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Nursing Homes

Residential care is often needed after a stay in hospital, or may be the best option when an older person becomes unable to live alone, through illness or disability. Only about 5% of all older people will ever need residential or nursing home care.

The HSE provides a wide range of services designed to support people to remain living in their own homes, but when people do need nursing home care, it can be hard to know what is available and what entitlements are. Information relating to nursing homes can be found on the HSE website.

The HSE has created a checklist to help inform decisions around choosing a private nursing home which can be accessed here, on the HSE website.

Below are steps the HSE suggests help inform this decision:

  1. Check the HSE/HIQA website for a list of nursing homes in the local area. Ask people you trust if they have had personal experience with nursing homes, they may be able to recommend one.
  2. Compare the quality of nursing homes being considered. Look at the inspection reports. These reports should not be used in isolation as they reflect a moment in time but they can assist you in making an informed decision.
  3. Visit the nursing homes you are interested in or have someone visit for you. A visit gives you the chance to see the residents, staff and nursing home setting. Before you visit, consider what is important to you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask the staff to explain anything you see and hear that you don’t understand, ask who to call if you have further questions. Visit the nursing home a second time on a different day and at a different time than when you first visited the nursing home. Try to visit during late morning or midday. This allows you to see the residents when they are in their daily routine, mealtimes and what activities are taking place. You may need to make an appointment in advance prior to your initial visit

The Fair Deal scheme provides financial support to help pay for the cost of care in a nursing home. More information can be found on this section of the HSE website.

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