Advice for new carer

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Lazurus

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My 80 year old mother moved to Norfolk from Essex in the summer of last year to a lovely small bungalow in Norfolk, sadly she has several complex health and mobility issues and on top of this had 2 bouts of chronic depression and anxiety which required several weeks in a psychiatric hospital.

It was very apparent after this she was unable to live independently and as her only relative I was duty bound to move her into our home in where she now resides. I have found the role of carer thrust upon my wife and myself, we both work full time and have to arrange our lives so Mother is alone as little as possible as she becomes very anxious when alone.

Can anyone who has had similar issues advise if there are any benefits or support available to us or Mum to ease the situation.
 

grumpycorn

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Sorry to hear you've got such a difficult situation. I can't help directly as although my mum has the same circumstance with my Grandma, they live in Wales where they have different rules etc.

One thing was that she found AgeUK to be very helpful, they have a help line you can ring.
 

RobinBHM

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I found the carersUK forum very helpful, I joined and asked questions regarding my FIL.

does your mother get attendance allowance? - if not I suggest you contact age UK, some branches will do the application for you.

Has she had a continuing care assessment? - she might qualify for funded nursing care

neither are a lot but together they would provide some funds to help pay for a bit outside care.
 

Jameshow

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You should be able to get carers allowance although I'm not sure if it's means tested.

Cheers James
 

fezman

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Hi Lazarus,

You should contact Norfolk Council Social Care department and explore what services they can help with, even if it is just an initial assessment for your Mum.
There is also a directory of local social care services available - searchable by category or location - here Home | Norfolk Community Directory
Depending on your Mum's financial circumstances, she may need to make a part or full contribution to the cost of any care organised through the council.
I don't know about Norfolk Council specifically, but some councils have Benefits Maximisation teams, who will help you access any benefits to which your Mum or her carers (you) are entitled.
You as a carer should also enquire about whether the council can provide any Respite care ( i.e. they provide care for your Mum when you cannot, either her moving into a temporary residential service whilst you are away from home, or providing support in your home to allow you to do the other necessary things in life like work and shopping etc. ). As others have said contact local voluntary organisation like Age UK, who will provide advice. etc.
 

RobinBHM

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You can get a. continuing care assessment, as per care act 2018, however it was set aside in emergency Covid legislation so not sure its available.

I should warn you though, continuing care assessments are completed by a multi discipline team who will do all they can to achieve a result that falls below the threshold.….it is a very toxic system, they will happily gang up on you and bully……think Windrush
 

Allen Quay

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Apart from adult social services, most counties will also have a voluntary organisation / charity that provides support and advice for carers. From looking online, there’s an organisation called Carers Matter Norfolk. Probably worth giving them a ring for advice and information.
 

NickDReed

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My 80 year old mother moved to Norfolk from Essex in the summer of last year to a lovely small bungalow in Norfolk, sadly she has several complex health and mobility issues and on top of this had 2 bouts of chronic depression and anxiety which required several weeks in a psychiatric hospital.

It was very apparent after this she was unable to live independently and as her only relative I was duty bound to move her into our home in where she now resides. I have found the role of carer thrust upon my wife and myself, we both work full time and have to arrange our lives so Mother is alone as little as possible as she becomes very anxious when alone.

Can anyone who has had similar issues advise if there are any benefits or support available to us or Mum to ease the situation.


@Lazurus I'm very sorry to hear about your mum, it is a very difficult time and I empathise.

Adult social care (asc) or the district nurses would be my first point of contact. Asc hold the responsibility for providing care for certain things. Care related to mobility, nutrition, personal care, continence care to mention a few. Of course the issue is that care provided by asc is means tested, meaning if your mum has assets that amount to more than £23k (I believe, but check yourself) it would be required that she make a financial contribution towards her care, below that amount the care would be provided and funded by asc.

If care is required that falls outside of the remit of asc then it might be that a person would have what is called a prime health need, and if that is the case would be eligible for NHS continuing healthcare (chc). If someone is eligible for chc their care would be funded in its entirety by the NHS.

Not every elderly or ill person would have a prime health need, chc funding is based on individual care needs and not diagnosis of condition.

However, as I previously said the best place to start will be asc and/or the district nurses. They are trained and know the system and whether your mum might be eligible for any care and how to apply.

I hope this helps in some way. If you have further questions feel free to contact me directly.

Nick
 

Allen Quay

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@Lazurus If someone is eligible for chc their care would be funded in its entirety by the NHS.

I thought that the purpose of a continuing healthcare (chc) assessment is to establish how much % of a person's care package will be paid by the NHS and how much % of it will be paid by adult social care (for those people who have healthcare needs as well as social care needs)?
 

NickDReed

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I thought that the purpose of a continuing healthcare (chc) assessment is to establish how much % of a person's care package will be paid by the NHS and how much % of it will be paid by adult social care (for those people who have healthcare needs as well as social care needs)?

If someone is eligible for chc then the NHS funds all of the care. There is no part eligible.

There are joint fund packages of care where the local CCG might fund for specific care in the community that cannot or is not provided by local statutory services (District nurses, gp, physios etc).

Additionally, if someone is cared for in a nursing home and requires access to a nurse 24 hours a day in order to meet their needs but does not have a prime health need the CCG might provide funded nursing care (FNC) payments to the nursing home.

But if you are eligible for chc (are found to have a prime health need) the NHS are responsible for the funding of care.
 

Richard_C

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It's a complex set of systems. This is my understanding based on experience.

Attendance allowance comes via DWP, is paid a 2 levels, is not means tested, and gives some support to help people live independently rather than in care home. It is independent of anything else and can continue even if you are self funding some of your care in a home, but ends if you get continuing care from the NHS.

Support for care at home or care home costs comes via the local authority and is means tested. The value of the house is taken into account unless there is someone else living in it. If the house is relevant, the LA can put a statutory charge on it and get some money back when the house is sold. Someone in nursing home might need nursing plus care, so the NHS pay that bit but the so called hotel costs are means tested via the LA. That is often the biggest bit.

Continuing care is funded by the NHS and covers everything. It really is for people who would otherwise be in hospital.

Example, the in laws, limited income getting poorly, mobility etc. For some time they had attendance allowance which they could spend as they wanted, around £45 pw. It let them pay for a cleaner, who also did the shopping, a few hours a week.

FIL had a stroke, serious and couldn't go home. Means tested help with nursing home fees, he had to pay a lot, although the nursing element was paid by the NHS. MIL got some help with home carers because at that point they were 2 people not one household, FIL pension was assigned to his income and set against his care home fees. When she died, the house was deemed to be an asset in FIL means test so his LA support ended.

At the very end, 6 years on, he was barely conscious and could have been admitted to hospital. The excellent nursing home was able to care for him and has all the right certifications so the NHS paid continuing care, all of it, for a few weeks.

It's a quagmire and no single organisation is in charge. The local authority adult social care should be the 'pivot' and facilitator but they are so overstretched and staff change quickly so it's not always effective. Some charities, like age concern or CAB are a good starting point. Or the local authority who do have a statutory duty.

Normally when someone is discharged from a long hospital stay the hospital does a discharge assessment which begins some of these processes, but its all a lot more complicated than it needs to be.

That's just the funding, you also have to arrange the care. Its all via private providers, most of which are really struggling to recruit.

A final thought, the utility providers like electricity can put a flag on someone's account to say they are vulnerable. That should stop them cutting people off if they pay the bill late and should stop sales calls etc. Not sure if it works as well as it should.

I hope it all works out well.
 

Essex Barn Workshop

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Aside from all the financial and medical aid listed above, my twice-widowed mother lives alone 50+ miles from me and gets great emotional support and friendship through U3A, university of the 3rd age, and various local age groups.
She now runs a weekly Rummikub group at her house and it is the highlight of her week, having people to talk to and some companionship.
 

2sheds

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You should also get a carer's assessment for you and your wife from the council. Your mum and her carers are entitled to a proper assessment, which then drives the amount of care she can get and an associated budget.

Although be aware the county council social services teams are under intense budgetary pressure - it's one of the easiest places for cash-strapped councils to save money by cutting the amount of care they pay for.

I would also have a word with your local Mencap and Citizens Advice folks, the council will try everything to reduce the cost of care. You need a really good advocate working for you to help ensure that the council provide care appropriate for her needs. From bitter experience this can be a hell of a battle - good luck. Just remember the Care Act is on your side.
 
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