Elderly couple separated by HSE

midlander12

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
6,023
The couple, aged 85 and 90 have been married 63 years. They applied under the Fair Deal Scheme whereby they would pay part of cost of care and the state the rest. The HSE accepted him but not her, ruling she was independent living.

Should the law require spouses to be kept together if they are prepared to pay up?

'I love her and I miss her' - couple married for 63 years separated as nursing home rejects care - Independent.ie
From reading the article the issue seems not to be the level of payment, it's the fact that the wife is not deemed in need of full-time care and attention. It's quite a strict test - anyone who is reasonably mobile and compis mentis, particularly if they have family members to keep an eye on them, would not qualify. I'm not saying this is right, but from my experience of the system that would be the requirement. The family are saying 'she would need supervision with her medication' but it sounds to me like she is still fairly independent. She is still in her mid-eighties, a good deal younger than her husband. She has 3 children and also grandchildren, some of whom presumably live nearby. I imagine the family are insisting she is not fit to be at home, so the hospital cannot discharge her as they have nowhere to discharge her to.

Nursing home care costs the State E1000 per week or so in each case where the resident is granted Fair Deal so it's understandable that the scheme is restricted to those who are in need of full-time care. Families cannot expect the State to pay for this if the person is in fact capable of living at home - of course it's a different story if they are prepared to or able to pay for the care themselves.

In my parents' case my father refused pointblank to go into a nursing home even when he had to be dressed and brought to the toilet and was utterly incontinent (and 15 stone!). He would have qualified for the scheme on medical grounds (though not on income as it turned out) but my mother would still have been independent at that stage and I don't think we or anyone else would have expected the HSE to pay for her to go there as well. In the event, after years of misery for all concerned, both of them ended up in the nursing home together and were refused the Fair Deal on income grounds.
 


Northsideman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
9,724
It came up on Liveline. Apparently Simon Harris is getting involved so expect a quick(ish) resolution .
But FA will be done about the cruel heartless idiotic pen pusher who made the decision.

These clowns need to be sacked.
 

Sweet Darling

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
4,735
What a horribly mean bureaucratic organisation the HSE is. Wasn't long ago there was a Primetime report on the Manager of an home for mentally disabled people being sat on on - by the manager of the place!
Sorting out a nursing home for the inlaws with the fair deal scheme, I found the social workers could not be trusted.
 

Expose the lot of them

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 15, 2009
Messages
20,744
What a horribly mean bureaucratic organisation the HSE is. Wasn't long ago there was a Primetime report on the Manager of an home for mentally disabled people being sat on on - by the manager of the place!
Some years ago, a complaint was written to several HSE "managers" and the chief incompetent, overpaid apparchnik, O'Brien, about inadequate care for an elderly parent. Instead of replying, O'Brien went snooping around the writer's LinkedIn profile, why would he do that? Knowing how these outfits operate, I suspect he was hoping to find a way of getting to the writer through their place of employment.

The whole rotten edifice should be demolished, compulsory redundancies all round, statutory payments only, no golden handshakes, cars, or other taxpayer funded sinecures.

As for the complaint, not even the courtesy of a reply. The family were still fighting when the parent died, another story.
 

ellie08

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
12,325
Some years ago, a complaint was written to several HSE "managers" and the chief incompetent, overpaid apparchnik, O'Brien, about inadequate care for an elderly parent. Instead of replying, O'Brien went snooping around the writer's LinkedIn profile, why would he do that? Knowing how these outfits operate, I suspect he was hoping to find a way of getting to the writer through their place of employment.

The whole rotten edifice should be demolished, compulsory redundancies all round, statutory payments only, no golden handshakes, cars, or other taxpayer funded sinecures.

As for the complaint, not even the courtesy of a reply. The family were still fighting when the parent died, another story.
Dealing with official Ireland is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. It could turn any of us into a member of the Kinihan gang
 

ellie08

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
12,325
Sorting out a nursing home for the inlaws with the fair deal scheme, I found the social workers could not be trusted.
Look what they did to the social worker who exposed the Grace affair. A newly qualified graduate treated like a criminal while three unnamed chiefs sent her back to the rapist and his appeasing family and she was the one who was punished. I bet if the banks had failed and we went under and salaries weren't paid we might have seen a change. But official Ireland was saved. God help the weak and the needy is all I can say.
 

former wesleyan

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 29, 2009
Messages
25,615
But FA will be done about the cruel heartless idiotic pen pusher who made the decision.

These clowns need to be sacked.
This decision will have been made fairly high up the food chain, and probably by a committee or team. The average public servant left to his or her own devices wouldn't do this.
 

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,060
The couple, aged 85 and 90 have been married 63 years. They applied under the Fair Deal Scheme whereby they would pay part of cost of care and the state the rest. The HSE accepted him but not her, ruling she was independent living.

Should the law require spouses to be kept together if they are prepared to pay up?

'I love her and I miss her' - couple married for 63 years separated as nursing home rejects care - Independent.ie


The problem is that they are in no position "to pay up" as you put it.

I understand that they are upset but was it ever the intention of the health system to keep every married couple together no matter what the cost?

I have relatives in this position over in England. The husband is in a care facility due to his medical issues, but the wife is back home (with some medical needs) because she doesn't qualify to be in such a care facility. It isn't just a matter of her potentially paying full whack if she was to move into the care facility with him, she'd be taking up a place that someone else with actual serious medical issues needs.

Thousands of couples are in this position. I don't see that the state should be in the business of keeping couples together where it involves taking up spaces that are needed for other people.

If this couple wanted to be together throughout old age they should have saved up enough money during their lives to pay for both of them to be together forever. The article says this:

"He's heartbroken without her but he can't afford to pay for private full-time residential care."

The family is trying to use emotion to get what they want. The son says this:
"We don't have the skills or the training to look after my mother and she needs care night and day."

There's a solution to that - either get the skills or the training yourself, or pay for someone who has those skills.
 

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,060
But FA will be done about the cruel heartless idiotic pen pusher who made the decision.

These clowns need to be sacked.
Rubbish.

Thousands of people face this situation.

A married couple separated in old age? Happens all the time.
 
Last edited:

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,060
From reading the article the issue seems not to be the level of payment, it's the fact that the wife is not deemed in need of full-time care and attention. It's quite a strict test - anyone who is reasonably mobile and compis mentis, particularly if they have family members to keep an eye on them, would not qualify. I'm not saying this is right, but from my experience of the system that would be the requirement. The family are saying 'she would need supervision with her medication' but it sounds to me like she is still fairly independent. She is still in her mid-eighties, a good deal younger than her husband. She has 3 children and also grandchildren, some of whom presumably live nearby. I imagine the family are insisting she is not fit to be at home, so the hospital cannot discharge her as they have nowhere to discharge her to.

Nursing home care costs the State E1000 per week or so in each case where the resident is granted Fair Deal so it's understandable that the scheme is restricted to those who are in need of full-time care. Families cannot expect the State to pay for this if the person is in fact capable of living at home - of course it's a different story if they are prepared to or able to pay for the care themselves.

In my parents' case my father refused pointblank to go into a nursing home even when he had to be dressed and brought to the toilet and was utterly incontinent (and 15 stone!). He would have qualified for the scheme on medical grounds (though not on income as it turned out) but my mother would still have been independent at that stage and I don't think we or anyone else would have expected the HSE to pay for her to go there as well. In the event, after years of misery for all concerned, both of them ended up in the nursing home together and were refused the Fair Deal on income grounds.


Your whole post is well written and based on a logical assessment of the situation.

The bolded part is the nub of the issue.

This family does expect to get exactly what they want no matter if it is required or not.

Thousands of couples end up being separated in old age for this very reason. One has more medical needs than the other.

This family is just trying the old emotional blackmail to try to get their way.
 

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,060
If that is the case does it mean that a couple, where one partner is 85 and in need of nursing home care and the other is a sprightly, healthy 60, would be entitled to nursing home care for both? Doesn't seem right.
That does appear to be the argument.

The argument is that couples can't be separated, and that the state must pay to ensure that this doesn't happen.
 

Northsideman

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2010
Messages
9,724
This decision will have been made fairly high up the food chain, and probably by a committee or team. The average public servant left to his or her own devices wouldn't do this.
If that be the case then they should be sacked or demoted at least.
 

midlander12

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
6,023
The problem is that they are in no position "to pay up" as you put it.

I understand that they are upset but was it ever the intention of the health system to keep every married couple together no matter what the cost?

I have relatives in this position over in England. The husband is in a care facility due to his medical issues, but the wife is back home (with some medical needs) because she doesn't qualify to be in such a care facility. It isn't just a matter of her potentially paying full whack if she was to move into the care facility with him, she'd be taking up a place that someone else with actual serious medical issues needs.

Thousands of couples are in this position. I don't see that the state should be in the business of keeping couples together where it involves taking up spaces that are needed for other people.

If this couple wanted to be together throughout old age they should have saved up enough money during their lives to pay for both of them to be together forever. The article says this:

"He's heartbroken without her but he can't afford to pay for private full-time residential care."

The family is trying to use emotion to get what they want. The son says this:
"We don't have the skills or the training to look after my mother and she needs care night and day."

There's a solution to that - either get the skills or the training yourself, or pay for someone who has those skills.
Yes, exactly, it's not rocket science, particularly as they are not even claiming she needs to be dressed, brought to the toilet etc. The family seem to think the State should pay for her to get full-time residential care even though she is still reasonably independent. Most families would be fighting to keep her at home as long as possible (if she is able to be at home) and normally that it is what the elderly person would want too. It is quite normal for one of a couple to go into a nursing home first - it's just life and fate, and none of us can dictate or predict the relative speed of our decline compared with our partner's.
 

ellie08

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
12,325
Yes, exactly, it's not rocket science, particularly as they are not even claiming she needs to be dressed, brought to the toilet etc. The family seem to think the State should pay for her to get full-time residential care even though she is still reasonably independent. Most families would be fighting to keep her at home as long as possible (if she is able to be at home) and normally that it is what the elderly person would want too. It is quite normal for one of a couple to go into a nursing home first - it's just life and fate, and none of us can dictate or predict the relative speed of our decline compared with our partner's.
I would imagine if she is with him it would make his life easier and that of the staff. When we lose our humanity we may as well all be shot when we outlive our usefulness.
 

talkingshop

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2011
Messages
26,679
If that is the case does it mean that a couple, where one partner is 85 and in need of nursing home care and the other is a sprightly, healthy 60, would be entitled to nursing home care for both? Doesn't seem right.
Was just thinking the same myself - or the husband is 80 and the wife is 40! You would think that the policy could be somewhat tweaked in a case like this though, where both are over 80.
 
Last edited:

Dimples 77

Duplicate Account
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
19,060
Was just thinking the same myself - or the husband is 80 and the wife is 40! You would think that the policy could be somewhat tweaked in a case like this, where both are over 80.
Fair enough, but get it legislated, and not just thought up and implemeted on the spot.
 

midlander12

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Messages
6,023
I would imagine if she is with him it would make his life easier and that of the staff. When we lose our humanity we may as well all be shot when we outlive our usefulness.
I'm sure that's true but it's about the cost and the level of medical need, I'm afraid. There will be a waiting list of people for that nursing home place who will have been assessed as in need of full-time care and attention. If I end up in a nursing home, should the State also pay for my partner (11 years younger) to be there with me? Of course not. We will try to plan financially to avoid such a scenario, but given the costs I'm not sure how feasible that will be.

There needs to be an urgent debate avoid the funding of elderly care. Society has fobbed off the issue long enough. But the political class won't touch, not least after what happened in the UK election.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top