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Monday, January 7th 2008

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Philip McCabe - A FAIR DEAL - The Nursing Home Care Support Scheme 2008
This scheme was due to be in place by 1st January, 2008 but has been delayed due to opposition from other political parties and various interest groups.

The bill is at an advanced stage and is at the Attorney General's office but there is no set date for the scheme to be implemented.

What is the current situation?
Currently, the Government funds 90 per cent of the cost of care in public nursing homes, with individuals asked for 80 per cent of their pension. However, most people in private nursing homes have to fund much of their care, as nursing home subvention falls well short of the overall cost.

What is the first step in applying for this scheme?
You or a family member or guardian can apply to the HSE for an assessment of care needs. If deemed dependent, you can apply for financial support.

How much will you have to pay?
You will pay 80% of your disposable income to the cost of your care. According to the website "disposable income means income from your Old Age Pension and possible other sources."

Are there any other charges?
Depending on the amount of disposable income you have, there will also be a Deferred Charge of up to 5% of your assets such as your home if you own one. When assets refer to the principal private residence, your home, it will not exceed 15% of its value.

When will this charge be incurred?
The charge will not be incurred during the lifetime of the person in care nor will it be incurred if your spouse or certain dependants (children with disabilities for example) are still resident in the home.
However, if you prefer the charge can be paid at time of receiving care and the value of the Deferred Charge will be set on an annual basis whilst you receive care.

Will children be expected to contribute to the financial cost of care?
The assessment will not take account of the income of other relatives such as children.

Mary Harney has said that she hopes this scheme will prevent families having to sell the family home to pay for nursing home costs.

Paddy O'Gorman joins us in studio to talk about the Russian Christmas and how immigrant Russians celebrate it.

Twenty years ago it was known as the yuppie flu, but M.E., or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is now a recognised medical condition. According to the Irish M.E. Trust, there are an estimated 12,000 sufferers in Ireland, and apparently this complex condition that can be very hard to diagnose, and even harder to treat. The Phil Parker Lightning Process is a relatively new treatment that has had some success in dealing with M.E., and joining Derek in studio today is Alistair Gibson, one of 50 accredited Lightning Process practitioners in the UK. For further information about ME go to the Irish ME Trust on www.imet.ie or on lo call 1890 200 912 and to follow up on the Lightning Process check www.lightningprocess.com. Or to find out more about Alistair Gibson and his courses go to www.withinspiration.co.uk.

RTÉ and Mooney programme make no claims or warranties in respect of any treatment or therapy featured on the programme. Items are for information purposes only. Before commencing any treatment it is advisable to consult your GP.

Mary O'Dea joined us in studio to talk to us about her role as Consumer Director with the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority.

Mary has some simple advice for people looking to tackle debt:

  • Cut down on spending
  • Identify areas where you can save money
  • Don't cut out all luxury spending - you won't stick it if it is too strict
  • Review what you spend on financial products. Make comparisons with other services.
  • If you are ready to save then look around for an account that has a suitable rate of interest
  • It is also wise to have an emergency fund. This should consist of 3 months salary to call upon if you fall sick or lose your job.

For more information about the IFSRA please click here

And we congratulate Patricia Pierce from Rathfarnham in Dublin on winning €1000 of Mooney's Money! To find out how you could win €1000 from 3pm on Monday, click here...