Supports for Caring at Home

Practical help in the home is frequently provided for those who have a life threatening illness. This can help ease the burden and stress faced by both the individual and the family members or carers responsible for looking after them.

Home Help Services

Home Care Packages and Home Help Services are arranged via the HSE Local Health Office / Primary Care Teams, and are supported by Public Health Nurse and GPs.  There are also private home care companies and nursing agencies that provide a care attendant service.

Respite for Carers  

Respite is a form of help which allows for a break outside the home in a suitably equipped residential setting such as a nursing home, community hospital, dedicated respite centres or hospices. There are a number of services facilitating respite breaks.

  • Local GPs or Public Health Nurses can assist in organising a respite break.
  • Family Carers; Formed after the merging of The Carers Association and Caring for Carers in 2016. Family Carers aim to provide a broad range of services and supports for family carers
  • Nursing Homes Ireland provide a directory of nursing homes around the country, and some of these homes will take respite bookings.
  • The Respite Care Grant aims to cover the cost of giving carers a break in this way.

Medication and Equipment

Most pharmacies offer a medicine dosage system that is aimed at reducing uncertainty regarding medicine dosages and regimes. Speak to your local pharmacist regarding services offered locally.

Special equipment and home care appliances can also help with the provision of care in the home. Assist Ireland provides comprehensive information on a wide range of such equipment and appliances.

Palliative Care

When someone is facing imminent death, and chooses to remain in their home, the services of the Community based Hospice / Palliative Home care teams, the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish Hospice Foundation may be in a position to provide necessary and appropriate medical and nursing support.

The Community based Hospice / Palliative Home care teams aim to support those with complex needs who choose to be cared for and sometimes die in their own homes, in a local community hospital or in a nursing home. Where patients require complex symptom management, consideration may be given to refer for admission to the Specialist Hospice / Inpatient units. More information about access to Specialist Palliative Care services can be found here

The Irish Cancer Society seeks to provide night nursing support to people with cancer who are in the last days of their life, and this can be accessed via the public health nurse or specialist home care team.

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