How fair is the Fair Deal Scheme? When it comes to care for the elderly some people think that the Fair Deal Scheme is fair because they don’t have assets and if their only income is the State pension they will not have to pay much for their nursing home care. We use the Fair Deal Calculator to work out how much individuals have to pay based upon their income and assets. But other people take a different view because the paradox at the heart of the Fair Deal Scheme is that the more you have, the more you pay. People who have worked hard all their lives in order to afford a house are likely to be dismayed to find out that they will have to pay a percentage of the value of that house to the Fair Deal Scheme if they require nursing home care. The cost of eldercare homes varies throughout the country with nursing homes in the Dublin area are more expensive than the rest of Ireland.
People don’t like planning ahead in relation to senior care probably because they don’t like thinking about their own demise. But that is exactly the thing to do if you want to be smart about your future care. You may wish to consider transferring property to a relative but you need to do this five years before your require nursing home care otherwise there will be a clawback of assets.
Ultimately the Fair Deal Scheme takes a percentage of your income and assets. Some people have a high level of income (eg. pensions, rental income, dividends) whereas others have considerable assets. Assets include savings, the family home, holiday homes, inherited property or a business. Those who can afford it will pay more.
If you live in a very expensive home but you have little income then you may not have enough money to pay for your eldercare home. In such circumstances you may wish to apply for an Ancillary loan on the property that you own in order to finance your care. This loan is repayable after your death.
So the answer to the question – how fair is the Fair Deal Scheme? is that it depends. It depends on your income and assets and it depends upon your attitude towards paying for eldercare. Senior living is becoming more and more of a priority for people as they live longer.
If you need advice and information about the Fair Deal Scheme please go to www.emerlavineldercare.ie to book a consultation today.