Thursday 22 March 2018

'The more you have, the more you pay' - readers have their say on the Fair Deal scheme readers have their say on the Fair Deal scheme readers have their say on the Fair Deal scheme
TV presenter Brendan Courtney and his family faced the toughest decision of their lives so far – how to care for his father, Frank, after his stroke. Photo: Andres Poveda
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney readers have shared their own thoughts on the Fair Deal scheme in response to Brendan Courtney's documentary 'We Need to Talk About Dad', which aired on Monday night.

The RTÉ presenter revealed how his family has battled to gain access for his father Frank (75) to the State's complex Fair Deal scheme in the documentary, and Brendan has since been inundated with stories from members of the public who share his family's heartbreaking struggle to care for his elderly father.

"I really hope my dad's documentary effects change with the Fair Deal scheme and that families start the conversation earlier to think about planning," Brendan said.

11 NEWS We_Need_to_Tal.jpg
TV presenter Brendan Courtney and his family faced the toughest decision of their lives so far – how to care for his father, Frank, after his stroke. Photo: Andres Poveda

Read more: 'We're the first generation to face decision on care for our parents' - RTÉ's Brendan Courtney

Since the programme aired, readers have shared their thoughts and experiences on the Fair Deal scheme through both the's comments section and official social media channels, some of which we have listed below.


Children should mind their parents and honour their wishes. Easy decision. Parents sacrificed all their lives to mind their children and [were] not self interested and in poor times. Be responsible and get second job and loan if needed to care for your parents. Otherwise we are losing our humanity.  - Mefein1


I didn't see the documentary, but I would like to put on record my family's overwhelming satisfaction with the Fair Deal scheme which has provided a secure, caring and  professional environment for elderly members. We could not be more happy with how they are treated. There was minimal bureaucracy, and superb individual care from day one. The scheme is a credit to its organizers [sic]. - Alicantino


While the Fair Deal Package and the application process is fairly straight forward, the HSE assessment and how your parents assets are taken into account as part of the assessment is a joke.

In summary, the more you have the more the HSE will take. Considering that your parents have gone through working all their life, private and public pensions will be assessed and expect to pay 22.5% of your home over 3 years..The more you have...The more you pay. - Barrsball


I don't understand why it's so costly in Ireland for care. My father made the decision to move abroad to get the proper care for my mother. We never wanted her to be in a home as we know she certainly didn't. 

She lasted almost 20 years, a lot longer than she would have in any care home with a loving carer who adored her for the same price per month that it costs a week here. We got a grant per month from the government too which really helped. We treated her carer like a member of the family and she loved being with us. My mum had a great end of care experience that should be available in Ireland. - Zestforlife


Obviously the documentary has been good for getting people talking, but he [Brendan Courtney] is not correct that his is the first generation to face the decision on care for parents.

This has been going on for very many years, long before the Fair Deal scheme came into being and believe me, it was even harder back then too, with no State help with nursing home fees. I've been there, I am older than Brendan Courtney and lots of people older than I am have been there too. - Rosemary


Found it odd that the Fair Deal could only be used in a nursing home capacity and that the equity in a house etc plus earnings and pensions etc could not be diverted for home care which is surely a cheaper option and less burden on state facilities... We have a real problem with joined up thinking and long term thinking particularly within our civil service and government. - Chucknorris


I didn't see the programme unfortunately. My mother is 95, has early onset dementia, is living with one of my siblings and is quite a handful. I sought help from the HSE which I did not receive and was told that the funding was mostly available for those who lived alone or were recently out of hospital. So no help.

They recommend some private companies which had very high hourly rates that we can only afford for a few hours a week although my mother needs round the clock care. I am curious to know how you found it so easy to obtain. - Munsteress

Should home care be included in the Fair Deal scheme?

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