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Moving from home to long-term care


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.

Supports to help you continue to live at home

The Health Service Executive (HSE) provide a range of Community Care Service to enable you to continue to live at home. The help you may get may include Home Help services, or public health nursing.

If you need full-time care you may get a Home Care Package from the HSE.

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 you are becoming incapacitated or simply wish to make long-term plans, you may want to consider reading further information on Advance Care Directives and Legal Arrangements for Incapacity.

Housing options

There are a number of schemes to improve the housing conditions for older people.

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 person's 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.

Long-term Care

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 monitored by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the “Fair Deal”, provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care.

There is tax relief on nursing home fees.

HIQA has a checklist for choosing a nursing home and can help you find a nursing home in your area. There is more information on how to choose a nursing home here.

Boarding out

The HSE operates a scheme of Boarding Out of Older People but it is not widely used.

Page edited: 7 September 2015



Related Documents

  • Illness in your retirement
    There are a range of payments and services available to support older people who become ill or acquire a disability. Information on income supports, health care, housing, taxation and caring for someone else.
  • Home care packages
    The Home Care Support Scheme (or Home Care Package Scheme) is operated by the HSE. This Scheme aims to support people at risk of long-term care to remain living in the community.
  • Adapting a home for an older or disabled person
    Your home may need alterations to suit the changing needs of an older or disabled person. Information on grants and other supports.

Contact Us

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.