If a family member has to go into a care home we can advise you on the financial assistance that may be available from the Local Authority and NHS.
If you are very ill, particularly if you are to be discharged from hospital, many people are unaware that it is possible to receive free care in a nursing home. An assessment must be carried out by the Health Service Trust and if the degree of incapacity meets certain criteria they will fund your care and you are then not subject to any means test or financial assessment.
If they will not fund then it may be possible, by means of an “impaired life annuity” to fund quite high nursing home fees through an insurance company without the risk of using up all your assets thus leaving your beneficiaries with a reduced, but still substantial benefit.
Before accepting any advice that you or your elderly relative should go into a “care” home it is essential that a proper assessment of your/their needs is carried out. The assessment should be with a medical professional, preferably a doctor or consultant, a social worker, the patient, and their next of kin. A proper legal assessment requires that all these are present. After that assessment is agreed a “care plan” also needs to be agreed. If this assessment and care plan are not implemented there is a strong possibility that if, when funds run out, you ask Social Services to assist and they will move the patient to a cheaper home. It is now well established that such a move, for a patient who is elderly and frail, is fatal in the majority of cases. It is our experience that many health and social workers are unaware of these dire consequences of the failure to follow the correct procedures.
There are a number of cases where the patient’s family may not agree with the health or social workers on the future care. In such circumstances you should be specific on why you feel that your relative needs a particular type of care, for instance to provide for them to be cared for and to remain in their own home, it is our experience that logic and common sense may prevail, but this is an area where you may need our assistance and social workers are working under severe cost restraints which tends to presume that you will fund your own care.
Please call us on 01634 854381 to arrange an appointment with our Law For Later Life team.