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Elderly Care Issues

Age Related / Elderly Care Issues

As we get older we often need to make decisions about our future needs particularly those relating to our care. This may involve seeking assistance from family and others. We may need to put in place long term formal arrangements to deal with care and financial issues.

Fidelma Barry, Solicitor has extensive experience in dealing with issues relating to the elderly.

She has the knowledge and expertise to help guide you/your elderly relative through important decisions such as:

Making a will
Powers of Attorney – General and Enduring Power of Attorney
Wardship / Wards of Court
Nursing Home Support (Fair Deal) Scheme


A will is a document which sets out in writing a person’s wishes as to how his / her assets and possessions should be divided on his/her death. In order to be valid a will must be properly witnessed and fulfil a number of other important statutory requirements.

The making of one’s will is an important milestone in life. Decisions need to be made as to how one’s assets are to be distributed having regard to the needs of those chosen to benefit.


If you die and you have made a valid Will then you are said to have died testate. If you die and you have not made a valid Will then you are said to have died intestate. If you die intestate then the law governs who will inherit your estate.


A properly made and thoughtful Will can ensure that proper provision and arrangements are made for your family and in particular any dependents you may have. Making a will also ensures that your property is distributed as you wish after you pass away, subject to the rights of spouses / civil partners and any children you may have.


The making and planning for the distribution of your estate may also have implications for your business and succession planning.( see Estate Planning section.)


Fidelma Barry, solicitor, will help you in making these important decisions on the distribution of your assets and she will help you identify your key priorities and objectives in this important task.


Get in touch to arrange a consultation with Fidelma Barry Solicitor

Powers of Attorney – General and Enduring

As we get older we sometimes need to depend on others a little more and this can also be the case when it comes to taking steps to look after our affairs during our lifetime.

It can be both necessary and re-assuring to have put in place arrangements which will fall into place in the event that one cannot look after one’s affairs both personal and financial. These arrangements can be easily put in place by the use of a Power Of Attorney.


There are two forms of Power of Attorney under current Irish Law:

A General Power of Attorney – a document entered into by a person (called the Donor) in order to give a named person or persons (called the Attorney) the power to deal with the Donor’s affairs. A General Power of Attorney will only continue for so long as the Donor has mental capacity.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which a person ( called the Donor) enters into enabling another party (called the Attorney) to look after his/her affairs. An enduring power of attorney is granted under the provisions of the Power of Attorney Act, 1996. This Power of Attorney does not have immediate effect and only comes into operation in circumstances where the Donor no longer has mental capacity to deal with his/her affairs.


It is a prudent and practical step to put in place an Enduring Power of Attorney which will permit you to decide who may deal with your affairs, if that becomes necessary, and to take decisions on your behalf when you can no longer do so


It is a significant and important step in life to grant an Enduring Power of Attorney. The Enduring Powers of Attorneys Act 1996 set out the steps and procedures to be followed for the creation of an Enduring Power of Attorney.


Fidelma Barry, solicitor, offers a comprehensive service including a step by step guide to the procedures rights and obligations involved for both you and any attorney selected.

Wardship – Wards of Court

If your parent, relative or friend is mentally incapacitated due to age, an accident or a progressive illness and if he/she has not previously signed an Enduring Power of Attorney then it is not legally possible for him/her to enter into any legal or contractual arrangements including long term care arrangements. In such circumstances it may be necessary to consider making an application to have him/her made a Ward of Court so that the welfare and assets of the parent, relative or friend may be protected and taken care of at this difficult time. Having a person made a ward of court is a legal procedure whereby an application is made to the High Court to have a third party appointed to look after the financial assets and personal care issues (for example nursing home care or other care arrangements ) relating to that person. The decision to have a parent /relative/friend made a ward of court can be a difficult and emotional time for family.

We can assist you and guide you as to the steps involved in the process of Wardship. We will meet with you and your family to discuss and explain what steps need to be taken and we will help you in identifying who is best suited to take on the responsibility of looking after the affairs of the vulnerable party. The person taking on such responsibility is generally referred to as the Committee.


We will provide you with a detailed step by step guide to the procedures in having someone made a Ward of Court. These steps and procedures are overseen by a branch of the High Court, the Office of Wards of Court. We will liaise with the medical advisers and the Office of Wards of Court and we will advise and guide you through the process of looking after the financial issues, including sale of property (if necessary) and other assets and care issues including applications under the Nursing Home Support (Fair Deal) Scheme.

Nursing Home – Fair Deal Scheme

The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, also known as the “Fair Deal”, provides financial support to people who need long-term nursing home care. The scheme is operated by the Health Service Executive (HSE).


Under this scheme, you make a contribution towards the cost of your care and the HSE pays the balance. The scheme covers approved private nursing homes, voluntary nursing homes and public nursing homes.


There are 3 steps in the application process:

Step 1 is an application for a Care Needs Assessment. This is to assess whether or not you need long-term nursing home care. Step 2 is the Financial Assessment. The Financial Assessment looks at your income and assets to work out what your contribution to the cost of your care will be. Step 3 is an optional application for the Nursing Home Loan. You can apply for this if you want to defer paying the part of your contribution that is based on your home or other property.


Having looked at your income and assets, the Financial Assessment will work out your contribution to care.


If a person does not have the capacity to consent to the Nursing Home Loan and the Charging Order, a Care Representative will need to be appointed to act on his/her behalf.


If you are not able to make an application yourself because of illness, a physical disability or a mental condition, a Specified Person may apply for a Care Needs Assessment on your behalf.A Specified Person can also apply for State Support on behalf of a person who has reduced ability to make decisions (reduced mental capacity).


A specified person is:

A. If you are a ward of court, your Committee

B. A person appointed under a valid, registered enduring power of attorney who is not restricted from applying for the scheme

C. A Care Representative appointed under the Nursing Homes Support Scheme Act 2009

D. Your spouse or partner

E. A relative of yours who is 18 years of age or over

F. A ‘next friend’ appointed by a court

G. Your legal representative, or

H. A registered medical practitioner, nurse or social worker.


If you would like more information on progressing a claim for compensation or if you would simply like to have a consultation please contact


Frequently Asked Questions

How much do you pay towards your care?

Following an assessment of your income and assets, the financial assessment will work out how much you pay towards you care. Get in touch with Fidelma Barry Solicitor to discuss your case in further detail.

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