The Fair Deal Scheme Explained

Fair Deal Scheme Explained
The Nursing Home Support Scheme, known as the Fair Deal Scheme, is operated by the HSE and provides financial support for people that need long-term nursing home care. The HSE covers the cost of nursing home care while you make a contribution after your financial situation is assessed. Assets, including savings and property are taken into account when assessing your financial situation to decide how much you will have to contribute.

The scheme is open to anyone living in the State for at least a year and requires approval of your application before you can decide on the desired nursing home.

Care Needs Assessment
The application includes a “care needs assessment” to confirm that long-term care is necessary. This is carried out by healthcare professionals appointed by the HSE covering your ability to carry our daily independence tasks, like dressing, shopping and self-care. It also takes into account personal social services provided, family, or community, support available to you as well as your wishes and preferences. The report is prepared, shared with you and informs you whether you have been deemed eligible for State support for long-term nursing home care under the Fair Deal scheme.

Financial Assessment
This assessments looks at all your income and assets, including savings, property, pensions and social welfare benefits. The assessment does not take into account the income of children or supporting relatives. The assessment then works out what your contribution will be and the HSE will then cover the balance of the cost of your care. EG: If your weekly cost is €1000.00 and your contribution is €250.00, the HSE will pay the balance of €750.00 for as long as you need care.

Nursing Home Loan/Your Contribution to Long-Term Care
In order to avail of the Nursing Home Loan you must provide written consent to a charging order registered against your asset (home) and if you’re a couple your spouse must also provide written consent.
You will contribute 80% of your income.
7.5% of the value of assets per year of care, with a 3 Year Cap. After 3 years of long-term nursing care you will not be required to pay any further contribution based on your principal residence.
The first €36,000.00 of your assets are not counted in the financial assessment.
If your assets are property the 7.5% contribution will be deferred and paid to Revenue after your death. This is known as the Nursing Home Loan.
If your spouse is still living in the principal residence the repayment can be deferred for their lifetime.
If you no longer have the capacity to make decisions your representative/enduring power of attorney will make these decisions on your behalf.

Successful Application
Once the HSE confirm your eligibility and acceptance you then choose your preferred nursing home from a qualifying list. You then pay the level of agreed contribution and the State/HSE covers the rest.

This is solely a broad overview of the Fair Deal Scheme and does not constitute legal advice.


How to Make Your Home Dementia Friendly

Use Technology
Smart devices like Amazon Echo, Google Home AND Apple Home Pod can all help you live better with dementia at home. Using Skype, Zoom and other forms of remote contact can be very helpful, especially if family are not near.

Good Lighting
Good lighting helps you to see more clearly and make sense of where you are. Dementia can make it harder to keep track of time and having your windows clear allows natural light in, informing you whether is is day or night. Better internal lighting reduces shadows and dark areas that can be confusing. Night time light sensors will help you safely move around if you need to get up.

Bathroom Safety
Remove items that aren’t frequently used as a crowded bathroom can be distracting. If you need assistive toilet, bath or showering equipment such as toilet frames, raisers, grabrails, tap turners get them in contrasting colours designed specifically for dementia. It makes them a lot easier to use than white ones that blend in with the surroundings.

Furniture and Furnishings
Dementia can make you disorientated and confused about what you are seeing. Use colour and pattern to help you identify and see things more clearly. Avoid stripes and strong patters as they can be disorientating. As dementia progresses reduce and avoid clutter, whilst keeping the original format of rooms the same. It may be necessary to remove mirrors and paintings as they can be confusing.

Knowing Where Things Are
Memory problems will mean that you forget where things are stored. If you put pictures and labels outside cupboards and wardrobes it will help greatly. Reorganise cupboards so the items most frequently used are to the front and easier to find. Consider removing cupboard doors that may hide white goods like washing machines etc.

Keeping Safe
Remaining safe and confident in you own home is important. Fit out your home with the necessary safety equipment like, grab rails, alarms, sensors, smoke alarms. Help is readily available from OT’s, fire and safety services as well as our customer care team. We’re all here to help. There’s also plenty of HSE and dementia support advice available.

Remain Active
It’s important to remain active and engaged so that you can live more easily with dementia. Try to continue with favourite hobbies and maintain in contact with family and friends. There are plenty of items like reminiscence/nostalgia items, toy pets and dolls, arts and crafts  boxes and these all help keep the mind engaged. There are also specialised clocks, calendars and watches to help keep on top of events and appointments with reminders.

Get Outdoors
It’s also important to keep fit and active and outdoor activities can be really helpful when possible. Gardening, exercise and enjoying outdoors should be encouraged. If you’ve lost confidence or may feel you can’t find your way home do these pursuits with a family member, friend or carer.

The Dementia Care section of our website covers all these items and we hope you found this blog helpful.


Why Buy a Crash Tested Wheelchair?

Why Buy a Crash Tested Wheelchair?

The first point to state regarding crash testing is that a wheelchair that’s passed a crash test is evidently superior in build quality than one the manufacturers have not sought to test. In the EU all quality wheelchairs have been crash test passed. The only reason to purchase a non-crash tested chair would be when you’d buy an occasional use chair solely for your locality and that you’d never anticipate using it in a car, taxi, van or ambulance. There’s not much difference in price so it’s best to always go with the quality of the crash tested wheelchair for confidence and security.

If you are a wheelchair user and wish to travel in any wheelchair accessible vehicle, the safest option is to transfer out of your wheelchair and into one of the cars seats. This may not always be practical, or possible. If you need to travel sitting in your wheelchair it’s important that the vehicle is equipped with the correct wheelchair tie-down and occupant restraints. The wheelchair itself must have passed a simulated crash test, to confirm that they are capable of withstanding the force of a crash without crumpling or disintegrating, causing danger to all occupants of the vehicle. The certification for wheelchairs that have undergone, and passed, a crash test is covered under EU ISO 7176:19-2001.

Wheelchair accessible vehicles cannot carry an occupied wheelchair user in a wheelchair that has not passed the above crash testing. Wheelchairs that have passed this requirement will have stickers on the base frame illustrating that the wheelchair has met the requirements as well as directing where the tie-downs should be attached.

If you are a travelling in an occupied wheelchair it can also be worthwhile to use a headrest that can be attached as an additional part to the back of the wheelchair. This is not compulsory but will give additional security and safety, minimising the risk of whiplash in the event of an accident.


VAT Refunds on Medical Equipment

VAT Refunds on Medical Equipment

In Ireland everyone can claim a full refund of the VAT included on all medical or disability equipment purchased privately. That amount’s to 23% of the purchase price. So if you buy a €400.00 product you can get €92.00 refunded directly to your bank, within weeks of submitting your claim.

You don’t need to be a business, or registered for VAT, to claim your refund and it’s been made to be a very simple and straightforward process. All that’s required is your PPSN number and a copy of the paid invoice to complete your refund.

It can be reclaimed on-line or by post using the following Revenue links,  https://revenue.ie/en/vat/documents/form-vat61a.pdf

The refund applies only to VAT on products purchased. Medical services or equipment rentals are not covered by these refunds.


Dementia Explained

Dementia is a disease of the brain that negatively effects brain functions regarding memory, behaviour and the ability to complete, previously mastered, everyday tasks. The good news is that with a diagnosis, there’s now plenty you can do to continue to live a full and rewarding life with dementia. More of that later..

There are many different types of dementia, the most common are:

Here the most obvious symptoms are loss of memory, difficulty in recalling the right words, delays in problem solving and decision making as well as reduced vision and perception.

Vascular Dementia
Symptoms most frequently occur following a stroke or series of mini strokes, when damage has occurred to blood vessels in the brain. Symptoms are similar to Alzheimers with the addition of pronounced difficulties in concentration allied to general confusion.

Early Onset Dementia
This mostly occurs to younger people in their 40’s – 60’s and is often missed and difficult to diagnose as medics don’t think of dementia due to the age of the presenting patient. There’s usually a genetic history of dementia. Symptoms are the same as above but spread over longer periods and many patients can remain independent for a long time with this diagnosis.

Dementia generally progresses through three stages
Early; Where symptoms are mild, frequently missed or put down to getting older. Memory loss, forgetfulness are the most common signs and most people are still functioning independently.

Middle: The longest stage, where the early symptoms progress to confusion, moodiness and depression. Increased help is now needed to manage daily tasks.

Late; At this stage sufferers are increasingly frail, may no longer talk and are often lost in a world of their own. Full time 24 hour or nursing home specialist care are needed at this stage.

Post diagnosis
Receiving a diagnosis can be overwhelming but it also provides answers to past frustrations and most importantly, allows you to proactively and positively plan for the future.

The Positive News of Living with Dementia
Nowadays there’s a much greater understanding of dementia with better accessibility to advice, help and services. There are so many practical steps and products available to allow you to positively plan for the future. It’s now possible, with the right help from the HSE, national or local dementia support groups and charities, to reduce anxiety and more than ever before live active, rewarding and fulfilling lives with dementia.

The products in our Dementia Care Range can help you in this regard.


Tips to Travelling with a Disability

After a long, Covid related, break from travel we can at last holiday abroad again from mid-July. If you or a loved one has a disability it can be more difficult. The good news is that if you plan ahead you can make your travel experience more enjoyable and reduce stress. Here are some travel tips:

Check out Accessibility in advance.
Before you book, check out the hotels accessibility options. That’s means a lot more than an accessible ramp at the entrance. Lifts, bathroom and dining all need to be accessible. Europe and North America are generally much improved, but other destinations can be hit and miss. Some pre-planning can ensure you’ve a wonderful break, and don’t find you’re ever stranded.

It’s also worthwhile to investigate how well the attractions and places you wish to visit cater for disabled visitors, as well as ensuring they can provide accessible taxi’s or care hire.

Enquire/Book for Available Assistance in Advance
Contact airport and train companies in advance and explain your needs. This can result in them providing extra help along your journey and removing the stress of the unknown.

If hotels and businesses know your needs in advance they can be better prepared.

Ensure you have your prescriptions filled well in advance of travelling and pack them in your on board baggage to ensure nothing can get lost. It can be difficult to get prescriptions refilled abroad.

Assistive Equipment
It’s better to bring whatever equipment you may need as you cannot rely on wheelchairs/scooters etc to be available at your destinations. Airlines generally do not charge for medical equipment as baggage.

If you only need the equipment occasionally on holidays, it may be worthwhile to arrange rentals with local suppliers before you travel.

Autism Friendly
Airports are now a lot more in tune with autism and can often allocate a staff member in advance of your arrival to help your family traverse the journey from check in to terminal gate.

If you have children that wander at night and have no sense of danger, a Safety Sleeper can provide security and confidence regarding night time safety while away from home.

If you take these steps and be prepared in advance, you will have an enjoyable, stress free holiday.


How can Riser-Recliner Chairs Help?

Riser-Recliner chairs are more than comfortable armchairs that provide independence to those who have lost strength and find getting out of a favourite armchair more difficult. They can also improve posture and provide comfort adjustments well beyond just helping you up.

The main benefits are as follows:

  1. Reduce falls by removing the uncertainty and difficulty of standing up and sitting down, without incident. The handset allows you gently increase or lower the seat height like with a TV remote control. It’s that easy.
  2. Better Posture by using the Back-rest and Leg-rest adjustments to allow you relax, improve and change your position over time.
  3. Improves circulation by elevating your legs to avoid fluid retention in the extremities and swollen ankles. It’s also nice to elevate your feet while watching TV.
  4. Prolong your independence and increase confidence if you’re living alone. You no longer need fear being stranded in a low chair.
  5. More Comfort through the ability to easily reposition yourself, at the touch of a button, if you’re seated for long periods.
  6. White glove delivery option is available, whereby, we’ll deliver, assemble, instruct you how to use it and remove all packaging afterwards.

Have a look at one of our videos or drop into one of our showrooms to see how you’d benefit from investing in a Riser-Recliner chair.


How to Decide on the Right High Dependency Chair?

High dependency chairs are needed when a loved one spends most of their out-of-bed time in the same chair. This can be at home or in a nursing home. In these circumstances you need to understand the patient’s needs before you buy. Posture, ability to breathe, sit comfortably and avoid pressure sores, are all reasons to take your time to ensure you select the correct chair.

The following tips will help you to understand what’s needed:

  1. Decide what you want and need at the outset
    It’s best to get a chair that covers current and future needs at the start. High dependency chairs are not cheap so you want to ensure you cover all needs from the start. These include:
    – Tilt-in-space; where the whole chair can tilt to allow you change positions and reduce constant pressure on one area, that can result in pressure sores.
    – Backrest recline; Allows you independently alter the angle of the backrest. Helpful for a naps and comfort.
    – Elevating leg-rest: This is important to reduce fluid retention in the feet/ankles as well as providing a comfortable postural position while reading or watching TV.

  2. Check what features are included
    Some suppliers quote a low price at the start but then add extras to cover the needs mentioned above. This can sometimes increase the chairs cost by as much as 50%. So if you know what you want at the start you can avoid this.

  3. Think Long-Term
    Most users in a high dependency chair will have long-term needs or progressive conditions like MS, MotorNeurone, Parkinson’s, spinal injuries or simply old-age. It’s important to consider future proofing their needs. Spending an extra 10 or 20% at the outset can save €1,000’s if you don’t need to upgrade or replace the chair in a few years.

  4. Select a reputable company with the required expertise
    High-dependency chairs cannot be purchased through the internet suppliers as it’s a complex product and always requires a competent and professional assessment.
    Some families will involve an occupational therapist, or have their needs noted, if the HSE will not supply.
    All Murrays Medical seating experts have years of experience and training. We will always visit your home or Nursing home to assess your loved ones needs and are happy to work with healthcare professionals.
    We have many models to suit every possible need.

  5. Only work with suppliers that will visit your home for an assessment
    It’s important to select the right chair for comfort and posture but it also needs to work/fit in your living environment. Often times we’ve come across families that have purchased a chair that then couldn’t fit through the bedroom door.

  6. Do you need manual movements or electric assistance
    All good quality high dependency chairs are relatively easy to use when adjusting the positions. If the primary carer is also frail, you may need to consider upgrading to an electric version of the same chair. These make life easier as they remove the need to consider the size and weight of any patient.
We hope this has helped inform you to try before you buy.
Please contact one of our friendly customer service team (01-855 5696) and they’ll put you in contact with your regional seating expert.
We’ll get an understanding of your needs before we visit, bring a few suitable options and meet with you and your loved one to trial the best options. That ensures that you’ve seen the chair in-use and been able to decide what’s most suitable and comfortable.

Incontinence Advice and Help

People of all ages experience issues of controlling their continence from time to time and this can have a huge impact on their daily lives. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 7 men will experience incontinence, so it’s a lot more common than you’d believe and you’re not alone. The good news is that there are plenty of products, support and advice available to help.

There are different levels of incontinence, starting with light leakages, sometimes called stress incontinence, to the other end of the spectrum with severe with the complete loss of control. The positive news is that whether you’ve mild or severe incontinence we have something to help at Murrays. Here are some tips to match your needs to the most suitable products:

Day time or night time incontinence?
Daytime is usually more controllable and less severe thereby needing less bulky/absorbent pads. All pads show the absorbency on the cover so you can see what level of coverages is supplied. See image:

How severe is your incontinence?
Mild, or stress incontinence, occurs most frequently if you don’t make it to the toilet in time or cough and release a little. As above the smaller pads are all that’s needed.
If you’ve little control, or have lost confidence with accidents, the larger more absorbent pads are better.

Disposable or reusable?
There are both disposable and reusable products available nowadays. Reusable pads are absorbent and can be laundered in the washing machine, dried and designed to be ready for the next day.

Advice and showroom assistance
If you require more advice at Murray’s we three ways to help;

  1. Research through our website where we list all the products. You can then order online for home delivery.
  2. Call us, where you can talk with one of our friendly team to guide you through the options.
  3. Visit one of our shops where we can professionally and discreetly help you select the most suitable products.

We hope you found this short explanation of help and look forward to assisting you if needed.


How To Choose The Correct Rollator

Have you had a fall, and stopped going out to meet friends, attend Mass or get messages?

If the answer to any of these is YES a wheeled rollator might just be the answer.

Rollators are designed to provide continued independence,  mobility and socialisation for those who’ve lost balance, stamina and confidence resulting from falls or simply running out of gas. Oftentimes, the rollator is mostly there to provide confidence and stability, just in case…

 What’s the difference between a walking frame and a rollator?

A walking frame has rubber ferrules at the base of each leg and a rollator can have 2, 3 and 4 wheels for ease of movement. There is a lifting action with a walker whereas a rollator just glides along.

 What types of Rollator are there?

Rollators come in 3 and 4 wheeled models.

 What’s the difference between 3 and 4 wheeled rollators?

3 wheeled rollators are a bit more manoeuvrable and better suited for confined spaces/

4 wheeled rollators are better for outdoor use as they come with seat bases to take a breather when needed, or to chat with a friend.

Larger wheels are better outdoors, on grass etc, as they have more contact and are less likely to get bogged down. Indoors both work effectively.

 Are they heavy and transportable?

Most modern rollators are very lightweight, fold down and are easy to store in car boots. Make sure you select an aluminium model as steel are a lot heavier to lift.

 How do you measure for the correct rollator?

  1. Most quality rollators have adjustable height handles as standard. To measure correctly you just need to simply stand up straight, arms hanging freely and bend your elbows at 15 degrees to get the best height. It’s also quite intuitive so you can adjust to suit your needs.
  2. If you’re selecting a 4 wheeled rollator with a seat, it’s best to measure a comfortable seat height so you can sit comfortably.
  3. A Physiotherapist can recommend the correct measurements.
  4. Come into one of our stores and our trained, friendly staff can help select the best one from the may we have in stock.

 Cable brakes or push down brakes?

Cable brakes are the most common slowing, breaking system on rollators. They’re used in the very same way as bicycle brakes and easy are to use.

If you have arthritis in your hands or low grip strength, a pressure brake may be the better option. All you need to do to slow down or break is to put downward pressure on the handles to engage the brakes.

 We hope this helps. If you need more assistance just call us or visit one of our showrooms. Otherwise check the many options in our walking aid section.

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