The Fair Deal scheme is designed to make nursing home care more affordable. Applicants undergo a needs assessment and financial means tests. Income and assets are taken into account and weekly cost is subsidised by the State. Residents can pay during their lifetime, including 80pc of income and 5pc of worth of family home over three years. First €36,000 of assets of single person and €72,000 for couple are disregarded. Residents have option of paying 80pc of income in lifetime and deferring rest of cost until after death, allowing State to make a claim on assets such as family home.