The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, known as the Fair Deal scheme, is a new scheme of financial support for people who need long-term nursing home care. It replaced the Subvention Scheme which was in existence since 1993. Under the scheme, one makes a contribution towards the cost of one's care and the State pays the balance; regardless of the nursing home being public, private or voluntary.
The HSE administers the scheme and applicants cannot avail of State funding for a nursing home place prior to receiving approval of their Fair Deal application.
A number of steps are involved in the process, including applying for the scheme; care needs assessment; financial assessment and securing a nursing home loan. For full details log onto www.hse.ie.
Standards of care-a vital aspect
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is the body responsible for standards implemented in nursing homes, both public and private.
HIQA has developed these standards to help protect the rights those living in residential care settings.
When people move into such settings, it is very important that the care they receive protects their rights and allows them to lead as full lives as possible.
Being aware of the standards is important, it affords protection to the resident and allows you to make informed judgements about the standard of care your loved one is receiving.
The Authority developed the National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for older people in Ireland to help improve and assure the quality and safety of care provided.
The standards cover what is felt to be important to residents and what they can expect from the service provider. Each standard is of all people living in residential care settings are met.
Care in the Home
Family carers may sometimes realise they may need additional help and support when it comes to caring for a loved one at home. People wish to find a career that provides the same degree of care and devotion that they would themselves provide to their loved one.
If you are obtaining Home care providers through an agency, it is important to inquire about their screening process. This may include Garda checks and other background checks, interviews and reference checks. Also enquire about their qualifications and whether or not they complete ongoing training to maintain and update their skills.
Information on the various supports available visit your local Citizens Information office-or visit www.citizensinformation.ie for more details.