The on-going crisis in the care sector shows no sign of abating. With council budgets under increasing strain and care home fees rising, entering the care system can be a daunting prospect for the elderly and their families during what will already be a difficult time.
Graham Fuller, a Senior Associate in our Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning team, explains why it’s important to understand your rights:
The prospect of going into care can be intimidating, unnerving and highly emotional for elderly people and their families. Often, it can be brought about by deterioration in physical or mental health and may happen quickly following a hospital admission or other care crisis.
But the financial strain on local authority budgets as they struggle to care for an ageing population can add an additional burden on families who feel they are being forced into making a quick decision on their family member’s future care.
There are concerns that councils are failing to find placements in local homes as they may be more expensive than their budgets allow which can involve loved ones being placed in homes that are not close to family. In some cases relatives might be asked to pay top up fees to allow their family member to live at a more convenient but more expensive home.
Some families feel compelled to commit to care arrangements without having the time to take advice, which means they may not receive the care to which they are entitled.
No one case is the same so it always pays to take independent legal advice to understand the rights of the person entering care and the families involved.
Graham deals with a broad range of matters including wills, powers of attorney, care fees, tax planning and probate. He is a full member of the Society of Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly and is currently studying to become a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate solicitors.