On The Edge TV interview with Angela Sherman, founder of Care To be Different
In this clip, Angela Sherman talks about inheritance tax, the extent of care covered by NHS Continuing Healthcare and the emotional pain of visiting her parents in a care home. The interview was recorded before her parents died.
Duration: 00:06:09. Watch it here. [TV clip © Edge Media.]
…or read the transcript below:
TC = Theo Chalmers (interviewer), On The Edge
AS = Angela Sherman, founder, Care To Be Different
SS = Simon Stone, lawyer, Kingsley David Solicitors
AS: Actually on that note, if you think of inheritance tax, and this is about money –
TC: And love.
AS: And love. If you stay well in your old age, you keep your house, you keep everything you have built up, you are able to do with it whatever you choose. If you are ill, and especially if both of you are ill, you lose everything: You lose your house, you lose your rights to provide any inheritance to anybody. Your tax at the inheritance point is 100%.
TC: That’s true, that’s absolutely true and a frightening thought. Your whole life seems to have been for very little in that sense.
AS: But not only do you lose your health, your space in the world, your dignity, your purpose, you have everything else torn away from you.
TC: Do you lose the right to vote if you have dementia?
AS: I don’t know – that’s good question.
TC: I could make a joke there, but I probably won’t. Instead I will read out this text from William in Inverness: “Scotland does have free care for our senior citizens. Also from April we will all get our prescriptions free of charge.” Isn’t that incredible? Take note Gordon Brown – or who’s ever in charge of health. And someone is offering the blessing of Lord Jesus upon you.
AS: Thank you.
TC: So we have got four minutes left, how would you like to end this? You had your victory. You haven’t been paid yet though, have you?
AS: Not for my father.
TC: All that fighting, all those decisions, this is now how many months after the decision was made?
AS: We are getting on for the third month after the decision.
TC: Do you think they will cough up?
AS: I have every confidence that they will.
TC: Or will they decide to take it all back and say we have changed our minds.
AS : I sincerely hope not.
TC: Should the worst happen in that period, then presumably they are still obliged to?
AS: Absolutely, that shouldn’t make any difference. If he dies now, that should be all the same.
TC: And what does that include – that includes all his care?
AS: Yes, all his care.
TC: They don’t say, but he has got to eat, and we are going to charge him £5 for dinner.
AS: No, it’s all his care, whatever that involves, wherever that is, it’s all his care.
TC: It’s his medication, his nursing, his food and heating, lodging…
AS: Everything – as if he were in hospital. It’s all his care.
TC: But you can’t have special things for him.
TC: Like a special diet, you were talking about a healthy diet.
AS: He doesn’t have to move homes to be within a certain price range. He can stay where he is, so fortunately we have won and he is able to stay there and know that, for the moment at least, he is secure.
TC: Are they now together?
AS: They are in the same home, yes.
TC: But not in the same room.
AS: Not in the same room.
TC: Do they know each other still?
AS: Mostly, to a degree, yes.
TC: One more than the other?
AS: It depends on the day.
TC: Presumably they have days when they both –
AS: They have days when they are both completely out of it. They have days when they are more lucid. Sometimes they don’t have any real interaction. Sometimes they do.
TC: And you’re there how often.
AS: Every other weekend.
TC: It must be quite hard having a conversation if they don’t know much about what’s –
AS: And the most difficult thing is that their speech is severely impaired because of the Parkinson’s. My Dad can barely speak and it’s almost impossible to understand what he is trying to say. That’s really difficult. My Mum can say a few words at a time but, as I mentioned before the most important thing is to simply be there, and they’ll know at some level that you’re there. That’s the most important thing.
TC: Well that’s kind of encouraging. I do find it hard to look at that decline as its going to happen to us all, including me no doubt. It’s a scary thought.
AS: It’s not a nice prospect. Everything seems to conspire against you, but there is hope.
TC: Yes, there is hope and, Simon, in the last 30 seconds you mentioned in the break that you have a solution to this problem of decline. Do you want to tell us all?
SS: This is very much my philosophy and that’s ‘eat pizza and die early’, but I wouldn’t necessary recommend that to anybody – and that’s not medical advice or legal advice!
TC: And if this show is followed by an advert for a pizza company, we accept no responsibility.
SS: One thing I would like to say…
TC: Better be quick.
SS: … Is steadfastness, robustness, persistence.
TC: Persistence. Right, that’s all we’ve got time for. Thank you everyone for watching our special two-hour show and for those who texted, and thanks to our very special guests Angela Sherman and Simon Stone.