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
You may be able to access services provided in day centres. These services may include medical services as well as social and recreational activities.
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.
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 regulated 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.
When you have chosen 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.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission provides information about what you are entitled to expect in a nursing home contract for care. It also has information about what you can do if you think that a contract for care is unfair.
The HSE operates a scheme of boarding out of older people but
it is not widely used.