My parents are now in their 70s and my dad’s health has deteriorated over the last few months. He has developed severe dementia. The social work department has become involved and, at our last meeting with the social worker, it was agreed that my dad would have to go into a care home. My mum just can’t cope with looking after him on her own. But my mum is beside herself with worry that she will be forced to sell their home to pay for dad’s care home fees. Can you tell me if she will have to sell their house?


The Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidelines (CRAG) which can be found on the Scottish Government website will provide the answers to questions
you have about charges for residential care. For the situation you describe, you should consider section 7.003, which confirms that where a resident no longer occupies a house, its value should be disregarded where it is occupied in full or in part by:

• the resident’s partner or former partner (except where the resident is estranged or divorced from their former partner)
• a lone parent who is the resident’s estranged or divorced partner
• a relative of the resident, or a member of their family who:
– is aged 60 or over, or
– is aged under 16 and is a child whom the
resident is liable to maintain, or
– is incapacitated

Section 7.007 also confirms that where the local authority considers it reasonable to do so, they can disregard the value of the house in which a third party continues to live. Local authorities will have to balance the use of this discretion with the need to ensure that residents with assets are not maintained at public expense. It may be reasonable, for example, to disregard a dwelling where it is the sole residence of someone who has given up their own home in order to care for the resident, or someone who is an elderly companion of the resident, particularly if they have given up their own home.