If your elderly relative or friend is going into a care home, here some important tips you should follow:
- Check the relative’s house is secure – Insurers are notified, valuables are removed etc.
- Check that someone is able to manage the relative’s financial affairs. Most residents of Care Homes will need assistance with their financial affairs. Check if there is a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney authorising someone to handle financial matters.
- If there is no Power of Attorney, can the relative sign one now to appoint someone to assist? If they are able to understand a Power of Attorney then you should discuss this with the relative as soon as possible.
- If the relative is unable to understand a Lasting Power of Attorney then it is necessary to apply to the Court of Protection. Someone will need to apply to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy to manage the financial affairs. This takes time (four months or so) so it is sensible to get on with it, as financial matters will need sorting.
- Apply for Attendance Allowance if this is not being received already. This is a tax-free benefit which is not means tested for elderly people who need assistance with care. The rate is £55.10 per week if the relative needs help during the day only, and £82.30 per week if assistance is required both day and night.
- Consider how the care is going to be paid for. The Local Authority will provide assistance with care if a person has assets less than £23,250. Otherwise it is necessary to pay for the care in full.
- It is always sensible to obtain advice about the above matters. Solicitors who are members of “Solicitors for the Elderly” will always be able to assist. At Morrish Solicitors, four of our Solicitors are members Tom Morrish and Monika Volsing work at our Yeadon Office. Charlotte Bandawe and James Shingleton work at our Pudsey Office. We also see clients at our office in Oxford Row Leeds LS1 3BE. See www.solicitorsfortheelderly.com