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What is a Resident Agreement?
- The services and care being made available to you
- The fees you will pay
- The rights and responsibility of the aged care home (nursing home)
- Your rights and responsibilities as a resident
What should the Resident Agreement include?
The Resident Agreement should clearly identify the following things:
- The name of the aged care home
- The policies, practices and considerations used in calculating your fees
- How much you will pay as your basic daily fee
- How much you will pay if you have to pay an additional means-tested care fee
- Any ‘extra services’ you have agreed to and how much they will cost
- The rights and responsibilities of the aged care home toward you as a resident
- Your rights and responsibilities as a resident in the aged care home
- The process for dealing with complaints - from you, family or friends
- The circumstances in which you could be asked to leave the home - for example non-payment of fees, or if your needs change and the home is not able to provide the level of care you need - and the process involved in helping you find new accommodation
- Any other agreements made between you and the manager of the aged care home (nursing home) within the requirements of the Aged Care Act 1997
Is the Resident Agreement Legally Binding?
Yes, the Resident Agreement is legally binding so you should be sure that you - and your family member or other representative - understand all the elements of the agreement.
- What is included and what is excluded in the costs? Consider things like food and meals, bedding, medical supplies and special equipment?
- What can the home charge you extra for?
- How will you be paying your daily care fee?
- If you are not paying it directly yourself, who is responsible and is that made clear?
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request that additional details are included.
The Resident Agreement is legally binding so you should be sure that you and your family member or representative understands all elements of it.
Change of mind?
- After you have signed the Resident Agreement you have 14 days to change your mind:
- If you want to withdraw from the Resident Agreement within 14 days of signing, you need to let your aged care home (nursing home) know straight away, in writing. You will still need to pay your care fees and charges for the care you’ve received during the 14 days. If you’ve made any other payments to the home during that time, you are entitled to a refund.
- If you decide you’d like to make changes to your Resident Agreement, both you and your aged care home (nursing home) will have to agree.
- If you want to end your Resident Agreement at any time, you will have to give notice to the home, preferably in writing.
The Resident Agreement for Respite Care
If you are only going to the aged care home (nursing home) for a short time - for respite care – you still need a Resident Agreement.
As with permanent or long term care, the Resident Agreement for respite care will provide information on both:
- your rights and responsibilities
- the rights and responsibilities of the aged care home.
It will also include:
- the dates you’ll be staying at the aged care home (nursing home)
- the costs to you – referred to as the respite care booking fee, which is a prepaid
- basic daily fee