We helped Janet Baker to find a care home for her Mum six years ago. We were able to help her once again when, like many others, their money fell below the funding threshold which meant they faced unaffordable top-up fees

Janet Barker Care Home Top-Up Fees

Mum went into a care home six years ago after having a stroke. At the time, I had spent a long time searching for care homes and despairing about the lack of support, clear information and guidance. Then I was referred to Carehome Selection and given an adviser who became a life-saver; she was calm, knowledgeable and went out of her way to help. We visited several homes together and choose one which met Mum’s needs, providing the nursing and initial physiotherapy she required, but also a stimulating environment with plenty going on.

Mum is self-funding and after six years of paying care home fees, her resources fell below the funding threshold, which means you then have to pay third party top-up fees. It is a terrible situation: we were told we would have to top up her fees with £260 each week for her to stay in her care home and being pensioners ourselves, that was impossible. The social worker was helpful but told us there weren’t any care homes in the area that would accept Mum without top up fees. She couldn’t do any more for us except suggest we rang around care homes and tried ourselves. So again, I turned to Carehome Selection.

I spoke to an adviser called Jacqui who said “leave it with me”. She called care homes in the area where we live, Rugeley and in Brownhills, near to where Mum’s care home was located. She quickly came up with two homes that would accept Mum with a much more manageable top up fee of £50 a week. Jacqui offered to take me to visit one of the homes and so we travelled there together. The Matron was not there but Jacqui knew the home well and was able to show me around herself.

I liked the home, which is in Brownhills and is well suited to Mum’s needs. Nevertheless, I felt extremely worried about her having to move at the age of 93. We were due to go on holiday at the time and I was worried about Mum settling in while we were away; Jacqui even offered to go in and see how she was getting on. She really could not have done any more. We have the reassurance that it is affordable: the top up fees are paid by the council because they were unable to offer us anywhere which didn’t require top up payments.

Mum has been in the new care home for six months now and is getting on well. I imagine many families are facing this extremely difficult situation of having to move elderly relatives when their own money runs out. Once again, Carehome Selection came to the rescue and filled the gap in support. The social worker we spoke to was very nice, but they are very limited in terms of how much time they can spend supporting you. Whereas Jacqui told me I could call her any time, “day or night” and you know you have someone working away on your behalf who has a great deal of local knowledge and experience. I am very grateful for this much needed service and for the reassurance that you can go back to them again when new challenges arise.”