As Ireland’s leading Advisors on the Fair Deal and long- term care we have had quite a few calls from concerned relatives of residents of Nursing Homes over the past 6-7 months asking if they take their relative out of the Nursing Home and home care them what will be the implications on their Fair Deal funding.
Before we advise them on the impact of such a decision on Fair Deal funding, we ask them why they are looking to take such actions? They normally have the following responses.
- •We cannot visit our relative as often as we would like due to the visiting restrictions.
- •We feel that with restricted visits our relative is lonely.
- •We are worried that our relative is at risk of getting Covid in the Nursing Home.
When we ask how long their relative is in long term care, we get replies from 3 months to 3 years.
We discuss the matter further with them and ask them the following questions.
- • Your relative entered long term care for a reason usually a physical disability or due to Alzheimer’s/Dementia as you could no longer meet their care needs at home. What makes you believe that you can care for them now at Home when if anything due to the progression of time their care needs have increased?
- • Have you forgotten what is involved in meeting your Relatives care needs?
- • Do you think that Home care services which have failed in many incidents to continue to provide care assistance during the Pandemic can be relied upon to assist you in meeting the care needs of your relative?
- • Are you prepared to put your family and yourself into lockdown to avoid the risk of bringing community transmission to your home to protect your relative? This will impact your Children going to School or College, socialising with their and your friends, your and your Partner’s ability to go to work?
- • When your relative needs medical assistance where is it going to come from, will you have to bring them to a GP surgery or an Acute hospital?
- • Is your home adapted to meet the increased care needs of your relative?
- • If homecare fails what certainty have you that your relative can be readmitted to the Nursing Home?
The above questions usually help the Caller to realise that Home care is not an option. Personally, I would not recommend taking a resident from a Nursing Home and attempting to Home care them.
Residents in Nursing Homes are in as safe a place as they can be and their complex care needs are being met 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
The restricted visiting is to protect the Residents and Staff of the Nursing Home and is designed to keep the Pandemic out. Nursing Homes are now well equipped to deal with the infection should it be identified in the Home and now have extensive support from the HSE in the supply of PPE and medical support if required. Your Relative may miss you but they are surrounded in the Nursing Home by their friends that they have made and the caring staff. They are at a lower level of risk of getting the virus in a Nursing Home than if they were living in your home. If they do get the virus, they will have the best of medical assistance available to care for them.