Unscrupulous Carer taking advantage of our mum


Our mum was fiercely independent until late 2016, managing her own level 4 package and refusing to use mobility aids. She is nearly 87 and has multiple medical issues including advanced Parkinson’s Disease and moderate dementia. She is often not verbal now and is barely ambulant - requires assistance to sit and stand but can walk assisted.

She has had a friend who the family have ‘tolerated’ for numerous years. He paid rent and did household maintenance in return for a very nice home. They claim single pensions. Centrelink has investigated the nature of their relationship and have always determined that my mum was telling the truth.
At a time when our mum is most vulnerable her ‘friend’ has applied to VCAT to be her guardian and administrator and listed on the application papers that he is her de facto/partner. We managed to fight for an the Office of the Public Advocate and State Trustee to be her guardian and administrator respectfully.

Since the appointment of State Trustee, mum has been saving money. A year later, at the review meeting, the ‘carer’ is making noises about mum’s care needs increasing. The OPA guardian indicated that once mum requires a hoist she will need to be transferred to a residential aged care home.
Our mum’s home is worth around $1M and she has around $50k in the bank. We want her to get the best care possible and think that the ‘carer’ will argue that he can stay in the house for 2 years.
What should we argue for? Is it best for our mum for us to argue for the house to be sold and that it is used to fund the RAD? We don’t want her in just any old home …
Sad daughters

Hi there,
We are sorry to hear about this situation. For the carer to be able to continue to live in the house, he needs to be classified as a ‘Protected Person’. He will be considered a Protected Person if he is a carer who is eligible to receive an Australian Government income support payment and have been living in your mum’s home for the past 2 years. It is our belief that receiving this Government Income Support Payment is key. You must continue to be in receipt of a Centrelink or DVA income support payment to qualify as a Protected Person. This payment is different from the age pension. If he has not been claiming this support payment then you would need to check with the Department of Human Services to see if he really does qualify as a Protected Person. Their number is 1800 555 254.With regards to selling the family home. Don’t rush into any decisions. Really the very best thing you can do is pay to see a Financial Advisor who specialises in Aged Care. Affis is such a company, but call around and see who you like the sound of. The important thing is that they specialise in Aged Care finances which are large and very complicated. The costs of residential care are complex and can be very expensive. If you hang onto the family home or sell the family home can have a big impact on the fees you pay, especially the Assets and Income Means Tested Fee. We wish you the very best of luck and hope that this advice helps, the agedcare101 team.