This information is designed to support people considering residential care options. If residential care is indicated; you or someone you care about is likely to have poor physical and / or cognitive health, and no longer able to live safely at home. The decision to seek residential care can be especially difficult for caregivers or family members. It can be a great relief for everyone when appropriate residential care is found. Carers can still choose to be involved as much or little as they wish, knowing a loved one is looked after.

Residential care is the care provided in a rest home, private hospital or dementia facility. These facilities have a contract with the District Health Board and require you to have both a needs assessment and a level of care assessment before entering long term care. Residential care can seem overwhelmingly complex, with use of terms like admission agreement, enduring power of attorney, maximum contribution, top up subsidy and premium room fees.

Please note that retirement village living and residential care are different. 

If you are considering moving to a rest home or hospital, it is a good idea to arm yourself with as much information as possible. 

These are the steps to take:

1. Organise GP referral for a Needs Assessment

2. Needs Assessment by NASC (interRAI)

3. Level of residential care required

4. Discuss options and plan of action with NASC

5. Visit a number of rest homes / hospitals

6. Establish if premium room fees apply, and if so, can you afford to privately fund them

7. Request a copy of the Admission Agreement and take it away to read

8. Choose a rest home / hospital

9. Negotiate and sign Admission Agreement

10. Apply for a Residential Care Subsidy or Loan if appropriate

All of this information is in the Moving into Residential Care [PDF, 1.5 MB] booklet