Meeting of Wednesday 19 February 2020
Speakers: Shauna Patterson and Tom Flanaghan from Social Services
Topic: Social Services and Assistance for the Elderly – both practical and financial.
Shauna spoke on the practical elements of elderly care stating that after a person is referred to Social Services, usually by a GP, an assessment is made to determine what is required, e.g. occupational therapy or some other form of support. The individual has an element of choice in this and the options include respite care. Mr Flanaghan explained the financial aspects of residential care on a long-term basis. Income in excess of £14,250 and /or assets over £23,500 mean that the costs may have to be met either wholly or in part by the patient. A patient in permanent residential care may well lose out on some pre-existing benefits such as attendance allowance. Where the patient is the owner of property the Health Care Trust may apply to have a charge registered over the property. Mr Flanaghan strongly recommended that all those with assets and next of kin should take out an “Enduring Power of Attorney” to help avoid some of the problems which can arise in such circumstances. The team dealt with several questions from members and received praise from those who had first-hand experience of the services that were available to elderly people in the community.