Press Release

Minister Daly to meet with Age Action and Nursing Homes Ireland to discuss nursing home charges

Minister for Older People Jim Daly is to meet with Age Action and Nursing Home Ireland tomorrow (Tuesday) to discuss nursing home charges and in particular the additional flat rate fee charged by many for services such as social programmes.

Minister Daly said “Minister for Health Simon Harris and I are committed to ensuring that our older population are protected and get the care that they need and deserve.”

“Under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme, or “Fair Deal”, the nursing home provider must agree a contract in writing with each resident, on their admission to the nursing home. This contract must include details of the services to be provided to that resident and the fees to be charged. Core living expenses are covered under “Fair Deal” but residents can still incur other charges, for things such as social programmes, newspapers or hairdressing. These charges must be set out in the contract and residents should never be charged fees which are not set out in the contract. In recognition of this, anyone in receipt of financial support under Fair Deal retains at least 20% of their income.”

“I know that concerns have been expressed about the fact that many private nursing homes are now charging an additional flat rate fee – often billed as a “social charge” – which can apply even if the residents are not able to participate in the activities, or do not wish to. This is an issue which I will discuss in detail tomorrow with Age Action and Nursing Homes Ireland. As Minister I want to ensure that all of our older people are protected and have all the information they need to make informed choices.”

“I would also like to take this opportunity to encourage anyone who has concerns about additional nursing home charges to raise them, in the first instance, with the service provider in question through its complaints procedure. If there are still concerns they can then take their case to the Office of the Ombudsman.”