Step 8.2

What is a resident agreement?

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:


  • the costs to you – referred to as the respite care booking fee, which is a prepaid
  • basic daily fee

Have a question? Open our discussion forum

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A special thanks to our contributors

Caroline Egan

DCM Media, agedcare101

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

Ian Horswill


Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Jill Donaldson


Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.