The radio today was reporting on the threshold amount that the Elderly will be expected to pay in respect of their ‘care’.
Last year, the sum being considered was £35,000 so that they did not need to sell their homes to pay for it.
Today it was announced that the cap is to be £75,000, which is more than double that original figure, and so our Elderly will have to sell their homes after all if this situation arises.
One option is for a ‘Live In’ companion to enable them to stay in their own homes and have someone on hand 24/7 to care for them if necessary.
Many do not warm to this idea as they don’t want strangers in the house or they wish to maintain their privacy.
Another option is for Care Assistants to visit them in their homes on a regular basis.
These days duties are expected to go far beyond shopping and a little bit of cleaning done by the Home Help of yesteryear.
There have been several reports recently of these trusted people bullying, mistreating or stealing from their clients, so again is it any wonder that they don’t want them in their homes.
Some family members may be prepared to give up their own home to move in with an elderly relative to enable them to stay in familiar surroundings.
This can of course lead to restrictions, tension and frustration on both sides.
It is not uncommon for elderly citizens living alone to refuse help, trying to keep their independence and turning a deaf ear to family concerns for their safety and well being.
One of the worst case scenarios is they’re found on the floor three days after a fall.
Not all elderly folk have offspring or family prepared to take them in, but even then there may come a time when it is not practical for someone now frail and infirm to be in a ‘normal environment’, and thus a Care Home is the only option left.
Most of our Elderly are not rich, many surviving on State Pensions and little else, so losing their home is devastating.
Not only is it bricks and mortar, but memories, personal possessions and little knickknacks that made up and reflected their Life.
Some might argue that if they need Residential Care, their property should be sold to lessen the burden on The State. Siblings can then wave goodbye to their inheritance, but when the money runs out, what then?
The interviewee today said that it was costing £100 a day in the family’s choice of Care Home for their relative, selected because the layout was straightforward with no lengthy corridors to confuse them, and the staff were considerate towards their residents.
The parental home had been sold, and the proceeds would be used to pay for their care.
I have been a visitor to several Care Homes for the Elderly, and a volunteer for the sick and severely disabled in my last year of Grammar School.
For the most part, the atmosphere and staff have been pleasant and friendly.
Organized activities and socializing is standard practice rather than sitting alone in their room or in front of a TV all day. Visitors are welcome more or less anytime (though not at meal times please) and pre-arranged outings or home visits to family are encouraged.
But it is not the same as living in your own house, being able to do things to your own timetable, your own way.
I can well believe the figure above.
Thirty six thousand, five hundred pounds a year, for 24/7 full Residential Care, but if they also need Medical Care, well, there’s an extra charge for that.
It’s a difficult subject, and there are no easy answers.