Cost of Care

Common Issues > Cost of Care

Private Homecare

Some people say that they would prefer their parents to remain living in their own homes in order to be able to retain their independence for as long as possible. Of course a lot depends on the parent’s state of health and whether they are able to care for themselves at home, bathing, dressing, cooking and cleaning and moving around.    They may also be keen to stay living in their own community where they can do familiar things like go to the shops and visit friends or even keep a pet.    They may live with a partner or an adult child.   Much depends upon the person’s health and their own preferences.  If they keep falling at home that is a risk that will need to be considered.

You can probably find out about the cost of private homecare yourself by telephoning homecare providers in the area.

It is important to point out that private homecare for a long period of time will be expensive.  Emer can help you with  weighing up how much homecare will cost versus the cost of nursing home care.


Fair Deal Scheme

A lot depends on the health of your relative but if the main asset is the family home, the advantage of the Fair Deal (Nursing Home Support) Scheme is that the family home only forms part of the calculation for a period of 3 years.    What this means is that if your relative remains in a nursing home for 10 years the value of the family home is not taken into account for the last 7 years.



Here is one example:

The Issue...

Bridie, aged 86, a widow has been diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Her family are concerned about her and think that she needs nursing home care.

The Challenge...

Explaning to Bridie why she needs to go into a nursing home is difficult for the family but once this conversation has taken place it is likely that they will feel relieved that she is going to be properly looked after. However, they are still worried about the cost of nursing home care.


The Solution...

The first step is a Care Needs Assessment usually carried out by the public health nurse or GP  to assess your ability to perform daily tasks, level of independence and cognitive function.   If you do not qualify for the Care Needs Assessment you must wait 6 months before you can reapply unless there is a change in your circumstances.

The next step is the HSE will work out a financial contribution that your mother must pay based upon her  income and assets.   This figure does not include incidentals such as hairdressing, chiropody.  Check with the nursing home what extra charges you may incur before you apply for the Fair Deal Scheme.  You can ask for an annual review and you are supposed to report to the HSE if your situation changes.

Your mother will have to pay 80% of her income annually which includes  salary, State pension and private pensions; rental and other income with some allowable deductions such as health expenses and property tax.    The HSE will deduct  €36,000 from the total assets for a single person such as your widowed mother  (and €72,000 for a  a couple).

She will also have to pay 7.5% on the value of her assets annually for the duration of her stay in the nursing home.   This means cash assets in the form of savings, shares, money owed to you and non cash assets like property including the family home, farm business.

The family home is only assessed for the first three years of your mother’s stay in the nursing home.  This does not apply to other property.  For farms see the page on farmers.

The HSE will take into account  and clawback assets transferred in the last 5 years and this includes cash gifts and non cash assets.

It is possible to apply to the HSE for an ancilliary loan during the intial application stage or anytime when the resident is in a nursing home.  Processing the loan may take a few months.

To get an idea of how much you will have to pay in Year 1 check out our Fair Deal Calculator.   A single person is assessed on the basis of their assets whereas a couple who have been living together for more than 3 years will be assessed on the basis of all of their assets .

For more detail about your parent’s situation contact Emer Lavin today who will give you information about The Fair Deal Scheme, and help you assess whether it is the best option for your situation.

Disclaimer: In order to maintain the anonymity of past clients, Emer has changed identifiable characteristics and details (e.g. names, occupations, places of residence etc.) from their stories above.

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