Care Home fees scare stories – time for transparency
A recent case where a pensioner is to be forced to sell the home she shared with her 100 year old mother to pay for her mother’s care has made headline news. Lee Baker Head of Care Home Fees argues the case for greater transparency on the basis for Care Home Fees funding.
“This case caught my eye – a pensioner of 75 lived part time at the family home and part time in a rented property in London. Her mother was taken into care nearly ten years ago and the house was excluded from the means testing carried out at that time. However three years ago the council reversed its decision and ordered the house to be sold to pay for the care home bills.
“This case hit the headlines because, when a house is occupied by a partner or other relative over the age of 60 who lives there ‘in whole or in part’ then the house is usually exempt from any means testing. The Court of Appeal has now agreed with the Council and the house will have to be sold. As the media has reported this landmark ruling could have implications for thousands of families.
“Media coverage like this is a scare story to many families who are contemplating care for an elderly family member and fear the financial consequences. The fact is that there are many elderly people going into care who will not be means tested because their care is funded by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and this funding is assessed solely on a primary health need. Examples of conditions which may give rise to a primary health need include strokes, dementia, Alzheimer’s and diabetes and these are quite common conditions amongst elderly people. This information however does not benefit from the same amount of publicity.
“To compound this lack of communication there’s also the problem that many patients have been wrongly assessed or sometimes not assessed at all. That’s where our service can be of benefit claiming back unfairly charged care home fees. However of equal benefit is our Nurse Assessor service where the patient being initially assessed is accompanied by a Nurse Assessor. I’d urge any family contemplating care for an elderly relative to consider our Nurse Assessor service. There are countless cases of families wrongly paying care home fees - this service could ensure your family doesn’t end up joining them!”
Content correct at time of publication