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Consultation launched on nursing home contracts

Audry Deane
Written by: Audry Deane
Health Policy Officer
30/01/2018

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Are you one of the 22,000 people living in a long-term residential care in Ireland, asks Audry Deane.

Is a member of your family living in a nursing home and are you involved in their care?

Are you clear on what charges and costs are included in this care?  

It is not always easy to work out which costs and fees, charged by the nursing homes, are extra and additional to the basic contract of providing care, bed and board.

Last year Age Action published a briefing paper highlighting the lack of transparency around nursing home fees for residents using the Fair Deal scheme.

Contract concern

Following this the contracts used in nursing homes was identified as an issue of concern for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

The CCPC wants to make sure that residents and their families understand the terms and conditions of the contract of care they enter into with the nursing home they have chosen.

Guidelines will be published by the CCPC to protect people and to ensure the contracts they sign up for are fair and easy to understand. 

Hear from you

But first of all they want to hear from residents, their families or representatives, or anyone who has been involved in organising a contract of care in long-term residential services in Ireland.

The consultation period opened on 28 January and will run until 23 February 2018.

You can find out more and download the consultation paper here.

You can also contact the CCPC for more information by emailing them at carehomes@ccpc.ie or writing by post to: FAO Lisa Flanagan-Donnelly, Care Homes Project, CCPC, Bloom House, Railway Street, D01 C576, Ireland. 

Finally, Age Action will be putting together our own submission and you can help by emailing your experiences or your own submission to health@ageaction.ie

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Extremly informative, and helpful

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Revenue wants to make sure that everyone knows about the tax credits, reliefs and exemptions they are entitled to. Revenue wrote to some people recently telling them that they might be entitled to a tax refund going back as far as 2014.
If you think that you might also be due a tax refund for the year 2014, you need to submit a claim to Revenue before midnight on 31 December 2018. If you don’t want to miss out, submit your claim to Revenue before then.

Age Action Calls for €9 per week Rise In Old Age Pension in Budget 2020

Organisation also proposes that Government commission research on the Cost of Ageing to ensure policy meets needs of ageing population

Age Action, the advocacy organisation for older people, has called for the state’s Old Age Pension to increase by €9 per week in Budget 2020. The call was made at today’s Pre-Budget Forum, which is being organised by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and is being held in Dublin Castle’s Conference Centre.

Celine Clarke, Age Action’s Head of Advocacy and Communications, said that a €9 increase in the weekly Old Age Pension would be a key step in building towards the Government’s own commitment that the pension should be set at 35% of average weekly earnings.

“The National Pensions Framework was published almost 10 years ago and it committed the Government to benchmarking the Old Age Pension at 35% of average weekly earnings. In order to move the current pension payment towards the delivery of that target, we are calling on the Government to increase the weekly pension payment by €9,” Celine Clarke said.

Ms Clarke provided additional context to Age Action’s call for a €9 per week pension rise, when she explained that in 2009, the weekly income for pensioners depending on the State – when all the benefits were added together – was €265.44, this year it’s €273.63 – only €7.89 higher than it was higher than it was 10 years ago. 

“While pensions have increased by a welcome €5 per week over the last few years, there is no clear and transparent formula informing these increases, and Ireland is also unusual in setting the pension rate in the budget every year. Age Action is urging the Government to consider applying a triple lock formula for pension increases – namely, guaranteeing that the basic State pension will rise by a minimum of either 2.5%, the rate of inflation or average earnings growth, whichever is the larger.”

In addition to the proposals on pension increases, Age Action is also calling for:

  • The commissioning of research by Government on the Cost of Ageing to inform the development of policy so that the country can meet the needs of our ageing population – a similar exercise has been carried out in relation to the Cost of Disability;
  • Increase the income threshold for all means-tested benefits in line with increases to the Old Age Pension and secondary benefits;
  • Increase the Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week;
  • Increase the Fuel Allowance rate by €2.35 and reintroduce a 32-week payment period.

Pre-Budget Submission to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

ENDS