Saturday 23 September 2017

Nursing home contracts to come under new scrutiny

The regulator is in talks with the Government for more powers to examine nursing home contracts, writes Maeve Sheehan

According to the support and advocacy group Sage, spiralling compulsory extra fees are the symptom. The underlying problem lies in the nursing home contracts themselves, which the organisation claims delivers the power to the nursing home. Stock photo
According to the support and advocacy group Sage, spiralling compulsory extra fees are the symptom. The underlying problem lies in the nursing home contracts themselves, which the organisation claims delivers the power to the nursing home. Stock photo
Maeve Sheehan

Maeve Sheehan

Top-up fees levied by private nursing homes on residents struck a chord with many Sunday Independent readers. What was most striking about the families who contacted this newspaper in the wake of last week's revelations of charges amounting to thousands a year for social activities was their fearful insistence on protecting their identities.

There is the woman whose semi-paralysed husband is paying €104 a month for social activities, and takes €100 a month out of her own pension to pay for this and other additional charges. "If you complain, you are the worst in the world," she said.

There is the daughter of a woman who was charged a 20pc administration fee on top of actual fee for having her hair done or having a newspaper delivered.

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