FirstStop Advice changing lives
The following examples illustrate the range of FirstStop’s work and the outcomes it helps its clients achieve.
Bridging the gap between income and care costs
Clive, who has lasting power of attorney over his mother’s finances, helped find her a place in a nursing home – but at £34,000 pa, the fees were double her income. Clive contacted FirstStop to ask how best to use the proceeds of selling her flat to ensure she was properly provided for. Our Finance Advice specialists discussed the circumstances in detail with Clive before recommending that from an anticipated sale proceeds of £165,000, he could buy a care fee annuity at a cost of £93,000 which would guarantee sufficient income to meet the initial care fees and provide reasonable protection against future increases.
Brokering a joined-up response
Mrs P is a widow in her late 80’s. She owns her own property which she wanted to improve and adapt. Although not on a low income she didn’t have enough in savings to afford the work she wanted done. She was also very nervous about employing builders herself.
FirstStop made two connections for her – with her local Home Improvement Agency (HIA) to help specify and manage the works, and with Houseproud, a joint venture between the Home Improvement Trust and her local authority, which advises on funding such works and offers its own equity release product.
Mrs P decided to take out a loan via Houseproud, employed the HIA to look after the works, and is now happily settled back into her much improved home.
Challenging a care decision based on cost alone
Mr A rang. He is in his early 70’s and has Muscular Dystrophy, has been a wheelchair user for 28 years and receives 24 care at home, largely funded by his Local Authority. His social worker recently advised Mr A that the Authority can no longer support his care at home as ‘he was becoming too expensive’ and that he will need to move into residential care.
Mr A was very upset. He feels he has a good quality of life; he is able to manage a lot for himself, has an adapted car and is often out and about with his carer. He told us that moving into residential care ‘would kill him’.
Our advisor knew that two of our FirstStop partners had specialisms that might be helpful - Independent Age has expertise in the law around community care and Mr A’s local Age UK could offer hands on support. This case is still open but Mr A is feeling a lot happier and less stressed now he knows he has support and help to find a better solution.
Talking your language
Mr H contacted FirstStop about his grandmother. Whilst his family had always intended to care for her at home, a health crisis made this impossible and she needed to go to a nursing home:
“I liked the fact I could ring and speak to someone, I spoke to a chap who was extremely knowledgeable and I didn’t feel at all rushed. The first call I made we were on the phone for over an hour, it was really good to do that and then back it up with information from their website. The thing about the website is you can’t ask questions and it is great to be able to do that and speak to somebody. They are such a good source, they are clearly the people to speak to, they are so knowledgeable and the service is free.”