Advice: Nursing-home care costs need to be factored into farm succession plans
Q One of my parents is in need of full-time care. Although we have been managing home care up to this point, it is putting too much pressure on family members and the need for nursing-home care is becoming urgent. My other parent is quite well and plans to continue to live in the family home. I am a farmer and find my workload too much to balance with caring for a relative. The farm was transferred to me three years ago as I am a trained farmer. I have farmed it alone for more than 10 years due to my father's failing health.
How does the nursing-home scheme work and will it affect my ability to farm if either of my parents move into a nursing home? Also, what will happen to my parent's home if they must contribute towards their care?
Please log in or register with Farming Independent for free access to this article.
A Many families face the unenviable position whereby they cannot, for a variety of reasons, provide the level of care that a family member needs, within the home. There are several funding mechanisms available to families prior to the need for residential/nursing-home care, including Carer's Allowance, Carer's benefit and home support.
In-home care supports
Carer's Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are looking after a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness). The eligibility criteria for Carer's Allowance include that you must be living with, or in a position to provide, full-time care and attention to a person in need of care who does not normally live in an institution.
You must not be engaged in employment, self-employment, training or education courses outside the home for more than 15 hours a week. Carer's Allowance is means tested. The weekly payment varies depending on age and the number of persons cared for. For example, a person under the age of 66, caring for one person, receives €219 per week.
Carer's Benefit is a payment made to insured people (PRSI contributions made), who leave the workforce to care for a person(s) in need of full-time care and attention. Carer's Benefit can be claimed for a total of 104 weeks for each person being cared for.
The eligibility criteria include that you must be living with. or in a position to provide. full-time care and attention to a person in need of care who is not living in an institution. You must have at least 156 contributions paid at any time between your entry into insurance and the time you make your claim for Carer's Benefit. Carer's Benefit is a taxable source of income. The maximum rate of payment for a carer aged under 66 years, caring for one person, is €220 per week.
In addition, the HSE Home Support Service (formerly called the Home Help Service) provides support to people to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The Home Support Service provides support or everyday tasks, including getting in and out of bed, dressing and personal care like showering. The level of support depends on individual need and is not means tested. It can be provided by a HSE employee directly or through an external provider approved by the HSE. The Home Support Service is free.