There are many elderly people out there that have to fund their own Care Packages because they own their homes and there are those that don’t have much capital at all, if any, aside from their State Pension and Attendance Allowance.

Usually, a person receiving 3 carers a day has to spend about £81 a week for their care, if they have some resources, for example, own their own house. Normally, the carer will come in for around half an hour to do what is required and then they will go.

This clearly diversifies on how many carers are coming in each day and if you own your own home or have money in the bank. In England, if you have savings exceeding £23,250 you have to finance your own care, so it doesn’t serve you to own a house these days, and having one is not an investment for your children because it has to provide your care, you literally have to exchange the bricks and mortar to be old, like a bartering system.

However, there are those elderly people that don’t have a tremendous amount of money and simply live off a State Pension and Attendance Allowance, and of course, you would assume that everybody in that situation would be qualified to be means tested, and they are.

If you follow politics you might have seen the expression “means tested.” It’s applied to illustrate specific government programs and benefits, but what does it mean?

The brief answer is that “means-tested” programs are solely accessible to those whose incomes (a.k.a “means”) are judged sufficiently low. In other words, a wealthy person wouldn’t be able to access means-tested benefits.

As you can imagine, it’s more difficult and costly to manage a means-tested benefit than it is to run a universal benefit. Means testing requires a tier of bureaucracy to evaluate applicants’ means to determine acceptability.

Older people in need of care are entitled to apply for a number of non-means tested benefits from the Department of Work and Pensions. There are also a number of other related benefits which although means tested are also age-related.

Social care for the elderly covers non-medical requirements such as help in washing, dressing and eating and to qualify for state support in England, a person is judged on two tests – means and needs.

Everyone with more than £23,250 has to pay for their care. Below that threshold, they contribute to the cost with the amount paid based on means-testing of both savings and income.

Those with savings and capital of between £14,250 and £23,250 have those assets taken into account when their contribution is assessed. Below £14,250, only a person’s income is counted.

If an individual needs a care home place, the £23,250 threshold also includes the value of their home except if they also have a partner who will remain living in the home.

Yet, I have been acquainted over the years of situations where say a husband needed to go into care because the wife was finding it hard to cope and was informed that they would have to sell their house but of course that wasn’t plausible because the wife required a roof over her head but was told to sell the house and privately rent so her husband could go into a care home.

Sadly, after the age of around 50 years old, a person is no longer sustainable, that person has served all their life, had children and given back to society, but after the age of 50 years old, we’re no longer serviceable and therefore worthless and not a viable asset to society and if you were an animal, you’d be put down.

Situations like this have forced people to sell their family homes and those that qualify for help through means-testing are then assessed for their needs, yet countless elderly people who require care and are on a State Pension and Attendance Allowance are still being made to pay an enormous amount of money for their care.

Attendance-allowance.jpgThis means that nearly, or all of their Attendance Allowance has to go towards their care and some are even paying at least £25 more out of their State Pension which is leaving them with precious little money to live on.

Honestly, folks… It’s not worth you going to work or owning your own home because the government are going to take it from you anyway. You’ve lived your entire life working, earning, paying taxes, for what?

For the government to pillage from you!

The thing is these elderly people are particularly vulnerable, particularly those that don’t have family or family living close by and are being taken advantage of.

Usually, the carer will come in and they’re supposed to stay between 25 and 30 minutes, that’s their slot, but they don’t stay that long and this is from personal experience, so fact. My mother became an amputee about 2 years ago, sadly she died recently, but this is the story and not an especially nice one.

She had carers coming in three times a day, they were supposed to wash her, make her bed, microwave a meal and take the rubbish out, and being an amputee, her bed had to be made correctly in case she got bed sores. The bed was never made correctly, they simply threw the duvet over, they never washed her correctly and my son went round a couple of times and he timed them, they walked through the door, stayed 7 minutes and left.

Eventually, my mum had a bad fall and my son left work to look after her full time. He’s 33 years old, has 4 children and a wife and he managed to look after my mum every day for a whole year with no difficulty, yet the carers could just about handle 7 minutes and they were getting compensated for a job they weren’t doing correctly.

But to add insult to injury, before my son took over, the lady from the care company said he would never manage and they would look forward to hearing from him in about a months time, which never happened of course.

The point I’m striving to make here is these defenceless elderly people are being charged an enormous amount of money for a job that’s not even being done correctly. After all, they’re being compensated for a job that they’re not doing well enough and if they have an allocated time to do their job, that’s how long they should stay for.

Yes, we realise that the pressure on local-government funds is making it more and more challenging to keep the status quo intact but in recent years, many councils have ceased giving support to people with low and moderate needs.

Currently more than three-quarters of local authorities allow access to help only when a person’s requirements are considered important or significant but of course, we’re not significant because we’re simply human, meat, cattle, whatever you want to call it, we’re not worthy, we’re not sustainable because we’re of no use any longer.

It’s no different from when veterans come back from Afghanistan where they might have lost an arm or a leg, but they’ve done their bit, they fought for their Queen and country and then what happens, they’re out, they’re not fighting anymore, well not for their country, but now fight with their life, their every breath that they take to be accepted someplace in society because they should mean more than human waste, the dregs of society and that’s what some of them end up being, like our elderly because there’s no place for them anymore, they’ve done their bit and now they’re no longer sustainable.

In the last five years, the amount of elderly receiving care from councils has dropped from 1.2 million to 1 million and the number of working-age disabled adults has declined albeit by a smaller amount and now stands at just over 500,000.

Which indicates a growing number of people are having to finance their own care, rely on family or friends or go without but the elderly shouldn’t have to sell their own homes or lose their property if they develop catastrophic care needs.

Most of us strive for a better tomorrow when we’re younger, more naive because we are naive to think that the government would ever want to support us in the future because we don’t have a future because the government have already planned it out for us before we’ve even blinked.

Presently a woman of 93 years old has been charged over £400 a week, and because Essex County Council neglected to assess her. After leaving hospital and being bed bound in her home, having to wear adult nappies and having carers come in, she was given five weeks of free care, but because she wasn’t assessed before the five weeks were up, she has been sent a bill for over a thousand pounds for the weeks exceeding the five weeks.

This lady is 93 years old, lives on a Pension and Attendance Allowance and has no other financial means of supporting herself. She has now been told that her actual care will be just over £100 a week (but nothing has actually been put in writing) and was invoiced for money owing at the full cost which because she wasn’t assessed before the five weeks were up, she now has to pay because she hadn’t been assessed.

This should not have occurred because once they had assessed her it should have been backdated from the fifth week that her free care stopped but it wasn’t, she was charged the full amount.

Not only that, the carers come in and are allotted 30-minute slots, they never stay the 30 minutes, and the carers are particularly rude, so what sort of caring in the community do they do? And demand to be paid top dollar to do it.

This unfortunate lady through no fault of her own has had to give up her pet because she can no longer look after it but liked having a pet because it kept her company and although it seems sensible that she would have to part with it, there was no compassion, “Just get rid of the damn thing or the carers have refused to go in.”

It doesn’t pay to get old because once you get to that particular age group, you’re simply a statistic and the government are praying that you’ll be dead soon, that way it’s less burden on the state.

Everybody, it doesn’t matter if you’re working class or unemployed, getting old is inevitable like death but if you’re rich it doesn’t matter because you can afford the best care there is in old age, that’s why it’s called living a charmed life.

But once you get to a certain age you’re discriminated for being old.

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard there’s nothing you can do.

The care system is a financial minefield for elderly people and personalised care is out there but comes at too high a price for some.

Most things these days are tailored to our requirements but where personalisation is most relevant is in health and social care and we still have a long way to go on that front.

Elderly people who are sick frequently require special care but don’t get it because clearly it’s far too costly and they’re made to pay for it and if they don’t, simply rot in your home and die, but actually care for the elderly should be free at the point of need.

Care Assistants in a care home is usually pretty good, although there have been plenty of cases where that has been brought into doubt and Care Assistants in care homes could probably get more money working in a supermarket.

Because everybody will one day become old, we require something to put in place at the point of need, comparable to our NHS, whereby we give a couple of pounds more a week so that our care is covered when we get older, because it appears that presently the elderly have to cover the cost of their care and they’re not getting any help, particularly those who are Pensioners and don’t have any savings.

It costs approximately £9 an hour to look after someone’s wife, husband, mother or father and Pensioners simply can’t manage it if they don’t have any savings.

Social care is quite often underpinned on the premise that care workers are born carers but in an industry where the work is usually challenging, and there is a need to understand helpless people and their circumstances, but there is a serious need of constant training.

Eighty per cent of care homes have residents living with dementia or severe memory problems and every care worker should have an excellent standard of training in person-centred care because identifying when a person with dementia is in distress or in need of stimulation when they’re powerless to vocalise is not an inherent skill, but a skill that has to be learned.

A GP normally visits care homes once a week, he/she is extremely valuable and well compensated and the GP usually gets glorified for the great work that he/she does and is paid more than the dedicated care staff get for a weeks work.

The GP practice charges the care home £2,000 a month to provide what everyone gets free of charge on the NHS and this practice is by no means unique.

Even in the very best care homes, personalisation has boundaries and living in any home is an exercise in communal living, with the compromises involved harking back to living in student halls and not really inviting for the people living there.

You have to adhere to an unrelenting system of lunch at noon and supper at 5 pm, with a cheerful CD of the 1940s and 50s favourites sounding in the background. What if you prefer the radio or another style of music?

Top notch care homes do seek to respond to individual preferences as well as various lounges and a secure, pretty garden, complete with vegetable plot. Hallways with likeable wallpaper and some nice chairs to sit on, but this can be sketchy and not everybody has access to or can afford top-notch care.

Carers are being left to pick up the pieces of our fragmented social care system and care home residents face a financial minefield and private funders pay a weekly rate of more than £1,000 and must show two years worth of fees stashed away.

If financed by the local council, at £580 per week, the resident is asked if they can top up the difference. Applications for any additional funding are appallingly complicated, take hours to fill in and are thrust on family carers at a time of great stress.

It’s time for us, as a society, to accept that the financial constraints we put on the funding of care that causes real distress to people and so far, the commitment and goodwill of underpaid workers have enabled the system to continue.

However, the system is broken and we can no longer ignore the crisis and we can’t continue to put such a figure on personalised care, it’s the people and their families we must consider. It could be you, it could be me, it was my mum.

Service users can pay about £25 per hour for a carer to come in, tired, zoom in and out with nothing done properly. The salary is terrible, they do foolishly long hours and usually struggle back and forth in the dark on buses, the whole thing is shocking.

This is another demographic time bomb being ignored by our government, at least at the moment you might be able to sell your house to fund decent care, but what will happen in 30 years time to all the millions of people who will never get on the housing ladder?

But of course, it will always be disregarded because there’s always a scapegoat around.

However, when pay for your care, owning a house isn’t much security as you might imagine. The average house value in the United Kingdom is approximately £250,000, which will pay for less than five years of residential care.

And even though the average time in residential care for people at the end of their lives is less than five years, nobody can foretell how long any person will survive.

 

Many elderly people do have families, but what about those elderly people who never got married and never had children, there’s nobody to look after them.

If you want to have a great care home, it’s really hard to find the quality of care, even when you have funds to pay for it and the care homes with the best CQC report are the most costly, but it doesn’t suggest they’re the best.

You can spend £735 for one week’s care and it’s more than £1,000 if you require nursing care but some of these homes are not as great as they appear where some patients (inmates) might not have showered all week because they haven’t been shown how to turn on the shower and the meals are pitiful and no one comes when you ring your buzzer.

Honestly, it’s bad value for money and they would have paid less if they’d been put up in a four-star hotel and they would have been given choicer service, which concludes that residential care is pretty much the last resort.

Like teachers, nurses et cetera, many carers go through agencies who take a huge part of their earnings and this must be addressed so that carers get a fair salary and like teachers and nurses must go to college for a tangible period of time.

Its all about profit, billions in gratuities for bankers, nothing for care workers and the evidence implies as a society we value neither old people, nor the people who look after them and despite the rhetoric, we all know it’s going to get worse.

So, what about those pensioners who never got an opportunity to purchase a house, have a family, save a nest egg?

But if you can battle the system, you might get a rushed half an hour in your own home, at a time that accommodates them, in which you have your bottom washed and cold toast given to you on a dirty dish, but you’ll still have to spend all your Attendance Allowance before you’ll get any financial assistance.

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