Final parting with the family
Andrew Page, chartered financial planner for Somerset-based Ashcourt Rowan, specialises in care fees for elderly people and his week involves meeting clients, attending a panel run by the local council, networking with providers, and referring a landscape architect who specialises in designing gardens for dementia units
I start the week with a meeting with clients I have been working with for nearly a year. They first approached me as attorneys for their mother after she was moved to a local care home from hospital following a series of falls. The work I have done for them in the past year has been around deciding on where care is best to be delivered. That is, in a care home or with live-in carers at her flat, and also on how best to fund this care. A long process has resulted in her putting her property on the market which has already attracted interest. The meeting today is to discuss my recommendations on funding the cost of her care. After much discussion it is agreed that they will proceed with a care fees payment plan. They are impressed that for a relatively modest outlay they can ensure that the majority of their mother’s wealth is protected, while ensuring that she receives the best and most appropriate care. This is very important to them as a fiercely independent family.
My role as a care fees specialist has led me to be appointed to a small panel of specialists for a project run by the local council. This excellent project aims to help all people within the council’s area to obtain quality advice when moving into care regardless of means, rather than being told to return to the council when resources have fallen below the means test threshold. The project is in its early days and we are undertaking a lot of work promoting the initiative both inside the council and to care providers, solicitors and older people’s groups in the area. Today is mostly spent following up from an event I attended last week – the annual conference of local older people forums hosted by a childhood hero and television presenter Valerie Singleton. This has led to many useful contacts and I spend the day following these up. Meeting local older people’s groups is an important part of letting the right people know about the project and I am hopeful these meetings will lead to more work both now and in the future.
I have another interesting client meeting today. An introduction from the council leads me to meet with a man who is dealing with moving both of his parents into a care home at the same time. The stress and emotional aspects of making these arrangements, as well as dealing with a house clearance and sale, is proving difficult for him. He is very grateful for my help in giving some structure and guidance. We discuss the help the state will provide and I help him with the applications for attendance allowance. We also start the process of deciding how to use the house sale proceeds and their existing savings to fund the rather large weekly fees. I explain that we will look at all possibilities with the objective that he will end up in a position to make an informed decision on the best way forward. There is no right or wrong answer and one of the joys of my job is helping people to make the right decision for their individual circumstances.
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