Moving from home to long-term care


As you become older, you may need or want to move from your home to long-stay institutional care. Sometimes, if you are a younger person with a disability or chronic illness, you may also face the problem of being unable to live at home.

However, you may be able to stay at home with some additional supports. You can read about housing options, supports and grants for older people.

This page gives an overview of services, supports and entitlements that may help you to continue living at home, or make the move to long stay care. Find more detailed information through the links below.

Continue living at home with support

You may be able to continue living in your own home with some support from your family, neighbours, and the health and community care services.

Community care services from the Health Service Executive (HSE) include:

Supports for your carer

Your carer may qualify for Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, and a Carer's Support Grant.

If you employ a carer, you may qualify for tax relief to help with the costs.

Incapacity and planning ahead

If you are becoming incapacitated, or if you want to make long-term plans for incapacity in the future, you can read about:

Supports to improve your home

You may be eligible for schemes to improve the condition of your home.

For example, if your home needs to be adapted so you can continue living there, you may qualify for a Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability.

You can also apply to your local authority for Housing Aid for Older Persons Scheme to improve the condition of your home.

If your own home is not suitable for you to continue living there, you may be able to get a specially adapted home for older people and people with disabilities from your local authority, or from a voluntary housing organisation.

Read more detail about housing supports and grants for older people.

Moving out to long-term care

If your own home is no longer suitable, you can move to institutional care in a public long-term care facility or a private nursing home.

Public long-stay care is provided in:

  • HSE nursing homes
  • Geriatric hospitals
  • Community nursing units

Private long-stay care is provided in private nursing homes.

All nursing homes are regulated by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

How to pay for care in a nursing home

You may be able to apply for the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the “Fair Deal”, which gives financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care.

You can also get tax relief on nursing home fees.

Choosing a nursing home

Visit the HIQA website to find a nursing home in your area. You may also want to read the HSE’s guide to choosing a nursing home.

When you choose a nursing home, you will be asked to sign a contract for care. This sets out the rights and responsibilities for you and for the nursing home.

You can read information about what you are entitled to expect in a nursing home contract for care from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. It also explains what you can do if you think a contract for care is unfair.

Boarding out

If your home becomes unsuitable, or you are unable or do not want to live on your own, you may consider moving into a private homeowner's house.

This is called boarding out and is organised in communities by the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Page edited: 16 October 2023