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. 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. Care of the elderly is an expensive business and people may get a shock when they realise the cost of care.
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 cost of care for older people is 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 senior care and senior living 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 of care 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. If the older person’s health has detiorated recently it may no longer be possible to continue caring for them at home and doctors may advise that they would be better off in a nursing home. The Fair Deal Scheme determines how much your relative will have to pay for their care and it differs from person to person depending upon their income and assets. This can be problematic for people who are short of cash but who own valuable homes or property. Emer Lavin Eldercare specialises in providing tailored solutions and explanations for people who wish to apply for the Fair Deal Scheme. You will be in the driving seat and you will ultimately make the decisions around senior care but it is important to understand the implications of your choices.
If you want to discuss the cost of eldercare for older people including completing the Fair Deal application form with Emer Lavin please go to www.emerlavineldercare.ie to book a consultation today.