consider that 85 per cent of deaths in Europe occur in those aged over 65 it is a sad fact that care for those with a terminal illness is often neglected. We expect to require more help with day to day needs as we grow older and less able, and many systems are in place to cater for those in need of long term care, however care may also be required without warning when an individual is diagnosed with an illness from which they are not expected to recover.

Palliative Care which is also known as “end of life care” may extend over many months or even a number of years rather than just the last few days of someone’s life. So given that this type of care may be required over a considerable period of time similar to long term care the question is who and where can this care be provided?

There is evidence to show that under assessment of an individuals health problems can lead to many elderly people suffering unnecessarily. Elderly individuals with complex medical and social needs require a package of treatment and social care. There is a need for quality palliative care for the elderly to be provided in their own homes, residential homes and also care within their own community. (more...)

The Pressure of Caring for Elderly Parents

Modern lifestyles are very different to those of our grandparents and great grandparents. In years gone by the elderly were not expected to live as long as they are now and because of developments in modern medicine, we may live longer in retirement but potentially not in great health. Previously family’s lived together more closely so if an elderly parent needed help or care in their later years there would be a member of the family available during the day or night to cater for this need.

These days more family’s now see both husband and wife holding down a full time job together with taking care of the home and their own family so having then to take on the care of an elderly relative can put additional strain on their existence. The typical age range of those expecting to take care of an elderly parent is between 40-65 years old. And it is anticipated that at some point one in four of these people will have to provide some kind of long term care. Of these people only one in five expect their employer to be supportive and actually have a policy in place to cover this growing need.

Therefore the pressures of having to provide care can leave many people with the added stress of losing their job due to their employers now being supportive. There care organisations that can help it just important to know where you can turn. Carers UK provide valuable information on how to cope with the stress involved with caring for an elderly parent. There are useful tips on how to manage your situation and services that may be available to assist you. (more...)

Raising the Subject of Long Term Care

With advances in medical science the prospect of us living longer is increasing although in all likelihood we are going to need help in our later years due to frailty, illness and possibly dementia. Many people in the age group 40-65 are currently facing this situation where they need to organise long term care plans for their own parents or aunts and uncles. You may start to notice slight changes at first perhaps the individual is just generally slowing down, or they appear to be neglecting themselves or their homes. The most difficult thing is how to bring up the subject with the elderly person without causing them stress or making them feel like a burden on you. Long term care is an emotive subject, but the reality needs to be addressed for the welfare of the elderly individual

Many things need to be taken into consideration, such as the final outcome that you feel would be right long term care for all concerned. For example is the aim for you to get them the support that will enable them to remain living independently by receiving long term care at home? Also if you feel that their safely would be better served by a move into a residential care home or a residential care home with nursing care would be appropriate? These are the long term care matters that need broaching in delivering that final verdict.

By having a clear long term care plan of action you can do research about the services that will be required, the cost of these services and how they can be funded. It is perhaps wise if the planned care involves a move into a residential care home that you investigate local facilities and visit a number of them to get a feel for where you would feel comfortable settling them. (more...)

Prospects for Alzheimers Sufferers Needing Long Term Care

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in the elderly and accounts for many of those who enter into residential care. The majority of people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease are aged over 65, however a smaller number of people will be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at a much younger age. It is anticipated that by 2050 Alzheimer's will affect 1 in 85 people around the world.

Early signs of the disease can often be mistaken for just age related memory loss, every individual may be affected in different ways, although there are many common factors. A brain scan or behaviour tests can be used to confirm a diagnosis. Owing to the degenerative nature of this disease and the intensive case that is required many Alzheimer’s sufferers will be taken care of in a residential home that specialises in Alzheimer’s care.

Symptoms can include confusion, aggression and mood swings loss of memory and in some instances difficult with speech and language. There is no cure available to those who suffer from this condition and from diagnosis the average life expectancy is about seven years. Medical advances now mean that drugs are available that can help delay the effects of the disease which can allow someone to remain independent in their own home for longer. (more...)

Long Term Care Solutions

Dealing with long term care issues is likely to affect all of us in some way or another during our lifetime. Whether it is providing care for an elderly parent or relative or even needing to receive care for our own needs it can be a very stressful time. Long term care is often required in response to a critical situation such as an unexpected illness or fall, although in other instances you may see the person requiring care gradually deteriorating.

It is important to have access to the correct information regarding the care services and assistance that you could be entitled to with regards to care of the elderly locally.

Your local authority have a social care department who can arrange for an assessment to be carried out which will give a clear indication of the type of long term care you require and where best this care can be provided. (more...)

Direct Payments to Pay for Care

As many elderly people become older and more frail day to day aspects of their lives become more and more difficult for them to manage. Simple tasks that most of us take for granted, like hovering taking a shower or even getting dressed can be a major issue for elderly. In most cases all that is needed is a little extra help for may be a few hours each day. This care can often be provided by family members or friends, however if the elderly person has no family other options need to be considered.

Your local authority has an obligation to do an assessment of your needs which will highlight the level of care that you require. If you are then assessed to have assets below the lower means test limit which is currently £14,250 your local authority would then need to provided the care you require at their expense.

If you qualified for care to be provided by the local authority some will now provide you with a directly payment to pay for services. The benefit of direct payments for care is that the individual needing care has much more choice and flexibility as to how their care is provided. Should you choose to have more care or care from a more expensive provider you would be required to pay the difference in cost from your own funds. (more...)

What does the Government White Paper Mean for those Requiring Long Term Care?

The long awaited response to the Dilnot Commission report was finally unveiled by Andrew Lansley MP the Secretary of State for Health. On the face of it the government has acknowledged the issues that were raised regarding the need for a review of the current system of paying for Long Term Care and imposing a cap on the overall cost of care for individuals who are self funders. Many feel that the white paper on long term care falls short of the mark when it comes to the details and how the proposals may work.

The government are shying away from any real commitment regarding this matter until the next spending review. Plans that are on the table include a deferred payments scheme that will be offered by all local authorities. This effectively will mean a loan secured on the individuals home that will pay for their care fees and only become payable from the sale of the property on death. Although the report indicates that interest will be charged on this loan no indication has as yet been given to the expected cost.

These schemes will replace the current Deferred Payment Schemes offered by some but not all local authorities. The current scheme of deferred payment is interest free until 56 days following the death of the elderly person in care. The new proposals are likely to include the payment or roll up of interest on the loan from day one. (more...)

Cuts in Social Care Budgets Putting Elderly Care at Risk

According to a recent report conducted by the British Red Cross the current round of spending cuts in the social care budget is now putting the elderly and vulnerable in our society at risk. Many members of the public and community General Practioners are concerned about the overall lack of support for those needing elderly care services within their own homes.

Because this vulnerable group of people are left to their own devices it can lead to loneliness and lack of emotional support. The overall feeling is that due to the reducing budgets the standards of care are falling below and acceptable level.

In the long term providing a little extra help for those in need can mean that they are able to remain in their own home and independent for much longer which could reduce the need for someone to be moved into residential care for extended periods. The British Red Cross believe that by providing home-based support the NHS could save up to £10,000 per person compared to residential care therefore leading to “false economy”. (more...)

Do Elderly Parents Really Want their Children to Provide their Long Term Care?

With age many of us will become less able to do things for ourselves and will need to seek help with some every day tasks from shopping to cleaning and help with getting about. In some instances this simple long term care such as this can be provided by a family member.

Partnership who are a major providers of care fees annuities recently surveyed over 1,000 people over the age of 45 of which 100 were aged over 75 and this revealed a surprising statistic that nearly half (49%) did not want their children to look after them in their later years. Partnership also found the numbers of elderly parents looking towards equity release schemes in order to provide long term care funds.

In years gone by family life was certainly different to how people live now. You would have found families living more closely in the community. In most instances the females of the family would have been at home to take care of the home and family and it was unusual to find a woman going out to work full time. People did not have the same life expectancy as in modern times so the act of taking care of an elderly parent would have been taken up by the family without the worries of paying for care. (more...)

Choose a SOLLA Accredited Adviser for Advice on Long Term Care

When you are faced with the prospect of needing long term care either for yourself or for a loved one there are many considerations you need to take. Care is often required as the result of a crisis such as a physical or mental illness and you need to quickly get up to speed on the care system and what you are entitled to.

At the start of the process it is therefore important to receive advice from experienced advisers. The Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA) was established to help people to find trusted experienced financial advisers who specialise in dealing with later life issues.

A good adviser can guide you through your rights and entitlements to state benefits and options you may have to pay for care. They should be able to provide you with sufficient knowledge to put you in an informed position which can enable you to make important decisions. (more...)

Could New Home Sharing Scheme Delay the Need for Long Term Care?

As age catches up with many elderly people they can feel very vulnerable and have difficulty coping with day to day activities. It may not always be as a result of failing health or memory issues but instead this vulnerability could be exacerbated by loneliness and social withdrawal. Where there is no close family or friends available to provide care and keep an eye on them the elderly person can quite quickly lose confidence leading the individual to move into a residential care home perhaps earlier than is actually required.

A new initiative to solve the problem of care for the elderly has recently started in Cheshire and aims to reform how we provide care for the elderly. It is centred around the use of existing resources that the elderly person has access to. The theory is very simple. The elderly person may still live in a large family home but may be having difficulty managing both the maintenance and also the cost of the bills. Other elderly people may also be in a position where they no longer want to manage their own home or live alone so they would move in together. This act had the added benefit that they would be have companionship and be able to help each other out. It is often very difficult for a partner to adapt to life on their own after the death of a partner.

The launch of this scheme with Uniitee sees them acting as a kind of matchmaker between the owner of the property and their family and the proposed tenant and their family to ensure that a house share will prove compatible. By providing care services to one shared household of two or more residents the overall cost and strain on resources would be considerably lower. Whilst this type of arrangement may not solve the issue of long term care for everyone there are proven health benefits to those who have company over those living alone. This scheme also provides peace of mind for the family knowing that there is someone on hand to assist should the need arise.

Help for Working Families in Providing Long Term Care to Elderly Parents

A coalition between the Government and the business community could lead to more assistance for families who currently have to juggle to care of an elderly parent with the pressures of holding down a job. A recent survey showed that many of those providing informal care are aged between 40-65 and they are very concerned that due to a lack of understanding in the workplace their careers may be at risk as a result of needing to take time off to provide the care for an elderly mother or father.

The announcement of this joint working group came from Care Services Minister - Paul Burstow during the recent Carers Week.

Mr Burstow emphasised the importance of establishing reform and how this will not only help families to continue to work along side the care they provide but how it will benefit the economy and workforce within the country. A further consideration is the cost both to the individual and their family but also the potential cost saving to the Government by having free care provided by family and friends rather than more professional care brought in. (more...)

The Mental Capacity Act and Long Term Healthcare

Long term health care is not something on the margins of society anymore. It is common social need, and a growing number of people require some type of assistance during their old age today. As such, it is very important to understand the care system in the UK, and to plan properly for this most vulnerable time of your life.

The Mental Capacity Act aims to protect people who may not be in a position to fully make decisions for themselves owing to a disability, injury, illness or age-related mental disability. The Act covers guidelines on how to determine an individual’s mental capacity and who can make decisions on their behalf with regards to different situations.

This is particularly relevant to people with deteriorating health conditions and who may be in long term health care. In a situation like this, a lasting power of attorney can be a very relevant document. A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that empowers another person to make decisions on someone else’s behalf, including decisions about welfare, and financial matters. (more...)