Case study: deputy order application to move to a care home

by | Dec 1, 2023

We often talk about how creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows your loved ones to make decisions for you when you no longer can. However, sometimes, we can’t create an LPA because it’s too late. We’re helping an elderly lady and her family who found themselves in this situation and needed to make a deputy order application to support her move to a care home.

Our original instructions

When I first met this lady, she lived on her own, and carers came in 3-4 times a day. She has Alzheimer’s and other health issues. We weren’t sure whether she had the capacity to make an LPA, so we had a capacity assessment done, which, unfortunately, she failed. I put the family in touch with Joanne Warren from Sunrise Care Advisors for advice. It was felt that being at home and just having carers created a safeguarding issue and was insufficient for her needs. Things started to move forward pretty quickly. The lady was temporarily moved from her home and into a care home to have a care assessment done.

The deputy order application

We applied for the deputy order as we were too late to do an LPA. This involves applying to the Court of Protection and submitting evidence, including a copy of the capacity assessment. The lady owns her home, so we applied to sell her home to fund her care. Deputy order applications can take up to 9 months to resolve. However, the court returned to us within eight weeks, which was the quickest deputy order decision we’ve ever had. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t permit us to sell the property because they were concerned that the lady was being deprived of her liberty and that she wasn’t in care for the right reasons. This isn’t unusual, but it isn’t the end of the story.

Next steps

Where there are concerns about deprivation of liberty, the Court of Protection asks for a report from the local authority to confirm that the vulnerable person needs to be in a care home environment and isn’t being sent there unnecessarily. The application for the report has been made by the care home and sent to the local authority so they can provide the report. The lady has also been assessed by adult social care. We’re waiting for the local authority to deal with it, which can take up to 12 months.

Where we are now

Thankfully, the lady can stay in the care home that she’s settled into, but it’s a really stressful time for the family. They’re going around in circles, and she’s running out of funds to pay for her care.  They’re making an application for deferred payment, but that’s not going through very quickly. If we’d been able to get an LPA in place, none of this would have been needed.

We’ve gone back to the court with evidence that she needs 24-hour care, submitted the care plan and let them know that we’ve applied to the local authority but that the process might take up to 12 months. There have been a few cases where a deputy order has been granted due to delays in the system, but there are no guarantees, so we’re just hoping for the best.

The moral of the story is to get your LPA done early so you don’t have to jump through the hoops needed to get a deputy order.

If you want to create an LPA or need help to support a relative, we can help. Get in touch using the form below or call us on 0116 380 0752.

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