Frequently Asked Questions – Information for Older People
This information is correct as of July 2022. However, it can be subject to change and is simply a guide to help you access information you need.
If you have difficulty accessing a service, please ring the ALONE national number on 0818 222 024 where a Support Coordinator will do their best to support you.
How do I access my public health nurse and what do they do?
Public health nurses (PHN) or Registered General Nurses (RGN) are employed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide a range of healthcare services in the community. Read more about the PHNs role here. You may be referred to your local Public Health Nurse by your GP, or you may contact the service yourself through your local health centre or through your Local Health Office. Your public health nurse or GP is your first point of contact with the health service and can direct you to other supports and services both within the HSE and within your community.
How do I access my local HSE health centre or local HSE health office?
How do I access equipment to help me navigate my home?
Contact your local HSE health centre/ Public Health Nurse. They will refer you on to be assessed by the relevant Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist who can recommend and prescribe the most suitable equipment.
How do I access mobility aids?
Contact your local HSE health centre/ Public Health Nurse They will refer you on to be assessed by the relevant Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist who can recommend and prescribe the most suitable equipment.
Currently the following schemes can be applied for:
Medical/GP Visit Card
Drug Payment Scheme
Carer’s GP Visit Card
To apply for a medical card by post:
Download the form in English or Irish or LoCall 0818 22 44 78 to get the form posted out. You can also pick up one of these forms in your local health centre or citizens information centre. If you call them, they will also post you one out.
If you have any questions about the form, call 0818 22 44 78
Post the completed form to the National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745, Dublin 11, D11 XKF3
How do I apply for a Long-term illness card?
Contact your local HSE health centre/ Public Health Nurse Office for an application or download an application form. You can also call 0818 22 44 78 to get the form posted out.
How do I access Incontinence wear?
Your local public health nurse will work with you to assess if incontinence wear/ pads might be of benefit to you. You can find out who your local nurse is by contacting your local HSE local health centre
How do I apply for Chiropody Treatment cards?
Medical Card holders over the age of 65 years or people with Diabetes who hold a medical card are entitled to apply for a chiropody treatment card. Usually, you are referred for chiropody services by your Public Health Nurse or GP. You may also contact chiropodists directly.
You can also contact private home support agencies if you wish to pay for private home support. There are tax allowances available to people who are working who pay for home support, you can find the Citizens Information Website.
How do I access Carer’s Entitlements?
The lists and links to all main services and entitlements for carers can be found on the Citizens Information website here. These include carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit/leave if you are working, carer’s respite grant and other supports such as counselling and in home respite. Family Carer’s Ireland are also a good source of information and support.
Where do I find information about rightsizing/downsizing?
Contact your local authority as each authority has different schemes. Schemes may be available to current social housing tenants of the local authority, an approved housing body, or those eligible for social housing.
For those who own their own home they may be eligible through a financial contribution schemes if this is available in that authority.
Where do I find information about finance issues?
MABS is the Irish money advice service free, confidential and independent. You can call MABS on 0818 07 2000 Monday –Friday 9am to 8pm
Where do I find information aboutentitlements for over 65s and/or carers?
The Citizens Information site has a list of most entitlements/income support for older people with key information on accessing them from pension to carers, to housing to fuel