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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Shauna Bannon Ward & Cian O'Broin

Today FM’s Matt Cooper sold family home to pay debt for sick mother’s home care

Radio presenter Matt Cooper sold his home to pay the debt that built up for his sick mother’s care at home.

He outlined that when his mother had a serious stroke in the late 1990s, he and his father wanted to ensure she could remain in her own home.

Matt said that he paid for it for as long as he could, which created some big debts, according to RSVP Live.

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Matt shared that his father bought a “modest house” in Cork from his job as a confectioner.

When his mother suffered a serious stroke in 1998 at 69 years old, she was “seriously incapacitated” and her speech was impacted. She also required the use of a wheelchair.

While his father’s health was worsening, they wanted to ensure that she could stay at home.

“We organised a carer (a wonderful woman) to come in and help them, but my father's own health deteriorated quickly,” Matt said in his Irish Daily Mail column.

“He was hospitalised in December but we were told that he was to be discharged before Christmas even though it was clear he was nowhere near well enough.

“I managed to find a private nursing home that would take him but he was rushed back to hospital on Christmas Day 1998 with me in the ambulance sitting beside him. He died in early January 1999

“By this stage, their limited savings were gone and I paid for care to come to their house, more or less on a 24-hour basis. I didn't want my mother to go into a nursing home - and nor did she.”

The radio presenter added that he funded the home care for as long as he could, in the process running up “substantial debts”.

He said: “The State provided a home help for a couple of hours each day. My mother's health declined due to a series of further strokes which required hospital stays

“She was not keen on going, but two doctors persuaded me that it was not possible for her to be cared for properly at home despite her understandable desire to stay there.

“They also told me that if we didn't take the place - which was State funded - I would end up chasing private nursing home accommodation within months that would cost a fortune. They were right and she received excellent care in her last years.

“I sold the family home in Cork that I had inherited. It cleared most of the debts I had incurred. At the time, I was grateful to have that asset to sell and that it realised enough money to cover most of what I owed the bank.”

He said that other families incurred similar debts, but were unable to repay them.

Matt stated that while the Fair Deal scheme was put in place in an attempt to put an affordable system in place, it didn’t address circumstances where people were forced to pay what was owed to them in the past.


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