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Needs Assessment

If you are wanting to access help at home or thinking about moving into residential care, you should begin by having an Needs Assessment.

This ensures that:
dot You know of support services that would help you to remain in your own home e.g. district nurses, home care.
dot You have access to rehabilitation and / or specialist medical advice which may improve your health.
dot You have help with making the critical decision. It is difficult to return home once you have moved into care.
dot You know the assessment criteria for public funding of Residential Care.

A Needs Assessor will visit you at home or in hospital and talk with you about:

dot Tasks you find difficult
dot Family / whanau or social support available to you
dot The kinds of services that would help you stay at home

The Needs Assessor identifies the level of support you require and looks at whether these needs can be safely met at home. The final package may include a mix of publicly funded services, services you buy in yourself, as well as help from family and friends.
Needs assessors nationally use an electronic assessment tool called interRAI.
If it is not possible for you to stay safely at home, the assessor can authorise entry to residential care. The decision on level of residential care required considers both clinical and support needs.
To get an assessment you can phone a Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination Service (NASC), or your GP can refer. If you are in hospital, you can be seen in the ward.

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It is strongly recommended you have a needs assessment before making decisions about care. To access Residential Care Subsidy you must have an assessment recommending long-term care . The rest home / hospital should advise you in writing of these risks. The terms of the Aged Care contract do not apply to residents who have not been needs assessed; this could mean that care fees are not capped at ‘maximum contribution’ rate.

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