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23rd Aug 2017 13:57:51
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I came from a relatively poor background with both parents working. Working mums were still quite rare in those days. I recall debates about whether we could afford to go on holiday etc. I have worked hard to get where I am and hope to leave my children a decent inheritence so that they will not know they same money worries I recall as a child.
9th Jul 2016 23:19:24
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I must say here. Celtwitch is just trying to get a conversation going by deliberately controversial. That said, she has a point!

In my later working life I worked as a caret, first in private homes and then in care homes and nursing homes. So, my words are not unqualified.

Never, just never, in my years in that profession, did I hear anyone say they wanted to end their life, no matter how close to extremis they might have been. I've lost count now of the number of people who have died in my arms; people who died whilst I was holding their hand. Every one left an impact on me. Jeanmark, as a 47 year nurse, I know you can verify this. You will remember every one who died in your presence. Some deaths will still grieve you. That is true of me.

But who pays for this care?

Those in such terminal care were either tax payers, or their spouse was. They had bought into Atlee's ideal, state care from cradle to grave. As far as I know no politician has had the temerity to renege on that ideal, the while changing the rules to defeat it. Such are our elected politicians!

We each have a degree of responsibility for ourselves; it's OK politicians proclaiming from cradle to grave, but in the end it's up to us. What do I mean by that?

My wife and I have modified our home to enable wheel chair use, enable inhabiting only the ground floor and adapted the kitchen for use if either is confined to a wheel chair. Two years ago I rebuilt our ground floor shower to take account of my wife's encroaching MS. Might I say here, that is taking responsibility for oneself?

As for our home, well, we now own it outright. It's a former Council house in a very remote part of Suffolk. In another life I had no children, but my now wife of so many years has. I will not have the sweat of our brow, the sacrifices we made to own this house, pass to these indolent ne'er do wells to pay off their cards. Absolutely not!

No, I'm happy for the sale of this house to fund my dear wife's care, if I'm not around to do it myself.

But there is a caveat in my will. Twenty thousand pounds from the proceeds of the sale of this house must be applied to the care of our Collies. They may not be moved from these premises and must be very well cared for. Faithful friends, incredible companions and for me, the kids I didn't have. In my death I will honour them as they have honoured me in my life.
Response from celtwitch made on 10th Jul 2016 10:12:17
The Lion-el has roared! Well said sir, respect to you.
Response from Lionel made on 10th Jul 2016 10:17:29
Wow! That's twice we have agreed. Better not make it a life habit else there'll be no point in using the forum!
Response from celtwitch made on 10th Jul 2016 11:30:47
My 'NICE' switch is now in the 'off' position!
Response from Suzanne511 made on 26th Jul 2016 11:35:14
What a beautiful posting Lionel, so full of caring and empathy. And as for our faithful friends ( four legged ones) I totally agree.
11th Jul 2016 14:16:28
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I'm not a tax cheat, are you? We have taken advice from Financial Concultants, Solicitors & Accountants regarding financial gifts and we have done what thousands of other people do, we help our children in whatever way we can and certainly within the law. Unfortunately I will not be able to carry on this conversation as I am going on holiday shortly. All paid for by my own hard work not from any inheritance
9th Jul 2016 19:03:59
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Response from Pam1960 made on 9th Jul 2016 20:25:10
We looked into inheritance tax a number of years ago and my children and my niece have been given deposits on property plus the maximum gift allowance per year.My father has passed on to me and my brother the maximum allowed without having to pay tax which includes my late mother's share. Hopefully the law will change so less inheritance tax will have to be paid but in the meantime my father would rather his family benefit than the Government. It is so difficult for the younger generation to get on the housing ladder nowadays surely it is better to pay the deposit for them than to hold onto the money and it gi to the government
Response from celtwitch made on 11th Jul 2016 10:11:00
If you have money to splash out on deposits for houses and cash gifts you have obviously not paid enough taxes. Are you one of the growing army of 'off-shore' tax cheats?
10th Jul 2016 15:56:30
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Thank you Lionel and I do understand that Celtwitch is trying to get a conversation going by being deliberately controversial. I was trying to join in that conversation but I am left feeling my contribution has been unwelcome! The point I was trying to make was that regardless of your beliefs, if you require care and have capital over a certain amount then that will be used to fund your care, you have no choice. I have only worked in NHS care and so financial cost wasn't an issue but I do empathise with the emotional cost to the carer.

Like you we own our property and we worked hard for the privilege. My parents did the same because they were raised to believe that was the right thing to do even when it meant two and sometimes three jobs to achieve that aim. My mother never asked for help when my father became increasingly more difficult to manage because of dementia but had some respite once he died. However, when she required 24 hour care, her house was sold to fund that care. Neither my sister or I had a problem with that.

I wasn't privileged with having children of my own but do have a wonderful step-daughter who is unable to work because my step-granddaughter, now 19, has special needs and requires total 24 hour care (she has had to use NHS services a great deal). My step-daughter does receive carers allowance (a state benefit), which is less than job seeker allowance and we help her out as much as is possible. We hope she will be in a position to inherit what we leave to allow her a degree of freedom, however, if either of us as a survivor require care our house will be sold and our savings used to fund that. Interestingly, if my step-granddaughter requires care the state will have to pay for that so I suppose it's swings and roundabouts!

Rant over.
Response from Lionel made on 10th Jul 2016 16:43:54
Jeanmark, I apologise that you feel your contribution was unwelcome. The fact is I hadn't read it when writing last evening but my post would have been substantially the same but may be phrased differently. Again, I apologise.

May I say, the nation's troubles were very different when Attlee's Cradle to Grave policy was birthed. It was, to be fair, an over ambitious project, but then that government could not have foreseen the population growth nor changes in demographics which have occurred since. Whilst it hasn't been withdrawn, over the years fresh legislation has answered fresh troubles and now Cradle to Grave has for the many who prospered since the War, largely been superseded. For myself, as said, we will remain in our home as long as possible but the time may come ... and our home will be sold. I think that's a justice.

I've heard the outcry in the press, it's not fair, what about all those who lived in Council houses, got benefits ... and it goes on. I see no equitable answer yet taking their savings to fund their care is perhaps the nearest we may get.

My father died relatively young. He left the bulk of his estate to my much younger sister. To mother he left a modest amount. She moved from London to her home village in West Norfolk after being allocated a retirement bungalow. When she died her estate was just into four figures, but through thirty years of both Osteo arthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis she was not reliant upon the state, except for medicines to relieve her pain. I must add, another few months of life and she would have needed more care than I could provide her in her last four months.

Times change. What was a dream 70 years ago is not now possible. But there remains the point, we all have a duty of responsibility for our selves, as far as we may.
Response from jeanmark made on 10th Jul 2016 19:04:06
Thank you for your response Lionel it was much appreciated. I do agree with the problems we face regarding the cost of care and that we have a duty of responsibility for our selves as far as possible. The problem I have is that no government has ever been open and honest about not having the ability to fund cradle to grave care and until this happens many people will assume they have a 'right' to everything.

I also have difficulty when people may assume everyone has an understanding of how life styles may affect their future until it is too late. As humans we often have a 'Russian Roulette' approach to life and it appears to me that we blame people for making wrong choices when at the time they were made they may not have fully understood the consequences. I never once nursed someone who told their 'career advisor' they wanted to be a drug addict when they grew up! As a nurse I had a responsibility to be objective when caring for people, it was not my place to judge only to care, the result of that means I sometimes have difficulty in seeing only one side of an issue, my experience taught me to always look at the bigger picture and that has shown me that if you don't die when young you will grow old with all the problems that can bring.
Response from Lionel made on 10th Jul 2016 21:40:30
Jeanmark, thank you for your kindness and consideration. It will not be forgotten.

It is so easy for us to judge one another, isn't it? I sometimes think judgement is endemic in our society. So very few people are objective. Over the years I've faced what we now call race hatred for being Jewish, for being of Polish extraction, albeit two hundred years ago. The scars of playground beatings are with me today. When I look at my broken hands I can see them.

To say the alcoholic, the smoker, the drug addict may not have NHS treatment is absurd, utterly absurd. It is passing a judgement upon them, but the question is, are we in the safe place to make that judgement? Ah, that's the question. Or is it a case of tribal loyalties; I don't smoke, so because he/she does, they can't have the NHS treatment they need? Or perhaps, I'm vegan so anyone who raises stock for meat, and those who eat it, are themselves condemned by their own hand? (I'm not a vegetarian).

Jeanmark, I come back to my point. We each have a duty of care for our own well-being. As a nurse you will know, of course, about the duty of care. But that point is wider than nurses and doctors. It includes all of us! We each have a duty of care towards ourselves.

But some people, due to their circumstances, will fall through that net, that duty of care for ourselves.

Some may not measure up to that high standard. But yet, they must not be permitted to slip through the net of health care. We are not all the same, we are individuals, shaped by our life's circumstances. To determine zones of care, as suggested by Celtwitch is immoral and offensive. Could I say here, it's inhuman?

Please allow me to give an example. It's a case I've fought with my practice nurses and doctors for some years. In my Chelsea Boots (remember them) I am five foot four inches high. But, despite being on a slight frame, twenty five years of manual farm working has left a legacy of a big chest, thighs like tree trunks and very thick arms. It's a consequence of a life lived. My BMI is near thirty, yet I weight just eleven stones with no spare flesh or fat. I am, according the practice nurse, near morbidly obese. The last nurse advised me not to ask for a doctor under a long list of circumstances. Is that being objective? Is that dealing with the individual? No, of course it's not!

We must surely not judge one another using a prescribed set of rules. Everyone is an individual, led an individual life and that with all it's perils and dangers.

About three miles from my home is a pub with a large grassed area behind. There were two caravans sited there; one inhabited by a drug addicted alcoholic chap, and the other by a man who had lost everything in a marriage break up. I would give them a lift into the nearest town, give them some money, such as I had, and wait until they wanted to return. The drug addicted alcoholic was, as he told me, anally raped as a young child through to his teens. I don't think he had any idea of gender, but he did respond to kindness. My wife was so kind to him too. The other chap could not comprehend how his marriage of so many years has fallen apart, and he become an outcast. They became my friends.

Could the NHS of Celtwitch deny these men treatment; the one so horribly abused and confused about his marriage break up? Oh, I do hope not!

A one size fits all policy for health does not, and cannot ever work.
Response from celtwitch made on 10th Jul 2016 21:52:26
What do you mean by ' don't think he had any idea of gender, ?'
Response from Pam1960 made on 10th Jul 2016 21:56:04
Bravo Lionel. There is hope for the world when there are people such as yourself and Jeanmark in it. I don't know where all this hatred and dissatisfaction comes from
Response from jeanmark made on 11th Jul 2016 10:09:17
Thank you for sharing that Lionel, I am sure both would have known how lucky they were to meet two kind and understanding people in a world full of judgement.
Sandy 58
8th Jul 2016 23:09:51
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Although I would not wish to end my days in residential care, I realise that if you become frail and need 24 hrs care it's unlikely that any of our children would be willing to give up their jobs to look after us. ( I wouldn't want that either) , so you need to make provision for your care if you get to a point you are unable to care for yourself. 24hr care is a costly business, there is no cheap option. Residential care involves staff working shifts, (12 hr shifts day and night), unsociable hours. The wage bill alone is extensive. Also health and safety aspect involves medication, the environment, fire safety, staff training. There has to be a number of care staff on shift to meet the Health and Safety requirements. If someone calls in sick then external agency staff need to be engaged. Residents with advanced dementia need a higher ratio of staff to care for them than in the main stream unit. Also there are domestic and kitchen staff, electricity, heating and food costs. Written evidence needs to be available for the care inspectorate. This involves staff qualifications, registration with the social services council, care plans to ensure service users receive good quality care. The private sector are profit making organisations. Local authority are not in it for profit but they are working within budget constraints. 24hr care in your own home would also be costly and you would have the running costs of your home as well. Having worked with recruitment of care staff It's been noticeable over the last few years that less people are interested in the care profession, your heart has got to be in it.
Response from celtwitch made on 9th Jul 2016 10:43:53
You have finally answered my question fordfocus (I loved the Cortina) by inferring that the taxpayer should fund your care, should you ever need it, so that YOUR money can go to your offspring!
I have known more than one elderly person who has lived on the very edge of malnutrition, refusing to spend more than the absolute minimum on the cheapest food available, sitting in the dark to save electricity, without TV, and shopping at jumble sales, in order to maximise the wedge of cash they would leave to their children. And the children encouraged it!
If you need care and if you have money then you should stump up the cash, and not expect the taxpayers to support you.
I have no family to support me, so if I ever become unable to look after myself I would rather opt for euthanasia than go into a council run care home.
Response from Lionel made on 11th Jul 2016 00:01:32
There could be one other choice for you Celtwitch, insist I was a carer in your chosen nursing home.

Then you would see tenderness and kindness.

but perhaps that's not what you want!
Response from celtwitch made on 11th Jul 2016 10:06:42
I have never known 'tenderness' but I do have experience of kindness, and anyway, by the time I get around to needing a carer you will be in need of one yourself. But thanks for the offer.
9th Jul 2016 19:15:33
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Response from celtwitch made on 10th Jul 2016 16:26:04
I have always believed that we should have the right to shuffle off if we are reduced to living a pain wracked miserable existence, and if we are too weak to die by our own hand then someone should be allowed to help us.
No, we don't allow animals to suffer but the 'all life is sacred' lobby would deny us the right to quietly slip away when we decide we've had enough.
If life is 'sacred' why then is it often so awful, why is it so painful, miserable and unbearable for some unfortunate people who have never done wrong in their lives?
In Japan, suicide is considered an honourable thing to do, and why not, it's my body so I will do with it as I see fit.
9th Jul 2016 14:34:03
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I don't believe your children should have an automatic right to your property and savings which is why it is so important to write a will to make your wishes known even if leaving it to them is you choice (I don't think you can stop the government from taking their share). However, I find the remainder of this question difficult to answer as my understanding is that you are already responsible for contributing to care costs in local authority care homes. Your local authority should give financial support if your capital is below £23,250. If it is below £14,250 you should be entitled to maximum support although you will still contribute income from your pension less £23.90 per week for personal expenses.

It is also worth remembering that the local authority will take into account 50% of any joint savings i.e. you have £10,000 in a joint account they will take £5,000, when that is spent they will assess as 50% on the remaining £5,000 etc. Therefore it is better to have separate single accounts when meeting care costs to ensure costs are paid from the account of the person needing care.

I agree with fordfocus, why should the money that we worked hard for and saved for go on care when those who are not so fortunate or not saved for the future get financial support for their care? If you decide to pay for private care, that is your choice.
Response from celtwitch made on 9th Jul 2016 14:51:09
Your last sentence raises an interesting issue, that of government funded care for those with little or no assets.
Many of today's pensioners will have worked long hard hours in dirty low paid jobs, perhaps serving in the forces too, but never earned enough money to put into a private pension. Retirement will have come as an unpleasant shock as they strive to adjust to life on a small (tiny) state pension, and the UK state pension is one of the stingiest in Europe.
Some of those pensioners may feel acutely embarrassed that their care is paid for by the local councils, others will not care a jot.
I know people the same age as myself who never really worked, they tried it in the 60's and 70's, didn't like it, so opted for a life on the dole, or on the sick. Those people will get the same pension as a person who worked in a low paid job.
Doesn't seem fair, does it, but then it wouldn't be fair to penalise the idle and the feckless in their old age, or would it?
Response from jeanmark made on 9th Jul 2016 15:32:00
Not sure what point you are trying to make celtwitch as you original question was aimed at those who had property and savings a number of which will have worked long hard hours in dirty low paid jobs and not have contributed to a private pension, my own parents included.
8th Jul 2016 12:27:01
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The current system stinks!!! I know somebody whose father was diagnosed with dementia and then spent nearly five years in a care home before passing away. During this entire time fees of about £800 per week had to be paid. This not only wiped out their father's savings but resulted in his flat having to be put up for sale. When the flat did not sell quickly a loan had to be sought from the council which had to be repaid when the property was eventually sold.

Apart from an allowance of just over £20000 all savings and assets currently must be used to pay fees. This cannot be right as it punishes those who have made the effort to save. Even if public money isn't available to cover this ever-increasing problem surely it should be possible for people to take out insurance when they are younger to cover these potential costs should they arise.
Response from celtwitch made on 8th Jul 2016 15:06:02
I have never understood why a week in a 'care' home has to cost more than an all inclusive fortnight in a hotel in Spain.
I worked in one for a short time and all that the residents got for their money was help in dressing and showering, 3 quite poor meals, cups of weak tea and a seat in the lounge for the day.
We need to find an alternative way to care for our elderly as it seems that someone is making a lot of money from vulnerable people.
Response from celtwitch made on 8th Jul 2016 15:07:31
I should have said, 'an all inclusive fortnight in a hotel in Spain, for a family of 4.'
8th Jul 2016 10:36:55
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Fordfocus. If you have any savings or own your own property you have to pay for your own care. I don't think it is the responsibility of someone who has worked and saved all their lives to pay for the care of others.Surely inheritance tax could go towards the care for those in need
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