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Disputes

What is the nursing home allowed to charge for?

One common source of frustration for people living in nursing homes or their families can be confusion about the additional charges put in place by nursing homes.

Nursing homes are allowed to charge for all therapeutic or recreational activities unless they are covered by the medical card. They are also allowed to charge for any personal services provided by the nursing home such as hair dressing, delivery of newspapers, etc.

HIQA Standards, published July 2016, require that the nursing home must agree a contract with the resident within one month of admission.

The nursing home’s management must communicate clearly with each resident, setting out the services that they receive and the required fees. You can only be charged for services as set out in the contract.   

 

What is the difference between a Care Plan and a Contract of Care?

There is a difference between the contact of care and the care plan.  The first is the legal document that outlines the legal relationship between whoever is responsible for paying the nursing home bill and the nursing home. 

It should record all charges that will be payable by the bill payer and all services that will be provided by the nursing home. The resident may have requirements that will be met by the HSE through the medical card scheme and these will not be listed in the contract of care. As was stated above there should be no additional charges levied by the nursing home outside of the contract.

The contract of care will include the care plan which is a comprehensive plan outlining how the individual care needs of the older person will be met.  

 

How do I ensure the property and finances of a resident are protected?

The HIQA standards state that every nursing home should have clear policies and procedure for managing a resident’s private property such as cash and jewellery. They also have a right to access items of personal property which should be kept secure either in a safe or in a secure locker or chest of drawers.   

Where an individual is no longer able to manage their own financial affairs, typically in relation to pensions and payment of nursing home bills, there should be an agent appointed to manage them on behalf of the resident. This person may be an employee of the nursing home or a representative of the resident.

The legal situation regarding guardianship and decision making is changing as new legislation is gradually being introduced and professional legal assistance should be sought if the older person’s capacity is being in doubt.  

 

How do I complain about something in a nursing home?

It is important if you have any concerns that you bring them to the attention of the management as soon as possible and there should be someone in the nursing home to whom these complaints can be made. Most disputes are solvable given good will on both sides.

If this proves unsatisfactory you can make a complaint to the Ombudsman's office and details of how to do so are availble on their website.

You can also call the Age Action information line on 01 475 6989 from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 1pm and 2pm and 5pm, or you can email us.

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Raising the Roof - Homes for All Ages

Raise the Roof Rally for Housing 18 May

Preparing to Raise the Roof

Age Action, motivated by intergenerational solidarity, is joining the Raise the Roof campaign to tackle the continuing housing crisis that is affecting people of all ages.  People are being mobilised through trade unions and community organisations, to stage a major national rally on the housing crisis under the banner of Raise the Roof, in Dublin on Saturday May 18.

When people take an interest in what is happening in their local community, seek solutions to problems and initiate improvements they are being active citizens. Community is the foundational building block of society and housing is fundamental to community. Ireland’s housing crisis is rightly dominating public discourse as it undermines our ability to live with dignity as part of a community.  Ireland’s changing demographic brings with it a changing demand for homes that meet the needs of an ageing population.

The Government’s failure to deliver on a whole of Government approach to ageing and provide good quality social housing to meet demand has resulted in older people feeling subjected to negative, ageist language about their needs and wishes for suitable housing and health supports as is evidenced in the narrative on ‘down-sizing’ or ‘right-sizing’.

In the 60s and 70s the State implemented policies to support owner occupation of housing. People on lower incomes were able to buy their own homes which went some way to addressing wealth inequalities. According to Professor Tony Fahey, writing in Social Justice Ireland’s book ‘From Here to Where?’, by the year 2000 even low-income households owned substantial housing wealth and were less disadvantaged by inequalities in housing wealth than they were by inequalities in income.

Most of the growing population of young private renters today grew up in homes that were owned by their parents. Prof Fahey identified the essential features of secure long-term housing as being affordable, and having secure tenure. As he says, “today’s private rented housing has neither of these features”.

Looking at the future needs of an ageing population, for those aged 50-54 almost 10% were renting from private landlords at the time of Census 2016. It can be assumed that these people will continue in the rental market beyond their working years which leaves them in a vulnerable situation.

We encourage any and all of you who can to be active citizens and march with us on Saturday May 18 in a show of intergenerational solidarity. We will be gathering at 1pm at Parnell Square. You will find us behind an Age Action banner. At 2pm we will march down O'Connell Street towards Custom House Quay and join the Rally for Housing (location to be confirmed) by 3pm.

For more information about the campaign visit www.raisetheroof.ie

 

 

You might be due a tax refund

 

 

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.