The criteria for entry to residential care is that the person has been assessed as having high or very high needs which are indefinite and cannot be safely met with a package of care in the community.

Before considering  residential care, you should have a Needs Assessment. This ensures that:

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

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

  • Tasks you find difficult 
  • Family / whanau or social support available to you
  • Services that could help you stay at home
  • Whether you meet the criteria for long term care

If it is not possible for you to stay safely at home, the assessor can authorise entry to residential care. The decision on  residential care considers both needs assessment (interRAI) and clinical assessment (level of care).

To access Residential Care Subsidy you must have a clinical assessment recommending long-term care. The terms of the Aged Related Residential Care (ARRC) contract  do not apply to residents who have not been needs assessed; this could mean that fees for contracted care services are not capped at ‘maximum contribution’ rates. The rest home / hospital must advise you in writing of these risks.

To get an assessment you can phone 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.