Moving into a residential care home can provide a positive change giving the care and support you need while freeing you from the responsibilities of owning and maintaining your own home. We know the idea can be a bit daunting, so we've put together a handy diagram that outlines each step of the process. You'll find further information at the bottom of the page.
A needs assessment is strongly recommended and is essential if you wish to apply for a Residential Care Subsidy. A needs assessment will look at your health and support needs and determine if these needs should be met through residential care and at what level.
Needs assessments are undertaken through the Needs Assessment Co-ordination Service (NASC). Your NASC is contracted to your local District Health Board (DHB) and can be contacted by ringing your local DHB or the NASC direct (check the Ministry of Health website for details).
Applying for a Residential Care Subsidy
A Government subsidy is available for residential aged care which may cover all or some of the cost of care. To apply for a subsidy complete a Residential Care Subsidy Application and send to Work and Income NZ (WINZ). These forms are available from your local NASC or direct from WINZ. A financial means assessment is undertaken which looks at an individual’s assets, liabilities and income and determines if a subsidy is available and how much. WINZ will notify you of how much subsidy is available and how much needs to be funded by the individual (including a contribution from your superannuation).
Note that the application form needs to be completed as soon as possible as any subsidy granted can only be back dated for 90 days. Any costs outside the 90 day period will need to be funded by the individual.
Compiling a list of homes to visit
Make a list of homes you would like to visit. Homes are listed in a number of places including:
Preparing a list of questions
Prepare a list of questions before visiting the homes you have selected. This will ensure you get all the information you need and will make comparing the homes easier. Consider the physical environment, room sizes, activities available and food service. Speak to residents and get their view on the home. Also get a copy of their information pack from the facilities manager which you can take away and review.
A useful checklist is available free from the Consumer website.
When you have decided on which home you prefer, ask for a copy of their admission agreement. This is the contract between the resident and the home and sets out the legal responsibilities of both parties. Get someone else to review the agreement as well. If there is something in the agreement that you are not comfortable with, speak to the home manager.
Note that some services provided by the home may not be covered by the DHB contract and an extra fee needs to be paid by the resident. The admission agreement will identify these services and the resident can choose whether to receive these services or not.