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This legal document protects the resident and rest home / hospital by setting out the responsibilities of both parties. Care providers are required to have an Admission Agreement. Ask to take the agreement away with you and study it carefully. If there is anything you are not clear about, seek advice.

If you are not happy with the terms, try to negotiate a different arrangement and change the agreement to reflect this. Both parties initial changes just as you would any other legal document. For example, you might want to negotiate a reduced period of notice if you think you might move in the future. There is no charge for providing an Agreement.

What should an admission agreement include?

This is covered in the Age-Related Residential Care Services Agreement().

The Admission Agreement should specify any extra charges. By signing it you undertake to pay these costs if you use the services listed. Some facilities may ask you to supply a guarantor for payment.

The Admission Agreement is required to cover issues such as liability for damage or loss of residents’ personal belongings, staffing, resident safety and security, transport policies, procedures, costs, complaint processes and information on when a resident may be required to leave a facility.

Providers cannot charge you for services that are already part of the District Health Board contract. These are known as Contracted Care Services. Services generally include GP visits, medications and continence products.

Care plan

This is not part of the Admission Agreement but is an important document covering the care needs of an individual resident.

The Care Plan details how care is to be delivered to a resident. Ideally it should be written in consultation with you and family / whanau so that you are able to make informed decisions about care. For example, if you have specific dietary requirements or if family want to be notified if you have a fall, the care plan is where this information is recorded.

If you want to change some part of your care, the plan forms the base for discussion. Care plans should be reviewed every six months or when there is a change in health status.