Frequently asked questions about home care

What is home care?

Home care refers to any type of care (medical or non-medical) which is provided to a client in the comfort of his or her own home.  This includes services such as:

  • Personal care: assistance with washing, dressing, toileting and incontinence, managing medication, developing rehabilitation and independence, and coordination of support with other professionals.
  • Daily support: cleaning, meal preparation, shopping, laundry, paperwork and other necessary household assistance.
  • Overnight care: this can be regular or on an ad-hoc basis depending on the individual’s needs.
  • Convalescent care: help to get a loved one back on their feet after some form of treatment.
  • Dementia care: a friendly face in the home can make a real difference to quality of life. Anxiety and frustration is minimised, promoting good health and wellbeing.
  • Respite care: carers can be provided to provide a period of respite to the main care giver.
  • End of life care: providing appropriate and compassionate end of life care.

How are home care services funded?

Home care can be funded in two ways – either by the HSE or privately.

  • For more information on funding home care through the HSE, please visit their website by clicking here.  Note that the HSE fund home care services for older persons, those with disabilities and those with mental health conditions from separate sources.  You will need to refer to the specific service you or your family require.
  • Some private contributions towards home care costs can avail of PAYE Tax Relief of up to 40%.  More details on the Revenue’s scheme can be found by clicking here.
  • It should be noted that some clients in receipt of HSE funding for home care services opt to pay for additional home care hours privately.  You can discuss this with the company who provides your home care service, or you can consult the interactive map below to find an HCCI provider to discuss this with.

Is 40% tax relief available for home care fees?

In Ireland, income tax relief is available to clients of HCCI providers, or their relatives, at their top rate of tax subject to certain conditions.

This means that you could receive tax relief of up to 40% of the cost of a provider’s service. It is also possible to claim this relief as part of your tax credits which would mean receiving the benefit as part of your weekly or monthly wages.

If you are not working or paying tax, you can still receive this relief from other members of your family up to a total of €75,000 at their marginal tax rate.

To learn more about for tax relief, please review Revenue’s IT 47 Leaflet “Employed Person Taking Care of an Incapacitated Person” and then complete the HK1 form “Claim for an Allowance for Employing a Carer”.


Why is home care preferable over other forms of healthcare?

Providing more care in the community, including home care, is the stated policy goal of all the major parties in Ireland.  Sláintecare, the roadmap for the future of health care in the State, makes this point repeatedly.

More importantly, people feel happier and healthier if cared for in their own home.  HCCI promotes the use of home care, wherever suitable, because:

  • Home care is delivered in the home: when we are not feeling well, most of us ask to be at home to enjoy the comfort of our residences and the joy of being with our loved ones. When our loved ones are ill, we try to get them home as soon as possible to enjoy their independence and home comforts.
  • Home care keeps families together: it is particularly important in times of illness that families have one another close for support.  Home care is a comforting alternative to premature admission to a long-term care facility.  When asked, most people say they would prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible.
  • Home care promotes healing: there is scientific evidence that many patients heal faster at home.
  • Home care is safe: many risks, such as infection, are eliminated or minimised when care is provided in the home.
  • Home care allows for the maximum amount of freedom for the individual: patients at home can remain active in their customary daily routines.
  • Home care promotes continuity: the patient’s own physician continues to oversee his or her care.  Home care is personalised and tailored to the needs of each individual. Patients receive one-on-one care and attention.
  • Home care is the preferred form of care: studies have shown that 95% of those aged 75 and older prefer to stay in their current residence for as long as possible.

What standards do home care providers adhere to?

To become a member of HCCI, all organisations have to meet the criteria as laid out in the HCCI National Standards for Provision of Home Care Support Services.  These standards are the only national standards for home care in Ireland.  They incorporate guideline standards from the HSE as well as international best practice.  Members undergo an independent audit to ensure they meet the standards.  This offers peace of mind to clients and their families about the quality of service provision.

However, there are no specific standards that a home care provider has to adhere to in Ireland (unless they are a HCCI member) as there is no regulatory framework for home care services.  The Department for Health are developing such a framework in consultation with a range of stakeholders, including HCCI.

The HSE tenders out services for both for people with disabilities and for older persons.  The HSE operates a list of Approved Providers for Home Support Service to Older Persons.  Those on the list must comply with the HSE’s requirements, which can be found on their website.

Find a HCCI accredited Provider

The map below is regularly updated with the details of all HCCI members.  You will find their location and contact information on their respective locator pin.  If you have any difficulty accessing or using the map, please contact HCCI directly and we will be happy to assist you.