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UN-fair deal RTE's Brendan Courtney reveals struggle to get home care for his sick mother Nuala

The TV star said that he wants to bring his mother home but his family are unable to avail of the Fair Deal Scheme as it only provides financial support for those in long-term nursing home care.

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Brendan with his mum Nuala and Dad on his 21st birthday

Brendan with his mum Nuala and Dad on his 21st birthday

Brendan with his mum Nuala and Dad on his 21st birthday

TV star Brendan Courtney has opened up about his struggle to get care for his sick mother Nuala.

The 78-year-old broke her hip in December and is currently in rehab.

Due to further complications, the family are trying to get her home.

“She was getting into her car in a car park, fell over and broke her hip,” he told RSVP Live.

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Brendan Courtney

Brendan Courtney

Brendan Courtney

“She got delirium and she didn’t understand why she was being kept in hospital.”

“Now she’s in a rehab that is gorgeous but she thinks she’s in a care home as she’s confused.”

The TV star said that he wants to bring his mother home but his family are unable to avail of the Fair Deal Scheme as it only provides financial support for those in long-term nursing home care.

The presenter said that his family were granted a HSE Home Care Package, but the waiting list has 5,400 people on it.

“We are currently in the process of putting that package together and figuring it out so we’re on the journey,” he said.

Brendan is not new to seeking care for an elderly parent, in his 2017 documentary We Need To Talk About Dad, the broadcaster highlighted the lack of care options for older people.

He also revealed how the Fair Deal Scheme provides for nursing home care but not at home care.

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“I got angry because nothing has changed since my dad’s documentary and my father gave up his very private last year of his life on the understanding that Fair Deal would be his legacy and it’s not and I’m pissed off about it,” he said.

The scheme allows people to put up their family's assets in exchange for a loan which is paid back after the person in care passes away, and Brendan has insisted he is not looking for anything “for free.”

“The one thing they did in their lives was clear their mortgage in their little three bedroom semi, that’s all they have,” he explained.

“A lot of people don’t think it’s very fair that you have to use the family’s assets to pay for care but I actually don’t mind as long as we get mam the care.”

Brendan insisted that many elderly and sick people would rather be cared for in their own home rather than in a communal care home.

“40pc of all of our Covid-19 deaths were in nursing home surroundings. People want to be at home. Less than one pc of people being cared for at home got Covid.”

“When you drill into it the bigger issue is why are there not enough carers? It’s because the government don’t have a workforce strategy for home carers, to maintain, to recruit them or to make them feel valued,” he added.

“This is coming from me chatting to about ten people and one of them was the CEO of Home and Community Care Ireland, the representative body for private home care companies.”

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