An East Sussex family fear losing their home after receiving a £45,000 care home bill for their grandmother’s care.
Anne Harrison and Kevin Ripley live with their five children in a three-bed home they jointly own with Mr Ripley’s mother Louise, who ran up a £54,000 bill at a MHA care home before being asked to leave for non-payment of fees, the Express reported.
It is believed that Mrs Ripley, who reduced the bill by £9,000 with her life savings, did not reveal she was the co-owner of her home and was wrongly recorded as self-funding by East Sussex Social Services.
Mrs Ripley was subsequently moved into a cheaper care home but her family said they feared they will face another big bill as the council has not reviewed her circumstances.
Ms Harrison said: “We were horrified and upset when we opened the first letter telling us they were going to come after our home in order to get their money.
“We rushed down to the care home and found a pile of letters, unopened and unread in a drawer in Louise’s room.”
An MHA spokesperson told CHP: “Whilst we are unable to comment on the specifics of Mrs Ripley’s case due to confidentiality, we sympathise with the family and the predicament that they, and others like them across the country find themselves in. It is why we have been vocal and will continue to be vocal in calling for the system of funding adult social care to be reviewed and long term sustainable proposals brought forward by the government as a matter of urgency.”
An East Sussex County Council spokesman added: “We don’t comment specifically on individual circumstances. However, we assess how much someone has to pay towards their care fees using standard criteria used across the country.
“Where people own or part own a property they don’t live in, that will be taken into account when carrying out the financial assessment and determining how much they have to pay.
“Where people have incurred large debts in care home fees, there are a range of ways that this debt can be paid off, but we would never place anyone in a position where their family or children end up being evicted from their homes in order to pay for care fees.”