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Advice   |  79 Comments  |  

Free personal care in Scotland

Paying for necessary personal care is one of the dividing lines between England and Scotland.

South of the border, most people pay some or all of the costs. There are some exceptions. NHS Continuing Care should pick up the tab for those who qualify. And if you meet your local authority’s eligibility threshold for care, and your finances are sufficiently straitened, then you should get care services without paying.

In Scotland, free personal care is available for those who are assessed by their local authority as needing it.
 

Update February 2021 – more support for self-funders

Adults who pay for their residential care in Scotland will be better off from April as a result of a change to the rates of allowances they receive for personal and nursing care.

People who ‘self-fund’ their residential care receive a fixed allowance towards the cost of their personal and nursing care.

These allowances will be increased by 7.5 per cent, well above the normal annual increase, in recognition of the increasing cost of providing care, particularly for people with dementia.

The change is backed by an additional £10.1 million provided to Local Authorities in order to cover the increases.
 

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“I am pleased to confirm that we will increase the allowances paid to people who are paying self-funder rates for their residential care by 7.5%.

“Care home costs have been rising above inflation for a number of years and this is an important step towards to bringing the rates closer to the actual cost of personal and nursing care.

“The Independent Review of Adult Social Care will be published later this week and in responding to its recommendations there will be opportunities to consider wider reforms to the way residential care is funded and delivered, to ensure the highest standards of care and wellbeing for people who use adult social care, and support for their families, carers and the workforce.”

Free personal and nursing care for all adults

Adults of any age, no matter their condition, capital or income, who are assessed by their local authority as needing personal care, are entitled to receive this without charge.

Free nursing care is provided in a similar way to all who are assessed as requiring it.

People resident in care homes who have capital above the higher Capital Limit (currently £28,500) are known as self-funders.

Local Authorities make payments to cover the personal care (currently at £180 per week) and nursing care (currently at £81 per week) part of self-funder care home fees. These are paid directly to the residential care provider on a weekly basis.

Under the normal inflationary measure used to calculate allowances, these payments would have increased by 1.94% this year.
 

New allowances from April 2021

• Personal Care – currently £180, will go up to £193.50 per week from 1st April

• Nursing Care – currently £80, will go up to £87.10 per week from 1st April

This represents an annual increase of 7.5%


 

How to find out about personal care services

In the first instance, you need to contact your local social work services department to have your care needs assessed. The types of personal care provided will vary according to your assessed care needs.

You may receive personal care services from the local authority, or receive payments so that you can choose who will provide you with the services.

If you live in a care home, the local authority will assess whether you need these services, and if so, pay £180 per week (rate as at April 1, 2020) on your behalf directly to your care provider. Payments of free personal and nursing care made by the local authority direct to the care provider are not liable to income tax.
 

The local social work services will assess you for:

Personal Hygiene – Bathing, showering, hair washing, shaving, oral hygiene, nail care

Continence Management – Toileting, catheter/stoma care, skin care, incontinence laundry, bed changing

Food and Diet – Assistance with the preparation of food and assistance with the fulfilment of special dietary needs

Problems with Immobility – Dealing with the consequences of being immobile or substantially immobile

Counselling and Support – Behaviour management, psychological support, reminding devices

Simple Treatments – Assistance with medication (including eye drops), application of creams and lotions, simple dressings, oxygen therapy

Personal Assistance – Assistance with dressing, surgical appliances, prostheses, mechanical and manual aids. Assistance to get up and go to bed. Transfers including the use of a hoist
 

The following care services may be chargeable:

Help with housework
Laundry
Shopping
Services outside the home, such as day care centres or lunch clubs
Supplying food or pre-prepared meals is chargeable, but support with preparing meals is provided free

The council can arrange these services but they are subject to a financial assessment.

 

Article ends – click to return to top or check out related resources below

Further reading and resources

Top tips on choosing a care home

The future of adult social care – Lords Inquiry

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79 Replies to “Free personal care in Scotland”

    AvatarAnne Hutton says:

    Hello,
    We live in Scotland. The local council has just put a care plan in place for my 97 year old mum. She has dementia and has broken her hip three months ago. Social services are going to get someone to come in to get mum ready in the morning and then to help put her to bed at night. I’m trying to apply for Attendance Allowance but I’m not sure if Mums care package is classed as PIP or not, I can’t apply for Attendance Allowance if it is.
    Hope you can help. Thank you

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Anne
    No – PIP is a separate disability benefit that can be applied for by people of working age. So go ahead and apply for attendance allowance, though I can’t guarantee success. Your mother could be eligible with regards to any care needs that aren’t met as part of the free personal care package she is getting from social services.
    If she were to move into a care home, she would no longer be able to get attendance allowance as well as free personal care, but the situation is less clear-cut for people living in their own home.
    You could also seek advice from Citizens Advice Scotland – they have expertise in this area:
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/ (external link will open in a new browser window)
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarMaggie says:

    Hi my chairbound mother has carers four times per day. She is disabled and cannot manage to commode without their assistance.

    Is she entitled to further help when she needs to go to the commode? ( she is continent.) if so who should assess this?

    Is it unrealistic to expect a disabled person to toilet to someone else’s timetable?
    Time between visits can vary from 2 hours 30 to 13 hours 30 ( overnight).

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Maggie
    It is the local authority that assesses your mother’s care needs. I think it is very difficult to expect people to time their need to visit the toilet to coincide with care visits, but that is the reality of the situation, unfortunately.
    Councils are strapped for cash, so not generous with the amount of time they allocate to people who need care. People who are continent are often left with nappies as the only solution offered, overnight for example. Which I find truly depressing.
    There is an automatic toileting system for people who are immobile but continent, which you might like to check out if resources permit: https://www.independentliving.co.uk/product/novamed-solaticare/
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarJames Murphy says:

    Contrary to the claim in the article,the increase of 7.5% in personal and nursing care will not financially help self funding advanced dementia residents in care homes at all.

    The amount of their accommodation costs is determined by the care home, will not be reduced by the amount of the increase in the loacl councils contribution. Care homes will increase their rates so the that the advanced dementia resident is paying the same or more than they were before.

    My Father has been in a care home for 3 years and the amount of his accommodation have never been reduced by any previous increases in persnal/nursing care increases.

    I am afraid that the article is totally wrong and misleading.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Thank you for taking the time to comment here, James, and share your father’s experience of care home costs.
    Unfortunately, care providers are struggling to cover costs, as are local councils, whose budgets have been squeezed. Hopefully, this extra money for personal and nursing care will make some difference. Though clearly, there is still a long way to go in properly funding social care for those who need it, and easing the disproportionate burden that falls on those with dementia and their families.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarMiss E MCclernon says:

    I m 66;live in Scotland need 2;hips 2 nhees replacement to save doing and neck problems I’m trying to get use a Zimmer Frame I took your advice social work gave me a care plan I get 3 10min washes a week my back gets washed if I can’t wash bottom of my legs and feet it dosent get done and 1 CE a week a 15 min shower the other 3 days I stay dirty I have to sit on loo wee tiny sink and that’s how I get washed I get a lovely lady in not there fault as there told how long they can be in my house I’m lucky if the amount of personal care comes to 1 hour a week

    AvatarFrances says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I’m afraid you are not alone – council budgets are under extreme pressure, which means the support provided is cut to an absolute minimum.
    We can only hope that government will finally make good on the promise to sort out social care funding, so that the situation improves in the future.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarAndrea Cameron says:

    Hello,
    I live in Scotland with my pensioner home owner mother who has Alzheimers and needs personal care day and night. She receives Attendance Allowance to cover her additional costs. I had to give up employment to care for her full time and I receive Carer’s Allowance of £67.25 a week which is my only income.
    I am finding this more challenging than I thought and do not get a break from it. I have some savings which I need to keep in order to get a home of my own when my mother requires nursing care.
    I have two questions:-
    1) Would I be kicked out of my home when my mother needs nursing/care home care – what is the likely time frame once it is decided nursing care home is required?
    2) Is there anything else I may be eligible for now? I would like to be able to afford some education/training so I can get back into employment when the time comes.
    Thank you for the work Independent Living do.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Andrea
    Your situation partly depends on your age. If you are over 60, then the council can’t insist on selling your mother’s home to pay for her care.
    If you are younger than this, and gave up your own home in order to come and care for your mother, the council has discretion to disregard the value of your mother’s home in paying for her care.
    If she has any savings apart from her home, then these can be used first, giving you more time.
    It may also be possible to get a deferred payment agreement, rather than selling the home straight away. In this case, the council pays the fees in the interim, and gets paid back when the property is eventually sold.
    You can get more detailed advice from Age Scotland – their helpline is 0800 12 44 222.
    To find out if you might be eligible for any other financial support, you can use a benefit checker: https://www.mygov.scot/benefits-support/ (external link will open in a new browser window)
    Good luck and best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarAndrea Cameron says:

    Thank you so much for your reply. Your site has helped me through the panic that sometimes comes out of nowhere.

    AvatarELIZABETH MCCLERNON says:

    I’m 66 a pensioner I have osteoarthritis in both hips knees spinal problems. I have powerchair. I had fall December 10th was in AE I can’t stand walk or walk now haven’t had a shower in a month. Renfrewshire council put a personal care plan for me my balance gone they gave me a Zimmer why has care plan never started? I’m a prisoner in my home, no family or friends left alone with no help.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Elizabeth
    I am sorry to hear of the situation you are in, which is clearly not acceptable.
    Please get in touch with your social worker and ask about the care arrangements which should be in place for you. You should also be able to get some support with this from your local citizens advice bureau.
    Good luck and best wishes
    Frances

    AvatarJames Macdonald says:

    My friend who I have POA is in Hospital just now and being assessed for either care at Home or a Nursing Home. He has a Catheter which proves very troublesome, and has pulled it out three times. He has Vascular Dementia and just been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer which has spread to his Lungs (terminal). He is very immobile and was falling constantly when he was Home. The Hospital is looking at options they have to release him. What are the options in Scotland? He owns his own home, does he have to sell to pay for extra Homecare or a Nursing Home?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello James
    If your friend isn’t able to be cared for in hospital, he will be discharged either into his own home, with support, or into a care home.
    Like everyone in Scotland, he is entitled to free personal and nursing care in accordance with his assessed needs. Beyond that, he is expected to meet his own costs, if he has assets of more than £26,500, including his home. He would be expected to sell the home, if he didn’t have any other savings that were more readily available. Unless he has a partner who lives there, or a disabled relative aged over 60, or somebody who has given up their own home in order to live with and care for him.
    It is sometimes possible to have a Deferred Payment Agreement with the council, rather than selling the property straightaway. In this situation, the council pays for the care, and then recovers the cost when the house is sold.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarH Nicol says:

    My 89 year old father ( in Scotland) has had a hip replacement and is due to be discharged from hospital tomorrow. The care package was to be morning and night. Today it has been cancelled as Renfrewshire SW provision is unavailable. The service is full. What are the options?

    AvatarFrances says:

    I would talk to the discharge team at the hospital, and see if they can sort something out urgently with the local council, so that your father’s discharge from hospital isn’t delayed. He certainly shouldn’t just be sent home without care in place.

    AvatarH Nicol says:

    Thank you. It was the discharge team who booked the package for us. Then SW cancelled. He won’t be discharged without a plan, but SW can’t offer any date when they can provide it.

    AvatarFrances says:

    This is a graphic illustration of the problems besetting health and social care, unfortunately. It leads to hospital beds being occupied unnecessarily, because there aren’t adequate resources to provide care in the community.
    Do keep in touch (politely!) with the social work department, though, on the basis that the squeaky gate gets the oil.
    Or if your father can afford to pay for the care he needs, that would also be a way to get him out of hospital more quickly.

    AvatarJacky Docherty says:

    We have moved our relative from England to Scotland when he was found to be unable to live independently. He has since deteriorated further and needs full time nursing home care. Does he need to have been resident in Scotland for any period of time to qualify for nursing care funding. His assets are over the upper threshold and he will pay all care home fees (£861 weekly) but we hoped he would qualify for Free nursing care (£261).

    AvatarFrances says:

    There isn’t any time-limit for residence in order to qualify for free personal or nursing care in Scotland.
    Your relative should be assessed, to see whether he is eligible, and depending on what his assessed eligible needs are, the local council will pay up to £180 a week for personal care and £81 a week for nursing care.

    AvatarMay Fraser says:

    My son has had cerebral palsy since birth but could walk a bit & look after his personal needs (washing, dressing, etc). ). He managed to go to uni & get a job. However, in his early 40s he developed a spinal condition which damaged his spinal cord. Despiite having surgery he was left severely disabled. He cannot walk & needs help with all his personal needs. My late husband & I have cared for him for 15 years but I am now getting too old to do it. Do you think he would qualify for free personal care?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello May
    It certainly sounds as though your son would qualify for free personal care. You need to contact your local social work services department to have his care needs assessed.
    He could either be provided with personal care services from the local authority, or receive payments so that he can choose a provider himself.

    AvatarHeather says:

    Hi
    My mother is about to start receiving free personal care at home and 4 visits per day following her recent diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s.

    We asked about Attendance Allowance, but her social worker said that she will not be entitled to claim it because she’s getting free personal care at home. As far as I know, there is nothing included in her care package that would be linked to Attendance Allowance.

    Are they correct?

    Many thanks.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Heather
    It think it would be worth claiming Attendance Allowance, though I can’t guarantee success. Your mother could be eligible with regards to any care needs that aren’t met as part of the free personal care package she is getting from social services.
    The situation is clear if she were to move into a care home, she would no longer be able to get attendance allowance as well as free personal care. But I can’t find anything to that effect for people living in their own home.
    You could also seek advice from Citizens Advice Scotland – they have expertise in this area:
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/ (external link will open in a new browser window)
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarRod says:

    Mum (99) lives by herself in her own home in Scotland and I live in London. She has physical disabilities and progressing dementia. She currently gets free personal care at home from Social Services. Would my mother also be entitled to claim Attendance Allowance?

    Thanks

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Rod
    It would certainly be worth claiming Attendance Allowance. Your mother should be eligible with regards to any care needs that aren’t met as part of the free personal care package she is getting from social services.
    If she was to move into a care home, she would no longer be able to get attendance allowance as well as free personal care.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarFrank says:

    My friend (67) has severe brain damage, paraplegia and neurogenic bowel and bladder syndrome. Although he is assessed as needing two carers twice a day, and has been home from hospital for three years, his social worker is unable to materialise the full package of care. He gets Just ten minutes per day. This leaves a heavy burden on his family who have taken on all aspects of his personal care. It’s a 24/7 job without respite. Now social worker says she can get the package of care but the council will only pay the first £16 per hour per carer. My friend will have to pay the rest – some £12 per carer per hour. It takes two hours just to wash and dress him – and this doesn’t Even include the bowel care he needs. Is this social worker being reasonable?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Frank
    Well it is good news that your friend’s social worker is making sure – belatedly – that he gets the care package he has been assessed as needing. It is a heavy burden to place on family members otherwise.
    The average hourly rate for carers in Scotland is just under £10, so it would be very difficult to justify a payment of £28 an hour, particularly when resources are so stretched.
    I would also be questioning why your friend is paying so much over the odds?
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarJamesmccrorie says:

    My brother in law is in hospital with a brain virus had several seizures, also heart attack, come stroke he is 63 years old is he entitled to free personal care

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello James
    Once your brother-in-law is out of hospital, he can be assessed by his local council, to see whether he is eligible for free personal care. This isn’t dependent on age or any particular medical condition, but how able he is to manage daily living tasks. If he goes into a care home setting, assessed eligible personal care costs would still be paid for, but he would be expected to make a contribution towards other accommodation costs.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarShirley Christopher says:

    Hello my mum is 86 and has really poor mobility and unable to get around . She is house bound and mobilises with a frame . She has had multiple falls and is unable to get up due to her oesto arthritis . She has angina , she has inflammation of the muscles? She recently fell and fractured her pelvis . I applied to social services for help with personal care . 45 minutes a day . Having waited four months and my mum paying privately social services have now said my mum although assessed as critical does not meet the criteria for free care , she now doesn’t think she can afford the care agency at 18 pound a hour as they only do personal care but she still has to pay out for someone to clean , garden , and walk her dog . Why did it take four months for social services to make a decision and as she has critical needs why was her needs refused. Is there no right to appeal. I’m not sure what to do next. I’m in England ,

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Shirley
    I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s situation – it must be very hard for both of you. The council really shouldn’t have taken so long to make a decision, and it is always a good idea to get in touch once you’ve been waiting six weeks or so, to find out what the situation is.
    You can certainly challenge the decision – look for the complaints procedure on the Council website, and also see just what their eligibility criteria are. The Coronavirus Act has temporarily removed Councils’ legal obligation to meet assessed eligible care needs, however, unless not doing so would amount to a breach of human rights.
    There is more information about this here: https://www.independentliving.co.uk/advice/care-act-easements/
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarMary says:

    Hi,

    Mum (92) lives by herself. She has physical disabilities and progressing dementia. She currently gets the maximum personal care at home. I fear that soon, they will attempt to move her into a home. If I arrange additional care for her at home either through a relative or similar, To allow her to remain at home. would the existing personal care be removed?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Mary
    I fear that may be the case. If the council has assessed her as requiring a certain amount of care, and they see some or all of that being provided by relatives, they might well reduce the current care provision they are funding.
    It might be a good idea to get some individual advice, before you make any changes. Your local Citizens Advice Scotland should be able to help.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarJim Kerr says:

    Hi,if you have an elderly person living at home who is incontinent, are incontinence pads provided free of charge ?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Jim
    You should contact the local NHS continence care service. Incontinence products can be provided on prescription for people who meet the eligibility criteria.
    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to come back to me if there is anything else you would like to ask.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarMargaret Mckay says:

    As quoted in the Community Care & Health Scotland Act 2002 “Food preparation and provision of meals are not included. However assistance with eating, assistance to manage special diets and the assistance with the preparation of specialist meals (eg pureed foods) is included.” it seems that this is a grey area for some councils and you are also stating meal provision comes under personal care. Should it not just be in special circumstances?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Margaret
    I don’t know how it is being interpreted on the ground, but guidance from the Scottish government website says: “food and diet – help with eating, special diets and food preparation” form part of personal care. I imagine they can get around this, if they opt to provide ready meals, for which they would charge, rather than assistance to the person so that they can prepare their own food at home.

    AvatarM Colla says:

    I have recently assumed PoA for my 84 year old father who lives in Scotland. I live in England. He has been receiving domestic care for several years but his mobility is now so limited that he is unable to get himself out of bed. The current care provider has advised it cannot resource two careers per visit to enable him to be raised out of bed. He has now been in bed solidly for about 6 weeks and is growing very frustrated.

    Local Social Work teams have offered respite in a local care home (where he had a short spell last year) but he has declined because he is not happy there. He felt he was poorly treated. However the current care provider has now served a notice to quit because some of their staff are unwilling to go to the house because he is (unsurprisingly) becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. They have reported verbal abuse which he denies. Undoubtedly he can be curt, but he is generally not abusive and there are some careers who attend who have never experienced any issues with him. He is however non compliant unless handled in a careful way.

    We have now been advised that no other local care homes will accept him due to the high fall risk that he represents and probably not assisted by the current care circumstances. Additionally other local care providers have declined to consider him for domestic care because he has been awkward in the past. The local Council care team are seemingly unable to resource for this doubled up requirement, although I have not received an answer as to whether they can resource on a current resource basis. I get the feeling this is a question that they would prefer I had not asked and that this could be a waiting game to see if he capitulates and agrees to go into the local home for ‘respite’. In reality that means he is highly unlikely to be allowed to return to home because of lack of domestic care appetite from service providers and lack of Council resource.

    What are his rights in these circumstances?

    My 78 year old mother lives in the house but they are estranged and she has advanced dementia.

    Many thanks for your assistance at this troubling time.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello
    This does sound like an extremely difficult situation for everybody involved. Dealing with the practicalities, there is equipment that could perhaps help your father get out of bed without the need for two carers. Theraposture’s Rotoflex bed turns and lifts the person from lying down to sitting up – You can read more about it on this page:
    https://www.independentliving.co.uk/product/theraposture-rotoflex-bed/
    The bed is available on rental, and can sometimes be obtained through Community equipment stores.
    I think you should also get some specific advice about his individual situation, as far as care options go. His local Citizens Advice Scotland is probably the best place to start.
    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to come back to me if there is anything else you would like to ask.
    Good luck and best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarM Colla says:

    I have recently assumed PoA for my 84 year old father who lives in Scotland. I live in England. He has been receiving domestic care for several years but his mobility is now so limited that he is unable to get himself out of bed. The current care provider has advised it cannot resource two careers per visit to enable him to be raised out of bed. He has now been in bed solidly for about 6 weeks and is growing very frustrated.

    Local Social Work teams have offered respite in a local care home (where he had a short spell last year) but he has declined because he is not happy there. He felt he was poorly treated. However the current care provider has now served a notice to quit because some of their staff are unwilling to go to the house because he is (unsurprisingly) becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. They have reported verbal abuse which he denies. Undoubtedly he can be curt, but he is generally not abusive and there are some careers who attend who have never experienced any issues with him. He is however non compliant unless handled in a careful way.

    We have now been advised that no other local care homes will accept him due to the high fall risk that he represents and probably not assisted by the current care circumstances. Additionally other local care providers have declined to consider him for domestic care because he has been awkward in the past. The local Council care team are seemingly unable to resource for this doubled up requirement, although I have not received an answer as to whether they can resource on a current resource basis. I get the feeling this is a question that they would prefer I had not asked and that this could be a waiting game to see if he capitulates and agrees to go into the local home for ‘respite’. In rea,it’s that mean she is highly unlikely to be allowed to return to home because of lack of domestic care appetite from service providers and lack of Council resource.

    What are his rights in these circumstances?

    My 78 year old mother lives in the house but they are estranged and she has advanced dementia.

    Many thanks for your assistance at this troubling time.

    Avatarrichard bryan says:

    My mother moved into a private care home near Stirling last April, following my fathers death (he was basically her carer). The situation is a little complicated as she lived most of her life in Renfrewshire but moved into a care home in Bannockburn (the care home is for people of her religious faith and we felt she would be happier there). We have been trying to get her assessed for Personal Care Allowance since then but in spite of numerous phone calls and even a letter from my solicitor, she has still not been visited and assessed. Stirling council say there is significant demand in the area and they are “monitoring her situation”. It is now coming up for one year and I get the feeling they have no intention of going near her. In the meantime, all of the considerable fees are coming out her own savings and we may soon have to sell the house. Feel quite hopeless about the situation.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Richard
    I’m really sorry to hear of the situation your family finds itself in – I can well imagine how stressful and upsetting it is.
    As you know, if your mother is assessed as needing care, she would receive £177 a week for personal care, £80 a week for nursing care.
    A year is an extremely long time to have waited, so I think you should try and continue to keep some pressure on the council. Unfortunately, they don’t have to to backdate any award, so the longer they delay, the more money they save…
    I would get some support from your local citizens advice bureau – phone 0808 800 9060 – who can guide you through the process of making a complaint, and getting the situation resolved.
    Good luck and best wishes,
    Frances

    Avatarrichard bryan says:

    Thank you Frances, I will do just that:)

    AvatarLiz Gallagher says:

    My 92year old mother has various health problems but is fiercely independent and just manages to live alone in Glasgow. I am her legal guardian but live in Kent and travel every week or two to help her. We pay for someone to visit her 4 days a week to help her with housework and get fresh produce.
    My mother was receiving a free care package morning and evenings. Two weeks ago a social care worker re-assessed her care package and said she does not need a care package so the care package has been totally withdrawn.
    The package was awarded on discharge from hospital on medical grounds but was withdrawn to ‘maintain her independence’. She is 92 and housebound. How can she appeal this situation?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Liz
    It is always possible to challenge the council’s decision – your mother should get an advisor from her local citizens advice bureau to support her in this. If you put her postcode in on this page of the Citizens Advice Scotland website, you can find the nearest office:
    https://www.cas.org.uk/bureaux
    If she is not happy with the outcome of the appeal, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman is the final arbiter. This is a link to their website, where you can find out more about the service https://www.spso.org.uk (external links will open in a new browser window)
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarJenny says:

    Can i advertise as a private home help in the Scottish Borders if client/relatives have personal money to pay for their care. I have been cleaning for said person for over 4 years. But relatives have asked if i could help with shopping, ordering medication etc.
    Any advise or help would be greatly received.
    I have PVG. First Aid trained, Food Hygiene and a Moving and handling certificate.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Answered by email

    AvatarMoira Imrie says:

    What ‘qualifies’ as Nursing Care Funding in Scotland? Dad is 95yr and just gone into Carehome with dementia. He has been awarded £177 for Residential Care but not £80 for Nursing Care. What qualifies resident to be awarded £80 towards Nursing Care? Dad is self funding.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Moira
    When your father’s needs were assessed, they would have decided whether he had nursing care needs or “just” social care. Very often, the sort of issues that people with dementia need help with come under the banner of social care – ie washing, dressing, using the toilet, eating, etc.
    If you feel that the assessment was wrong, you can complain to the local council and ask for it to be reconsidered. Get in touch with them directly to find out about their complaints procedure.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarHariklea Cummings says:

    I’m moving to Scotland in the near future. My mother has dementia and by the time I move will probably be in a home. I would like to take her with me. Will I be able to get her in a home there? At the moment she gets benefits and only pays a minimal amount towards her care. Will she be in the same situation if I take her with me? Will I be able to get her in a home there?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello
    Yes, you can transfer from a care home in England to one in Scotland. You need to get your mother’s current local council to liaise with the council in the part of Scotland you’re moving to.
    The current council should pay either the usual funding limit for their area, or the usual limit for the council you’re moving to, whichever is the lowest.
    That is the theory, but problems can arise in practice, so make sure that you get advice from Age Scotland and your local council. This is a link to the Age Scotland website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/contact-us/ (external link will open in a new browser window)
    Good luck with the move!

    AvatarRk says:

    I have recently managed to sell my mother’s house and buy a flat that will hopefully accommodate all her needs in the future. She has dementia. There is some money left over from the sale of the house. What is the limit that she can have as savings without her current level of payments being affected? Could the savings be ring fenced for her future care needs to supplement the AA and PC allowances she gets?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello
    AA (Attendance Allowance) is not means tested, so your mother would continue to receive that irrespective of any savings. Equally, personal care is free in Scotland, so savings not an issue there. However, if your mother needs to move into a care home in the future, she would be expected to pay the fees apart from the personal care element if she has more than £28,000 of capital, including her property.
    The situation is quite complex, and you can get more individual advice from Citizens Advice Scotland.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarHeather Mitchell says:

    Hi,

    My Mum and Dad are both 75 and my Mum has Parkinsons. Until a couple of weeks ago my Dad was very fit and active and was my Mum’s carer. However, he has had a severe stroke and we have been told that it will be a long long process of recovery for him, if he actually makes one. My Mum is still mobile but has good and bad days and likes to be independent.

    Should we be asking for an assessment of my Mum’s care needs just now? I know that she will not want to leave her home. The family are all chipping in at the moment with helping Mum and taking her to see Dad in hospital but there is a limit to how much time we can get off work.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Heather
    I am sorry to hear of this upsetting change in your family, and I hope that your father does make a recovery from his stroke.
    The answer to your question is Yes – now that he is not able to provide your mother with care, it would be a good idea to get an assessment of her needs from your local social work department. If she is assessed as requiring personal care, the government will pay. You need to make it clear that the family are not able to provide the support that she needs.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarTricia says:

    My mum is 93 and has recently been diagnosed with Vascular dementia. Up until now my brother and I have been offering all the support and care she has needed but as we are in our sixties we are experiencing our significant health problems and been advised by our doctors to enlist the support of social work – something we have been reluctant to do as mum has always fought to be independent. Recently there has been a marked deterioration,and her psychiatrist has suggested that she should have much more support than we can realistically provide . I feel we have failed her but we must admit and accept he is right . I have looked after my mum for over 20 years and I am honestly exhausted by it . She lives in her own sheltered home but I think she needs help with everything on a personal basis . I still want to see and support mum daily and I can still shop and do her cleaning . I’d like to make the best of the time we have and no longer be burdened with all the personal care issues which are distressing and fraught for us both. Do you this free personal care would be appropriate for mum now ?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Tricia
    You have clearly been providing exemplary care and support to your mother, but you shouldn’t feel that you must struggle on unaided to the detriment of your own health.
    Do get in touch with your mother’s social work department, and ask for an assessment of her needs. And you need to make it clear that you cannot continue to provide the amount of support that you have done up till now.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarDorothy McIntosh says:

    My mum who is 101 lives with me in Scotland and receives Self Directed Support payments so that I can pay carers for 4 hours respite per week. An annual lump sum is also received for further respite care as required. Does mum qualify for free personal care such as showering on top. At present I take full care of her but as I’m getting older and more exhausted delivering her full time care, I wondered if free personal care can be considered.?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Dorothy
    As your mother is already receiving Self-Directed Support payments, the local council must have made an assessment of her care needs, and provided a package which they believe meets her needs, and yours as her carer.
    If you feel that those needs have changed significantly, you should ask for a reassessment, though please be aware that free personal care will only be provided to people who are assessed as having critical or substantial needs.
    I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to come back to me if there is anything else you would like to ask.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarDan says:

    Hi Frances

    Thanks for your help and advice.

    Is there a cap on the amount that the council will bay for personal social care if a elderly person in Scotland stays in his own home? Perhaps the £177 referred to above?

    Would he get that in addition to attendance allowance if he stays in his own home?

    Thanks

    Best wishes

    Dan

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Dan
    £177 a week is the current rate at which the Scottish government pays for personal care. It may be given as a Direct Payment so that the person can choose and pay their own provider, or the local council may provide and pay for care services directly. It is up to the person concerned how much control and involvement they want.
    Yes, if you are over 65 and eligible for free personal care, you are also entitled to Attendance Allowance, as long as you remain in your own home. AA stops after 28 days if someone moves into residential care.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarDan says:

    Hi Frances

    Thank you. So if the cost of the personal care comes to over £177 you have to pay the extra yourself?

    Best wishes

    Dan

    AvatarFrances says:

    That seems to be the logical corollary… it would be interesting to hear from anyone with direct personal experience.

    Best wishes,

    Frances

    AvatarColette Reilly says:

    That was my experience with mum (she died in 2015). We had self directed payments which enabled me to hire a carer for 16 hours and if I needed more than that we had to pay ourselves.

    It pay have changed since (not updating myself as here again with Dad now)

    AvatarFrances says:

    Thank you for replying to this query, Colette – I’m sorry to hear that you are finding yourself in the difficult situation of being a full-time carer for the second time. I hope you manage to get the support you need for your father.
    Best wishes,
    Frances

    AvatarFiona Duncan says:

    My 93 year old mother was assessed as requiring personal care. Before it started she deteriorated and she had to go into a care home for a two week respite stay, self funded. I enquired about her receiving the personal care cost to set against her stay and was told since I had jumped the gun and put her into the home privately those costs wouldn’t be paid. But the assessor had agreed she needed care and was in the system so that seems illogical.

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Fiona

    As the rules stand, although you can arrange care services privately, and claim for the cost, the local authority is only responsible after a contract is in place between them and the care provider.

    Unfortunately, there is no requirement for the local authority to backdate the payments, so although your mother had been assessed as needing care, since there wasn’t an arrangement in place at the time she went into respite care, the council is not obliged to pay for it.

    Sorry I can’t give you better news!

    Best wishes, Frances

    AvatarJohn says:

    If self funding in Scotland in a Care Home would I be entitled to receive a) Attendance Allowance of £87.65pw and b)
    Personal Care Allowance of £177pw , in addition to my State Pension ? (Just trying to plan ahead and struggling to find and understand details of all funding available)

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello John

    If you go into residential care, you are no longer entitled to Attendance Allowance.

    The personal care payment of £177 a week would be made directly to the care home, if you were assessed by the local social work services as needing help with personal care elements listed above.

    Best wishes,

    Frances

    AvatarRobert Robertson says:

    HI
    Please advice the current allowances in hours per day or week of free personal care and if it differs across councils thanks Bert

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Bert

    There isn’t a set allowance. Free personal care is provided on the basis of an assessment of the individual’s needs. You should contact your local council in the first instance to arrange an assessment.

    Best wishes,

    Frances

    AvatarAnthony Taylor says:

    My wife and I live in London I am 79 ,she is 84. Our needs have been assessed. We both get attendance allowance. We have part time carers which we pay for. I am on dialysis 3 sessions per week.
    If we were to move to Scotland would the carers we need be paid for by the Scottish social care system.?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Anthony

    The Scottish system does provide for free personal care, subject to assessment of your needs by the local council. Some care services, like shopping and housework, may be charged for, depending on your financial situation.

    Best wishes,

    Frances

    AvatarMichael Nicholson says:

    If I get outside carers does the council give me anything towards paying them or do I have to pay them myself

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Michael

    If you live in Scotland and your council assesses you as needing personal care, they will pay for it. You need to contact your local social work services department and ask for an assessment.

    Best wishes,

    Frances

    AvatarClaire says:

    if you have paid for personal care from your own finances for the last year- is there anyway that could be reimbursed by the council?

    AvatarFrances says:

    Hello Claire – I don’t know the answer to that question, and each local authority seems to have different rules on how they assess people’s needs and what they pay, so it is probably a good idea to contact your local social work department and ask them if you can claim retrospectively.
    Good luck!

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