Who doesn’t wish to live independently in the later stages of life! However, with mobility issues and financial crunch, the dream stays unfulfilled and all one is left with is a hope- of receiving financial support from one’s spouse or children. But in Ireland, the scene is a little different under the Nursing Home Support Scheme. Alternatively known as ‘Fair Deal’, it’s a welfare scheme, whereby the State forwards a helping hand towards one’s cost of care thereby encouraging independent living among the elderly.
The deal seems interesting and fair enough to inspire aged people. But don’t you think it’s better to take an informed decision, rather than rushing through it? Of course, it won’t change your mind but certainly, make you aware of a few things.
To be precise, apart from the levels of care, expected by an elderly, Nursing Home Support Scheme Fair Deal covers laundry service, bed and board. To further assist applicants, especially in the day-to-day activities, it makes arrangements for therapeutic activities and forwards the necessary aids and appliances. However, to enjoy the secondary benefits, the recipient of care has to carry a medical card.
Normally, the Fair Deal Scheme is granted within 4-6 weeks. However, the waiting time may exceed what’s mentioned here in case of asset disputes, thereby delaying the process. The same situation is foreseeable when complications are involved in one’s estates and financial circumstances.
A Care Representative is anyone who assists the elderly applicant to complete the forms and take important decisions on behalf of that person. Usually appointed by the Circuit Court, the person acts in favour of the applicant and it could be either a close relative of the applicant or a professional.
An applicant’s assets and liabilities along with his/her income determine the contribution to the cost of care. The scheme, at present, expects 80% of the applicant’s income and 7.5% of their aggregate value of assets to be paid to receive the core benefits. For couples, on the other hand, the figures are slightly less, thereby lowering their contribution toward the cost of care.
As per the guidelines of HSE (Health Service Executive), applicants are eligible for ‘State Support’. However, in times of deferred payments, one can avail the financial assistance of HSE, whereby the entire cost is covered by the administrative body. In such situations, the State offers the person a time period of 1 year to clear off the loan (the applicant’s portion cleared by the State) through repayments.
The next time any of your relatives or acquaintances decides on the Nursing Home Support Scheme, make it a point to convey them the key highlights of it in order to encourage them to take an informed decision. Hopefully, long-term nursing home care, a successful replacement of Subvention Scheme, would identify an elderly’s urgent need for financial assistance and support them to live independently.