We recommend that you apply for the Nursing Home Support Scheme as soon as you believe that you or your relative or friend may need long term care. We recommend this as applications and approval of funding can take anything from 6 to 12 weeks and sometimes longer depending on the time of the year and number of applications in the system. Should the person requiring care need it before the application is processed approved and funding allocated this will have to be funded personally. Applications and approvals are valid for a period of 6 months even if once approved the applicant does not wish or need to avail of long- term care. Therefore, to avoid having to pay thousands of euros in care costs while the application is being processed and approved, we recommend applications to be submitted at the earliest possible time.