Moving into a rest home
When you move into residential care in a rest home or hospital, you sign a contract, and get information about your rights and responsibilities.
There are 2 main documents:
- an Admission Agreement, including a Code of Residents’ Rights
- a plan for your care.
Many people get legal or independent advice before signing the Admission Agreement.
The rest home may also ask you to set up an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) before you move in.
The Admission Agreement sets out what the rest home or hospital will provide and what your responsibilities are. It should include information about:
- the cost of your care
- who is paying for it and how payments are made
- what services are included in your weekly payment and what you must pay extra for
- whether or not you can keep your own General Practitioner (GP)
- what happens if your personal belongings are damaged or lost
- arrangements for your safety and security — money and valuables are your responsibility
- the notice you must give if you want to transfer or leave
- staffing arrangements in the rest home.
Included with the Admission Agreement is a Code of Residents’ Rights which sets out the rules for the rest home. It also explains how you complain about your care or other matters.
Your care plan
A care plan is used by those looking after you to make sure you get the care you need. It is based on your needs assessment and includes:
- your medical and treatment needs
- information about your diet
- when and how your family or whānau should be contacted if your health changes
- other care you need that is important to your wellbeing.
The care plan is finalised and written up by a registered nurse within 3 weeks of you moving into the rest home.
Reviewing your care plan
The plan is usually reviewed every 6 months — or sooner if the need arises. You, together with the rest home staff and those close to you review the plan. A registered nurse updates the plan after the review.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
An EPA ensures that there is someone who can make decisions for you if you’re unable to, about:
- your property
- your care and welfare.
Contacting government agencies using an EPA
If you’ve given someone an EPA for property, they should be able to contact Work and Income, and other government agencies on your behalf.
For care and welfare concerns, you may need to appoint someone — an agent — to contact Work and Income if you’re not able to.
An urgent move to a rest home or hospital
You may not have time to sign the Admission Agreement before you move in, but you (or the person who has your EPA) should sign it as soon as possible.
If your need is urgent, you may have to move into any rest home that has a room available. You can transfer to your preferred home when there is a vacancy. Make sure you tell your doctor, the rest home and those close to you that you intend to move. Your Admission Agreement says what notice you need to give.
If there's no suitable room at your preferred rest home
If the home you want to move to can’t offer you a standard room, you may have to pay extra for a better room or move into another rest home until the room you can afford is available.
The Residential Care Subsidy only pays for a standard room.
There are guidelines about how this works.
- If the standard rooms in your preferred home are over 90% full and they can only offer you a room that costs more, then you can choose to move into the better room and pay the extra charges until a standard room is available.
- If you can’t afford the extra fees for a better room at your preferred home and there is a home with a standard room within a 10 km radius of your preferred home, then you may have to move into the other home until a standard room is available at your preferred home.
- If there is no standard room available in your preferred home and no other home with a standard room within a 10 km radius, then you can move into a better room in your preferred home. In this case, you only pay for a standard room, but you have to move to a standard room as soon as one is available. You’ll usually get 3 days’ notice when you change rooms.