Brexit & care fees, what comes first?

Gosh, it’s getting very close isn’t it? What is clear to most of us is that no one really knows what on earth will happen on Saturday 30th March (other than we’re going to watch the new Dumbo movie).

Regardless of how you voted don’t let either side, born from optimism or fear, prevent you from sorting out mum’s care and her associated fees now. Life as we know it will continue with everyday matters continuing to arise.

Whether we secure a deal with the EU or crash out without one, we are all going to live through a prolonged period of tumultuous change, the outcome of which will have far-reaching implications for decades to come.

The unfolding and ever-changing situation together with Michel Barnier’s recent comments will have us believe that there won’t be a handcart available for love nor money. 

But for the majority of UK citizens, the finer details of the Brexit negotiations in Brussels and Westminster couldn’t really be further from our thoughts; we are all still living our lives, going to work, shopping, meeting friends, watching television, catching a movie, taking holidays and eating out.

We’re visiting the dentist, doctors, attending hospital appointments and when needed we’re facing deep into the abyss and acknowledging that our once independent relative now needs to move into a care home.

Take the Button family for instance, back on 23rd June 2016 Emily Button was 83, she was fit, healthy and living an independent life at home, as such she walked to her local polling station to cast that all important vote. Sadly, in early October 2018 unnoticed by anyone in Westminster amidst the chaos of Brexit she suffered a significant stroke.

Thankfully, all the excellent healthcare professionals were also going about their usual jobs.

So, whilst her referendum decision will forever remain between just her and the ballot box, her ongoing social care requirements have been discussed by a myriad of people at varying times.

Strokes can be seriously debilitating and do cause residual health issues from speech difficulties to lasting paralysis, unfortunately Mrs Button was no exception. After several weeks in the hospital Mrs Button’s daughter was told that mum couldn’t go back home to live on her own.

In reality, Mrs Button a pragmatic lady was ok with this, but she knew she couldn’t sit back and wait until Brexit was sorted before acting. The family rallied together and set about finding their mum a new place she could call home.

The care home Mrs Button really liked did have a large, sunny room available but they couldn’t wait until Brexit was finalised either.

So concentrating on the here and now, Mrs Button left hospital and moved into her new environment. Safe in the knowledge that she had not only taken back timely control of her life but she had acted in her own current and best interests.

As Mrs Button owned her house and had some modest savings (above the threshold) she wasn’t entitled to any contributions from the Local Authority; to make sure her money was utilised to its full potential Mrs Button, via her daughter, met with their local Symponia member.

The qualified adviser conducted a thorough investigation of Mrs Button’s new life and finances, including an understanding of her life goals and current objectives, researching bespoke options and implementing the chosen solution. 

Returning to the Brexit negotiations and the inclination for us all to use it as an excuse, a way to delay making hard decisions. What can be learned from Mrs Button?

Easy really, if your relative needs care now, Britain leaving the EU won’t change this one iota. But, delaying “just in case” could have a seriously negative outcome not just on their health and wellbeing but on their purse too.

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