Where do I get a list of nursing homes?

A list of approved nursing homes and their cost of care is available on the HSE website (https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/4/olderpeople/). Also, if you apply for the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS), better known as the Fair Deal Scheme, you do so through a regional NHSS office and they will have a list of registered nursing homes in your area. You can find the contact details for the NHSS office in your area on the HSE website or by phone on the HSE helpline 1850 24 1850.

Can I view a nursing home before I make up my mind?

We understand that making a decision to move to a nursing home can be difficult and choosing a nursing home can seem complicated. Nursing homes in general will welcome a visit and assist you with a viewing. At Aperee, we encourage you to visit with your family and view the facilities we have available. You may also speak with a senior member of staff to have any concerns or questions you may have addressed. You can visit more than once and we can usually accommodate any time that suits you. It is best to make an appointment in advance to ensure that senior staff are available to meet with you and give you as much time as you need to explore your options.

I’m not familiar with any of the nursing homes in my area. How do I know which facilities are good?

One of the best resources is word of mouth from friends, your GP or public health nurse. You should also visit a number of homes and compare the facilities available in each home before you make up your mind. HIQA inspect nursing homes regularly and their reports are available on-line at www.hiqa.ie/reports-and-publications/inspection-reports. It is a good idea to review the latest report on the homes you are considering before you go for a viewing so that you can ask questions about any concerns arising out of their HIQA report. In most cases, issues that have been raised by HIQA have been rectified before the report is published.

What is it like settling into a nursing home?

The Aperee team will work with you to make your transition as smooth as possible. We want you to feel at home and be as comfortable as possible from the first day, and to see us as part of your support network. We encourage you and your family to communicate openly with us at all times about your concerns or queries. We want you to settle in as soon as possible and as part of your admission to the home, we will talk to you about your likes and dislikes, your life story, and what you need from us to make your stay comfortable, fulfilling and stress free.

What types of care does the home provide?

All Aperee nursing homes provide care for adults over the age of 18 years. This can be either short term care (for periods of one week or longer) for convalescence, post-operative or respite, or long term nursing home care.

Will I have my own room and ensuite bathroom?

Each of our homes have different configurations with the majority of rooms being single rooms with private ensuite. However, this is not always everyone’s preferred option, so our homes have a small number of double rooms. Double rooms are used when couples wish to share or where individuals chose double rooms for company. In exceptional circumstances, you may be placed in a double room while waiting for a single room to become available, if that is your choice.

All rooms are fully furnished and include bed, wardrobe, bedside cabinet and chest of drawers, television, overhead lighting and bedside light, wall pictures and mirror, care call system and central heating. All bedding and towels are provided.

We encourage residents to personalise their rooms with photographs, ornaments, and small items of furniture as well as favourite blankets, cushions, etc.

Additional assisted toilets and bathrooms, including hydrotherapy baths, are provided throughout the home.

Is there an activities programme in the home?

Aperee provides a formal programme of activities in each home, every day. A wide range of activities is provided both indoors and outdoors that suit both male and female residents. You may choose which activities you would like to participate in on a daily basis. In addition, games, books, art materials, etc. are available for use at any time.

Will I have a choice of meals or is it a set menu?

At Aperee, our chefs focus on nutritious meals and snacks, local fresh and seasonal produce, and varied and colourful menus that are suitable for all residents. We understand how important food, food choice and dining experiences are to all individuals and we work with you to understand your food likes and dislikes as well as more complex needs such as those determined by medical conditions of food intolerances/allergies.

Our chefs work closely with our clinical team and dieticians to ensure that each meal is nutritious, interesting and suitable for the individual. Our menus change daily and offer choices within each menu. Menus are based on resident feedback and suggestions as well as individual needs (as assessed by the clinical team including speech and language therapist and dietician).

In summary:

  • Special dietary requirements are catered for Residents are encouraged to eat independently but, where appropriate, assistance is provided.
  • Residents’ diets are monitored and where necessary referrals to specialists are made.
  • Drinks and snacks are available throughout the day in addition to regular mealtimes.
  • Residents are encouraged to eat in our bright dining rooms, but we also accommodate meals in bedrooms where that is requested or necessary.
Do you have religious services in the home?

We are a multi-denominational facility and try to meet all residents’ religious and spiritual needs. Mass is celebrated regularly for those who wish to attend and local clergy visit the home often.

What are the visiting hours?

There are no formal visiting hours. Family and friends can visit whenever it suits both the resident and the visitor. However, we do encourage visitors to allow residents some quiet time during scheduled meal times to allow for privacy and dignity for your loved one and other residents.

Are children allowed to visit?

Children are of course welcomed under the supervision of an adult. We welcome all your family and friends. At Aperee we work hard to ensure we have beautiful grounds and gardens with seating areas and indoor facilities for you to spend time with your loved ones.

Can my pet visit me in the home?

We welcome pet visits and ask that you confirm with the Director of Nursing prior to bringing any animals into the building. Please make sure that your pet is friendly and up-to-date with all vaccinations. We also have pet therapy activities in our programme. Unfortunately your pet will not be able to stay overnight with you.

Can I still go out with family and friends?

Absolutely. We encourage residents to go out with friends and family for day trips, overnights or holidays as often as they feel comfortable travelling. Our care team will help you prepare for your outing and ensure that you have everything you need to be comfortable on your trip. We do ask residents to let us know when they are going out so that there is no confusion about their whereabouts.

How secure is the nursing home?

All Aperee homes are safe and secure and include having a receptionist available throughout the day and after hours until late evening. When the reception team have left for the evening, access to the building can only be granted by a member of staff.

We use CCTV cameras in all public areas and outdoor spaces at entrances and exits to protect residents and staff, and have a well-established practice of safety checks by our staff on a 24/7 basis.

What is your smoking policy?

Residents only are allowed to smoke in designated areas within our Homes. Aperee is compliant with the regulations under the Public Health (Tobacco) Acts 2002 – 2009 and therefore no smoking is permitted inside any Aperee home. The only exception is in designated smoking areas/rooms for the use of residents who wish to smoke. Visitors and staff are not permitted to smoke in the home.

What should I bring with me on admission?

Our resident guide will provide more detail on what to bring with you on admission, however, in general we recommend up to four changes of clothing and your usual footwear, pyjamas/nightie, slippers, dressing gown/bed jacket, and equipment or aids that you require for your daily living (e.g. hearing aids, glasses, etc.). You are also encouraged to bring particular toiletries that you like such as perfume or aftershave, and personal effects such as photographs, ornaments or small items of furniture such as a favourite footstool.

Do I have to pay for nursing home care?

There are no free nursing home beds in Ireland. Everyone must pay something towards the cost of their care. That cost is determined by an assessment of your means by the HSE once your care needs assessment determines that you would benefit from long term nursing home care.

There are two ways of paying for nursing home care, one through the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS), and the second is by paying a private nursing home the full cost of your care directly. If you are successful with your application for the NHSS, the HSE will assist with the cost of the nursing home. If you choose to go privately, then either you or someone on your behalf will have to pay the full cost of the nursing home.

Who can apply for Fair Deal?

Anyone who is assessed as requiring long-term nursing home care can apply for the scheme.

How do you apply for Fair Deal?

This is a two-step process. You must first apply for a Care Needs Assessment and, once the need for nursing home care is determined, you apply for State support through the Nursing Home Support Scheme or Fair Deal (You will find the application form for Fail Deal here https://www2.hse.ie/file-library/fair-deal/nursing-home-support-scheme-application-form.pdf).

What is a care needs assessment?

A care needs assessment is an assessment of the individual’s general health and care needs (medical, physical, spiritual, personal and social), and takes into account your ability to carry out the activities of daily living including the ability to get up in the morning, look after personal hygiene, get dress/undressed, cook and eat.

It also considers medical, health and personal social services being provided, family and community support and the person’s own wishes. It is carried out by healthcare professionals appointed by the HSE and the outcome determines if you need long term nursing home care. It also considers whether you can continue living at home with support. A care needs assessment is carried out before an application for Fair Deal is approved.

How much will you pay?

It is a basic principle of the NHSS that nobody will pay more than the cost of their care. The individual contribution toward the cost of care is 80% of assessable income and 7.5% of the value of any assets per annum. The 7.5% contribution from the principal residence is only included for the first three years of a person’s time in care. There is no cap for other chargeable assets although a cap may apply to farms if the older person is admitted to a nursing home as a result of an accident or emergency.

If you have no assets, you simply pay 80% of your assessable income (regardless of the source) and the HSE will pay the remainder. The first €36,000 of assets (or €72,000 for a couple) will not be counted in the financial assessment.

What if there is a partner still living at home?

The partner will be left with 50% of the couple’s jointly assessed income or the maximum rate of the State (Non-Contributory) Pension, whichever is the greater.

What does Fair Deal Cover?

Fair Deal funding covers the level of care appropriate to the individual as well as bed, board and a laundry service.  It also covers certain therapeutic activities and some aids and appliances needed to assist with the activities of daily living.  If a person has a medical card this should cover the cost of aids and appliances as well as medical care such as GP charges and medication. If you do not have a medical card then costs not covered by Fair Deal must be covered by you or your family.

What is the nursing home allowed to charge for?

Nursing homes are allowed to charge for therapeutic or recreational activities not covered by Fair Deal or a medical card. They are also allowed to charge for any personal services provided by the nursing home such as hair dressing, delivery of newspapers, etc.

How long does approval of a Fair Deal Application take?

Approval takes approximately four to six weeks but can be longer depending on circumstances prevailing in the HSE. It is important that you answer all the questions on the application form and include all documentation required. This will help to expedite the application.

Is there any other source of funding available?

There is an optional third step – you can also apply for a Nursing home loan called an Ancillary loan or Ancillary State Support (https://www.revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/tdm/collection/debt-management/work-guide-ancillary-state-support.pdf).

If you apply for an Ancillary loan, and it is approved, the person in care does not have to pay the contribution calculated on the value of their home during his/her lifetime. Instead, the HSE pays the nursing home on behalf of the care recipient who agrees to a HSE charge being placed on their property. The money is repaid after the death of the care recipient or the sale/transfer of the property – either of which is called the ‘relevant event’. Effectively a loan is advanced by the State, which can be repaid at any time but ultimately falls due for repayment when the relevant event occurs.

What is a Contract of Care?

A Contract of Care is the legal document that outlines the relationship between whoever is responsible for paying the nursing home bill and the nursing home. It should record all charges that will be payable by the bill payer and all services that will be provided by the nursing home. The resident may have requirements that will be met by the HSE through the medical card scheme and these will not be listed in the contract of care.

The contract must be agreed with the resident within one month of admission, and must clearly set out the services that they receive and the required fees. You can only be charged for services as set out in the contract. In general, Aperee will issue the Contract of Care within the first week of admission.

What is a Care Representative?

A Care Representative is a person appointed by the Circuit Court to apply for the NHSS on behalf of someone who lacks the capacity to make certain decisions on their own behalf and to complete the necessary forms. They can be relatives of the older person or professionals (Social Workers, Solicitors, GPs, etc.) working with the older person.

What is the Assisted Decision Making Act?

The Assisted Decision Making Act 2015 https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/qid/other-quality-improvement-programmes/assisteddecisionmaking/assisted-decision-making.html places a legal requirement on service providers to comprehensively enable a person make a decision through the provision of a range of supports and information appropriate to their condition. If you do not understand any of the information provided to you, and you need help understanding, you should speak to the Director of Nursing who will put whatever measures are necessary in place to assist you in making informed decisions about your care.

Who will be taking care of me?

We have highly skilled and caring teams providing care in each home. The team is led by an experienced senior nurse called the Director of Nursing or Person in Charge. Nurses are all registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland (NMBI) and are supported and supervised on a day-to-day basis by Clinical Nurse Managers (CNMs).

The care team consists of nurses, nurse managers, healthcare assistants, GPs and contracted allied health professionals such as Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Chiropodists, etc. The care team is fully supported by our catering, housekeeping, maintenance and administration teams. At Aperee, the care within each home is underpinned by an experienced Support Office team who work with each home to ensure that the quality of care is excellent and that staff are properly trained to deliver care.

How will they know what I need?

Every resident who comes to stay in an Aperee home will have a Care Plan developed which outlines every aspect of their care. This Care Plan commences before the resident joins us (based on documentation provided by the resident, their family, GP and other health professionals) and continues throughout their stay in the home, whether that is for a short term (one to two weeks) or longer term.

The Care Plan is a confidential document outlining your medical condition(s) (if any) and how your individual care needs will be met. The Care Plan is only available to the resident (and their nominated next of kin) and the nursing home clinical team.

What training do staff receive?

Aperee ensures that all staff receive their mandatory training as well as additional, ongoing training and skills development that we believe will enhance the care they deliver to residents. All new staff undergo an intensive induction programme for the first two weeks with continuous supervision and support throughout their first six months and beyond. Our values of respect, trust, excellence, and compassion are integral to everything we do, and staff are supervised and supported in delivering on these values every day.

Staff are supported to enhance their training by attending external courses that are relevant to the delivery of excellence in care. We deliver a significant portion of our training in-house so that we can continually emphasise and improve on our service.

Can my own GP continue to visit me?

Yes, your family doctor may continue to care for you, visiting you in the home as necessary. If you have moved outside your doctor’s area, it may be necessary for you to register with another GP. You may choose to avail of the services of the GP who provides regular service to residents within the home. That is your personal choice.

Your GP is a central member of the clinical care team and therefore it is important to arrange your GP support prior to admission as the GP needs to be involved on admission.

The home has a GP available 24 hours a day for emergency care on a call out service.

Are dental, chiropody and other treatments available in the home?

Yes, such treatments are available on request. Depending on your personal circumstances, some of these services may be covered by the HSE. Where they are not covered by the HSE, you will be invoiced for these treatments by the home as they are not covered by Fair Deal.

What if I am not satisfied with the service?

Aperee welcomes all comments, complaints and compliments. If you are unhappy with some aspect of your care, you can make a complaint either verbally or in writing. In the first case, you can make an informal complaint to any member of staff, outlining your concerns. If your concerns are not resolved to your satisfaction, speak with the Director of Nursing or the most senior nurse on duty.

If you wish to make a formal complaint, you may do so verbally or in writing to the Director of Nursing.

Aperee’s Complaints Policy is posted in Reception in each of our homes and provides guidance on how to make a complaint.