Janet Davies of Symponia writes about the impact of Brexit on Care Fees

Janet Davies from Symponia talks to brighterkind about the impact of Brexit on care home fees

Whether you voted leave or remain don’t let the news prevent you from sorting out mum’s care and her associated fees.

However you voted back in June 2016, the one clear conclusion is that every day matters will still arise. Whether we secure a deal with the EU or not we are all going to live through a prolonged period of tumultuous change, the outcome of which will have far reaching implications for decades to come.

The unfolding situation together with Michel Barnier’s recent comments will have us believe that there is never a handcart nearby when you need one.

But, stop, isn’t that just faraway background noise?

In our own world that we each inhabit, the finer details of the Brexit negotiations in Brussels and Westminster couldn’t really be further from our thoughts; we are all still living our own lives, going to work, shopping, meeting friends, watching television, catching a movie, taking holidays, eating out, drinking wine, beer or both. We’re visiting the dentist, doctors, attending hospital appointments and when needed we’re facing into the abyss and acknowledging that our once independent relative now needs to move into a care home.

People like the Button family for instance. Back on 23rd June 2016 Emily Button was 83, she was fit, healthy and living an independent life at home, she walked to her local polling station to cast that all important vote. Sadly, in early October 2018 amidst the chaos of Brexit she suffered a significant stroke.

So, whilst her referendum decision will forever remain private between just her and the ballot box, her ongoing social care requirements have been discussed by a myriad of people at varying times.

Strokes can be seriously debilitating and do cause residual health issues from speech difficulties to lasting paralysis, unfortunately Mrs Button was no exception. After several weeks in the hospital Mrs Button’s daughter was told that mum couldn’t go back home to live on her own.

In reality Mrs Button was ok with this in herself but she couldn’t sit back and wait until Brexit was sorted before being discharged. The family rallied together and set about finding mum a new place she could call home. 

The care home Mrs Button really liked did have a large, sunny room available but they couldn’t wait until Brexit was finalised to find its occupant either. So being pragmatic and concentrating on the here and now, Mrs Button left hospital and moved into her new environment. Safe in the knowledge that she had not only taken back timely control of her life but she had acted in her own current and best interests.      

As Mrs Button owned her house and had some modest savings (above the threshold) she wasn’t entitled to any contributions from the Local Authority. So, to make sure her money was utilised to its full potential Mrs Button, via her daughter, met with their local Symponia member.

The adviser conducted a thorough investigation of Mrs Button’s new life and situation, including:

  • Double checking that Mrs Button had established a Power of Attorney
  • Exploring her total net income and expenses
    • Ensuring that Attendance Allowance & Funded Nursing Care were being claimed
  • Calculating the difference between the total income and the expenses
  • Understanding Mrs Button’s life goals and current objectives
    • Matching money to needs & wishes is the key
  • Researching bespoke options
  • Reporting their findings back to Mrs button
  • Implementing the chosen solution

You can find out if someone has an attorney or deputy acting for them using the approach advised on the government website link here:  https://www.gov.uk/find-someones-attorney-or-deputy. For guidance on how to claim attendance allowance visit: https://www.gov.uk/attendance-allowance/how-to-claim and for more information about whether you might qualify for Funded Nursing Care visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/money-work-and-benefits/nhs-funded-nursing-care/

So, back to the Brexit negotiations and the inclination for us all to use it as an excuse, a way to delay making decisions. What can be learned from Mrs Button?

Easy really, if your relative needs care now, Britain leaving the EU won’t change this one iota. But, delaying “just in case” could have a seriously negative outcome not just on their health and wellbeing but on their purse too. In order to make life easier now and whenever you are choosing care for your relative, brighterkind care homes have contacted Symponia who are dedicated to the financial issues of later life, in particular the payment of care fees. Information about fees and funding can be found at https://www.brighterkind.com/our-homes/fees-and-funding and on each care home page under the fees section. 

Regardless of what happens with Brexit in the short or longer-term, Mrs Button and her family are reassured that her future is sorted.

 

About the author:

Janet Davies is MD of Symponia. Symponia is a membership organisation dedicated to the financial issues of later life. Members are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, hold the mandatory qualifications, in addition they are hand-selected for their compassion and ability to work alongside families at what can be a challenging time. To locate your nearest simply ask one of our home managers or visit the Symponia website.  www.symponia.co.uk