– *All information from CitizensInformation.ie
Home Care Packages
The Home Care Package (HCP) scheme is an administrative scheme, operated by the HSE. It aims to help people who need medium to high caring support to continue to live at home independently. The Home Care Package scheme is not established in law; as it is an administrative scheme, you do not have an automatic right to the scheme, or to avail of services under the scheme.
The HSE operates national guidelines on how to qualify for the HCP scheme. The scheme is not means tested, and there is no charge or contribution to be paid for the services provided.
Here is an excellent information booklet from the HSE: Home Care Packages Information Booklet
Each HSE Area has responsibility for the operation of the scheme within the resources allocated for it in that area. This means that the level of service or support you receive as part of a HCP may vary in different parts of the country depending on the local population, your individual needs, who is available to deliver services and the demand for the scheme. Check with your Local Health Office for more details on the scheme in your area.
What does the Home Care Package scheme consist of?
Each support package is tailored to your individual needs. The package may include the services of nurses, home helps and various therapies including physiotherapy and occupational therapy services. You might also receive some respite care or aids or appliances as part of your HCP if these are needed to support you to stay in your own home. The services that are supplied will depend on your needs, as assessed by the HSE, and the levels of other supports available to you, such as family members or friends.
Your individual Package will vary according to your medical condition, the level of care required and the supports you already have available to you. For example, there might be a greater emphasis in some Packages on home help services (personal and/or domestic care) while other Packages may require a greater level of therapy and nursing, depending on individual need.
The HSE may provide a Home Care Package as a short-term arrangement, for example, when you are recovering following a stay in hospital, during an illness or while you are recuperating. A HCP may also be provided to help you with the activities of daily living over a longer term.
Home Care Package Providers
All new Home Care Packages approved by the HSE are provided by organisations that have been approved by the HSE following a detailed tender process. Approved providers, appointed under the 2016 tender process meet a required level of national standards. Existing providers also provide a quality service work under agreed standards, which are monitored by staff in the local health office.
Check the list of approved Home Care Package Providers
Rules and Assessment
The main priority of the HCP scheme is older people living in the community or who are in-patients in acute hospitals and at risk of admission to long-term care.
Home Care Packages may also be available to those older people who have been admitted to long-term care and who can (with support), return to the community. Packages may also be offered to people who are already using existing care services, such as home helps, but who may need more assistance to continue to live in their community.
Home Care Packages may also be available occasionally for younger people whose needs would be best met by access to older people’s services, for example, in the situation of early-onset dementia.
– For further details on rules and the Care Needs Assessment, visit Citizens Information (https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/home_care_packages_for_carers.html) or the HSE website (https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/homecarepackages/)
Home Care Packages are tailored to meet individual needs. Typical packages of support available under the scheme may be worth between €350-500 per week in respect of each patient, depending on individual need. As outlined above, the Package may consist of:
- Services provided directly by the HSE, or
- Services provided on behalf of the HSE by a non-HSE provider, or
- A combination of the above.
However, if you arrange services or supports above the levels provided by the HSE or if you do not qualify for a Home Care Package you will have to pay for the cost of those services yourself. If you employ someone in your home (such as a private carer) funded from your own resources, you become their employer. As an employer, you have various duties and obligations. Revenue has a useful leaflet on the Domestic EmployerScheme (pdf).
There are tax concessions if you pay part or all of the costs yourself.
How to apply
You apply to the Home Care Package office in your Local Health Office. The HSE will then contact you to arrange to carry out a Care Needs Assessment.
– For further details, visit Citizens Information today: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services/health_services_for_older_people/home_care_packages_for_carers.html
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