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.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
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.