Entry to residential care is managed by a process known as Needs Assessment.
1) To begin this process you either need to talk to your doctor about the issues that are leading you to take this step or you can contact the agency responsible for managing assessments (known as NASC or Care Coordination) yourself.
2) Undergo an assessment. An assessment is not something you pass or fail: it is a way of finding out what your needs are and how they might best be met. During the assessment you will be asked a lot of questions about your health and well-being, your personal circumstances, whether you need help with your daily activities and whether more assistance would improve your quality of life. A referral to a specialist (e.g. geriatrician, physiotherapist etc.) may also be made if required.
3) After the assessment has been done the findings will be discussed with you. Possible outcomes of the assessment may include:
- A recommendation for residential care (the criteria for entry is quite high);
- A recommendation for support at home to a residential care level;
- Informed you do not meet the criteria and other options are recommended e.g. home support services.
The following applies to those who have have decided to go into residential care and are taking the next steps:
- 1) The person responsible for co-ordinating your services will give you your Assessment Certificate and if relevant the ‘Residential Care Subsidy - Application for Financial Means Assessment’ form’. Make sure you know what type/level of care you require e.g. rest home, dementia, hospital, specialist hospital (more about levels of care).
- 2) Discuss your options with those closest to you and seek any clarification from the person responsible for co-ordinating your services.
- 3) Check the Eldernet Residential Care Vacancy Status Report (you'll can access it from the home page). It shows all facilities in New Zealand and in most regions shows where current vacancies are.
- 4) Shortlist possible homes/hospitals that provide your level of care. It is your responsibility to select your home. (See checklist).
- 5) Visit the facilities on your shortlist.
- 6) Ask for a copy of each facility’s Admission Agreement. Make sure you ask about any additional charges and that you have written information about any of these. Go away and read these documents (so that you have plenty of time to make an informed choice).
- 7) You can arrange to have a ‘trial’ of the home/hospital, so arrange this if you plan to do this (it’s often a good way to find out how well you and the facility ‘fit’). You must pay for a trial yourself; it is not subsidised.
- 8) Decide on your preferred home.
- 9) Talk with the admissions person, negotiate any issues and sign the Admission Agreement.
- 10) You are responsible for paying for or contributing towards your care. Make arrangements for this. Apply for a Residential Care Subsidy or Loan if appropriate (More about the Residential Care Subsidy or Loan).
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