The cost of care for older people including the Fair Deal Scheme

The cost of care for older people including the Fair Deal Scheme

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The cost of care for older people including the Fair Deal Scheme

The cost of care for older people including the Fair Deal Scheme is a real worry for families.  Whether you provide care within the family or get paid homecare or nursing home care there will be extra demands on your time, your money and your energy.   Most people have to go to work and look after their own partners and children so there is not a lot of free time to  care for an elderly parent. The first port of call for homecare is usually the HSE where you can apply for a home support package.    This is best done with  in conjunction with your GP.  The HSE will either provide its own carers or contract the work out to homecare providers.  The hours allocated depend on the care needs assessment so the more unwell the person is the more hours they should get.  Some people will only get two hours homecare a week whereas others will get much more.  At the time of writing there is a shortage of carers and even if people are awarded a certain number of homecare hours they are not always guaranteed to get them. In a large family it may be possible to divide up and take one night per week to stay with the older person in their own home.  If this is not an option you can contact a Homecare agency and pay for  extra hours.  One hour of homecare costs in the region of €25  so that amounts to at least €200 per night (night rates may be higher).   I have heard of families engaging three separate carers and paying them €700 per week each so that amounts to €2,100 per week.  That was in a situation where two parents were living at home.   It is also possible to hire a carer privately but beware that means you become an employer and will be responsible for filing taxes on behalf of your employee.  If you pay for homecare on behalf of a parent you will be able to claim back 41% tax on what you pay and this is done by submitting a Form 11 (Self Assessed Individuals) or Form 12 (PAYE) to the Revenue Commissioners. There are also technological solutions available to monitor patients in their own homes.  One such example is Halocare who provide a system of monitoring  vital signs such as oxygen levels, breathing and pulse and  also monitors the environment in the home  using fall and motion sensors and warnings on temperature, smoke and power supply.  The system does not use video cameras.   If a patient requires full time homecare that may be similar to the cost of care in a nursing home.  Nursing home can cost between €900 and €2000 plus per week.  Under the Fair Deal Scheme  the older person will be expected to contribute 80% of income for a single person (40% of total assets for a couple) and 7.5% of assets per annum for a single person (3.75% for a couple). The type of care that you choose really depends upon the health of the patient and what level of care they need at any given time.   For many people cost is a huge factor in the decision.  Do not make assumptions instead research the costs thoroughly .  It pays to do your homework and figure out exactly how much it will cost  and weigh up the difference between the cost of homecare and the cost of nursing home care.  Please go to  www.emerlavineldercare.ie to book a consultation today.          

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