Elderly Nursing Home Patients being Double-Charged for Care has to Stop - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth and East Meath Imelda Munster has today spoken out against the double-charging of elderly people who reside in residential nursing care under the Nursing Home Support (Fair Deal) Scheme.
Despite paying a contribution which is means tested based on the income and assets of the person receiving care, additional contributions must be made by residents in order to cover the cost of goods and services expressly not covered by the Fair Deal Scheme. This includes activities and social programmes that are mandated by HIQA as being vital for the health and well-being of elderly residents of nursing homes.
Deputy Munster said:
“The Fair Deal only covers the most basic needs of residents, which includes a bed, food, nursing assistance and nursing aids and a laundry service. If a patient requires any additional care or services outside of the list above the nursing home must charge them.
“At the moment patients have to pay for toiletries, newspapers, hairdressing costs, transport costs, dressings, prescription charges and many other items and services. Perhaps more seriously, patients must also pay out of pocket for all therapies, social programmes and chiropody, despite having already paid for their care under the Fair Deal contribution.
”This is happening despite the fact that medical card holders are entitled to receive a number of services and therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and wound dressing free of charge from the HSE.
“This is blatantly forcing elderly people, many of whom are vulnerable, to pay twice for their care. This is clearly a very unfair system. All services required by elderly people living in nursing homes should be covered by the contribution paid by residents and calculated under the Scheme. This is a matter that has to be addressed and I fully intend to raise this issue of double charging with the Minister.