The issue of moving from home to long stay institutional care usually arises when people are older. A small number of younger people may also face the problem of being unable to continue to live at home because of the onset of disability or the progression of a chronic illness.
The vast majority of older people are able to live in their own homes with some support from their families, neighbours and the health and community care services. A number of people every year however find they cannot continue to live at home and need to go into long-term care.
Here we outline some information that may help you to continue to live at home or make that transition to long stay care, should it become necessary or desirable. This information is a broad overview of the services and supports available and your entitlements. More detailed information on these issues is available through the links below.
If you need full time care you may get a Home Care Package from the HSE. That package may include a Home Care Grant which you may use to employ a carer. Your carer may qualify for Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance and or a Respite Care Grant.
If you employ a carer, you may qualify for tax relief to help with the costs, see Tax allowance for taking care of an incapacitated person.
You may be able to access services provided in Day Centres. These services may include medical services as well as social and recreational activities.
If your home needs to be adapted to enable you to continue to live there, you may qualify for a Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability. Local authorities have a Housing Aid for Older Persons Scheme which is aimed at improving the condition of an older persons home.
If your own home is unsuitable to continue living there, you may be able to get a specially adapted local authority home for older people and people with disabilities or an adapted home provided by a voluntary housing organisation.
You may get long term institutional care in public long-term care facilities or in private nursing homes.
Public long stay care is provided in a number of different institutions including HSE nursing homes, geriatric hospitals and community nursing units. Private long stay care is provided by private nursing homes. All nursing homes are now monitored by the independent Social Services Inspectorate within the Health Information and Quality Authority.
From 27 Ocober 2009 residents in both public and private nursing homes may be funded by the Nursing Homes Support Scheme if they meet requirements in relation to their need for residential care and a financial assessment.
People who are already in a nursing home at this date may continue with current arrangement or be assessed for the new scheme, and choose whichever is to their advantage If they continue with a subvention agreement in a private nursing home then they, or another person who is paying the fees, may qualify for tax relief on nursing home fees.Boarding out
The HSE operates a scheme of Boarding out of Older People but it is not widely used.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.