The cost of eldercare for your older relative who requires eldercare is a real worry. You can be sure that it is not going to be cheap. The first step is probably for the family to try and look after the person themselves. That may work for a while until other responsibilites take over and the family carer finds that they can no longer commit to doing as much as before.
Everyone needs to go to work, pay the bills, clean their own house and look after the kids. So there may not be a lot of time left over to mind a parent. In many cases medication needs to be taken two or three times a day and the family member typically a son or daughter living nearby may feel that they have to pop in several times a day in order to dispense medication. So there is a cost of terms of time and energy. Other family members may not be involved in the eldercare of the 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.
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 such as Home Instead, Bluebird, Westcare 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 – for example at www. halocaregroup.com. Halocare believe in smart ageing and they encourage older people to stay in touch with their family and friends network using a simplified version of the internet. They also provide access to information on a tablet which is easily accesible such as a favourite newspaper. The Halocare system monitors 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. Payments to the nursing home are predominantly subject to the Fair Deal Scheme although some people chose not to enter the Fair Deal Scheme and instead pay the nursing home privately and claim back tax. Nursing home can cost between €900 and €2000 plus per week. In order to pay for nursing home care you 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).
It 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. To book a consultation go to www.emerlavineldercare.ie