Power of attorney abuses have reached a new high, according to the Office of the Public Guardian...
Planning for long term care - Tom's story
Tom is 81 and a widower. A few years ago Tom was diagnosed with dementia, and although initially he managed at home with carers to help, the time came where his care needs were too much.
So with the help of his family, and advice from Birkett Long, Tom sold his property and moved into a care home.
Tom had entered into lasting powers of attorney for property and finances and health and welfare, appointing family members he trusted to act as his attorneys.
We helped with the sale of Tom’s bungalow and provided his attorneys with financial advice that ensured they were claiming for the benefits to which Tom was entitled. We also worked out how best to fund his care. At that time, Tom’s assets were above the local authority limit and therefore his fees had to be self-funded. Information on funding care can be found here.
When he first moved to the care home, Tom needed help with personal care, such as washing and dressing; he also suffered short term memory loss and was confused about where he was or who people were. He had type two diabetes but was happy to take medication and as a result his diabetes was easily managed. Tom’s attorneys were able to liaise with core staff on Tom’s behalf. After being in the care home for about 18 months, Tom’s health started to deteriorate and he had quite a few falls. He started to refuse his diabetes medication and required a nurse to ensure this was taken at the right time and in the right quantity for Tom’s illness to be managed. Sadly, Tom also began to get anxious and upset, and became aggressive towards the carers and other residents at the care home.
Noticing Tom’s deterioration and his increased level of needs, we advised his carers to arrange for an NHS Continuing Healthcare assessment to be carried out. Tom’s family was present and gave input about the level of Tom’s care. Following the assessment, Tom’s needs were found to be sufficient to meet the NHS Continuing Healthcare funding criteria and his family was told that he was eligible for funding. This case study illustrates how Tom’s needs went from being mainly ‘social’ when he first moved into the care home, to ‘health needs’. It was this factor that qualified Tom for full care fee payment from the NHS. Our legal team worked with our independent financial advisers to make sure Tom’s family had the advice they needed on all aspects of funding his care and looking after his affairs throughout this difficult time. As Tom had appointed family as his attorneys they were able to help him with decision making throughout the process and make decisions on his behalf when he became unable to.
I am based at our Colchester office and can be reached on 01206 217 611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.