SOLLA News and Views

09 February 2021

Views: Case study from SOLLA member Dave Robinson

Dave RobinsonDave Robinson - SOLLA Accredited Adviser since 2008

Both my parents and parents-in-law suffered very serious health issues in later life. It’s given me a passion for supporting older and vulnerable clients. I was in the first group of advisers to achieve SOLLA Membership when the Later Life Adviser Accreditation was launched in 2008.

All financial advisers have technical knowledge, but the SOLLA Accreditation allows me to see the bigger picture. It helps me understand the issues around later life, including care and funding options. Accreditation also means I have a range of soft communication skills that enable me to have better conversations with my clients and their families.

One case that really stands out is when I was contacted by the daughter of an older lady living on her own. The daughter, based with her family in Switzerland, was only able to get over to England to visit her mum once a year.

Her mum was receiving around-the-clock live-in care, with the daughter relying on the care provider to advise her on what was best. She’d been told her mum’s capacity was failing and that live-in care was what she wanted.

The cost of care was extremely expensive, and money was running out. To be able to continue paying, the daughter thought her mum would have to take out equity release. This would’ve covered care costs for around three years, but her mum was likely to live for significantly longer. It was very unlikely she was going to be able to maintain financial independence for the rest of her life.

I offered to visit her mum for an informal chat without charge to get a better idea of the situation. To ensure complete confidentiality, I spoke to her without the presence of the care provider. Talking one-to-one, I recognised she had capacity and was capable of making her own decisions.

It became clear she was quite uncomfortable with domiciliary care and instead wanted to move into a nearby residential home, where she had some friends. Following our discussion, I relayed this information to the daughter, whose mum moved into the care home. She and her daughter also decided to sell her house, which provided a substantial source of capital.

With her care needs organised, I next applied for funding I thought she was eligible for. She had her first three months of care home fees paid in full by the Local Authority. I also claimed higher rate attendance allowance on her behalf; this helps with extra costs if you have health issues severe enough to need someone to help look after you. It can be a considerable contribution towards the cost of care.

As a SOLLA Member, a client’s wellbeing is always the priority, as is improving their financial situation, so this case was very rewarding. The daughter’s mum is now much happier and likely to remain financially independent for the rest of her life.