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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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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

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.