Financial constraints.

The financial arrangements for the care of the demented are an ongoing concern.  As the situation itself is dynamic, so you need to adjust the finances to provide the optimum care package.  It would be fantastic if you could just decide at the outset to relinquish all hope of any inheritance and get on with the day to day care, getting hold of any money there was when you needed it.

Would that it were that easy.

I went through all the palaver of getting a Financial Advisor, who all other concerned parties will refer to as the FA, got the advice, paid the fee. They searched around, found a company who would do Equity Release against the value of my mother’s house, did the searches, roped in a solicitor, examined the house (with the lunatic still sitting in it), went through endless forms and so on and then, finally a month at a time released £10,000 to the joint bank account of my mother and me so I could pay the carers.  All of which went very nicely until I reached the end of the first £120,000 with a speed you would not believe.

£10,000 a month was mostly the bill, unless there was a bank holiday (double time at £660 per day instead of £330) or a problem with the car, which my mother volunteered to pay all bills for at the start of proceedings, for which we have been grateful.  In that time, the car, which was third hand to begin with, has needed recovery when the fuel injector died and a new clutch when the old one wore out.  My mother keeps telling the other half to get a new car when she dies, at the current rate, if there’s enough left for a bicycle, he’ll be lucky.

Then to add to the financial picture have been all the bits dropping off my mother’s house, the plumbing, the boiler, the fences, the doors and all the furniture, drying out in the constant heating to name a few.  Even doing the garden and most of the outside maintenance ourselves, the bills have been horrendous.  When you begin to keep an old person in their own home, you’re doing it in a house which has suffered from having old people living in it.  I was lucky, my dad had been a builder, but it was still the house of old people.

So, if you are starting here, and starting to estimate the costs of 24 hour care, I suggest you take the number you first thought of and double it at least.  Unless you are a millionaire, I wouldn’t rely on using your own money to top up, we ran out of all our savings long ago and have a great deal of nothing at all now and so busy caring for my mother there is little prospect of earning any money to help out, let alone £10,000 a month.

So, seeing how the wind was blowing, round about January I approached the FA to contact the Equity release people to go through all the hoops again to turn the next quarter of my mother’s house into hard cash to pay for her care.  Well first I couldn’t then the FA came down with something and so on and so forth, ending last week in the request, which was proceeding nicely until the FA contacted me to say the request had been cancelled.

The mystery was solved yesterday at my mother’s house, festooned with notes from the carers.  The valuers had telephoned my mother directly to say they wanted to value the house for a mortgage and she had slammed the phone down on them, as she has never lived in a house with a mortgage in her life and doesn’t believe she is doing so now.  Quite why the surveyors should try to make financial arrangements with an insane person I cannot imagine.  We had a palaver last autumn when  a financial statement was posted directly to my mother. To say she, who cannot remember anything from one sentence to the next under normal circumstances, went ape shit for weeks, is to considerably understate the situation.

So to sum up, next week we have to meet a valuer at my mother’s house, so several other parties can get their hands on what is left of my inheritance, persuading my mother, who physically ejected a carer two weeks ago, not to do so to a strange man in her house, without telling her why he is there.  Meanwhile the bill for March will turn up and the turn round time for the money is six weeks which is why I applied for it in January.

I am trying to teach myself not to worry, in case it makes me ill and adds to the problems.  I am not getting very far with it.


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