The decision to put a parent into a nursing home is very challenging on many levels, the guilt of “I’ll never put my mother into a home” or “don’t ever put me in a home” or the raw financial implications of it , the oft repeated stories of the scrimping and saving to get the money for a deposit for the house, the lifetime of paying off the monthly mortgage(topped up from time to time as events occurred) as the first bill every month, all other considerations came after – food, clothes, furnishings, your first Santa 3 wheeler to your last racer or chopper. Now you are faced with the financial plus’s and minus’s too -lifetime asset partially signed away – 80% of her income and 7.5% of the value of the house(what – not only the house – every asset!), every year for a max of 3 years, 22.5% (my brain can’t help running the calculations of that, less what, divided by 4 siblings, less legal costs, less whatever else), should we sell our mother’s house now, no, that wouldn’t work, maybe a good accountant could legally pretend the house doesn’t exist , maybe we could technically give it to someone, no don’t think that would work either, maybe she could legally divvy it up to us now, no bound to be capital gains or something else – maybe there’s a tax for being a bad son or for having selfish thoughts..

Maybe worst of all will be the lies during her lucid moments, “No Ma it’s all fine, don’t worry about any of it”, “I’m so glad you all use the house when you’re in Dublin”, “ah yeah its great”, “did I ever tell you how hard your father and I worked to get the deposit”…
At least her hair is looking very well groomed…

mother recently went into a nursing home and is part of the Fair Deal scheme. My question is, does she have any access to her savings now that they have been counted under the scheme? Can she give her children or grandchildren any monetary gifts now?

What money does she use to pay her house insurance, health insurance, oil to keep her home heated when no one is living in it? Also, what money can she use to pay bills that the nursing home are sending me monthly for her activities, hairdos, etc?

I’m really at a loss here. I would really appreciate your advice on this.

Ms CB, email.
Having a close relative move into nursing home care can be a very difficult time. Obviously, the priority is that a loved one is accommodated where they can best receive the appropriate care but, especially in societies like Ireland with a strong family culture, the option of nursing homecare is very often an equivocal one.

And then there are the practicalities of finding a place in a nursing home and then figuring out how to fund it.

For many people, this means an application to Fair Deal where, broadly, 80 per cent of your income goes to meet the cost of basic care, along with 7.5 per cent per annum of your savings in excess of €36,000 and, for the first three years, 7.5 per cent of the value of your home.

There are some items that are deductible from your income before the 80 per cent assessment is made. These include outstanding loans and tax bills, including local property tax (and income tax).
Certain other things clearly are not deductible, including ancillary costs of your mother in the nursing home, such as hairdressing and optional activities. These are very important for nursing home residents both in remaining active (physically and mentally) and for self-image. But residents are expected to pay for them out of the 20 per cent of their income that they retain for their own use.