A three-year cap on the financial contributions of family farms and businesses when calculating the cost of nursing home care will bring peace of mind to farming and business communities across the country, according to Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister Martin Heydon.

Minister Heydon was speaking as amendments to The Nursing Homes Support Scheme, commonly known as the Fair Deal scheme, passed through all stages of the Dail and Seanad last week.

“These amendments to the Fair Deal scheme have been eagerly awaited by many Kildare families. I’ve spoken to many Kildare families about the progress of this legislation; when it will come into effect, and the passing of this legislation marks significant progress on the path to signing this into law.

“This new legislation introduces a three-year cap on the financial contributions of family owned and operated farms or businesses, when calculating the cost for nursing home care. It’s a fundamental change to the current scheme and will apply where a family successor commits to working the farm or business.

“We’ve all heard stories of families forced to sell their land to simply pay for long-term care for elderly family members. This is a huge legacy issue for the family and impacts their business and livelihood into the future.

“Families that have felt disenfranchised, some of whom have been burdened with a legacy of debt, can now be assured they have the same entitlements to healthcare and support as everyone else.

“While the passing of this bill does mark significant progress on the road to achieving fairness in access to elderly care for all families, we need to see continued momentum from Minister Mary Butler to enact the legislation  as soon as possible so that families can feel the full benefit of this change,” concluded Minister Heydon