Before you move in, an aged care home will offer you a Resident Agreement to sign, which may cover things like the services you will receive, the fees to be paid and the rights and responsibilities you have as a resident of the home.
Your Resident Agreement should include the following:
When do I sign?
If you choose to enter into a Resident Agreement, you don’t have to sign it at the time it is offered. You may want to take time to ask your friends, family, carer, financial advisor or legal practitioner for help to go through the agreement, although you don’t have to.
While there is no time limit for signing the Resident Agreement, it is in your best interest to finalise the Resident Agreement as soon as you can, as it covers your rights and responsibilities.
Can I withdraw from the Resident Agreement?
Should you change your mind, you can withdraw from the Resident Agreement within 14 days of signing. You will need to let your aged care home know straight away, in writing. You will still need to pay your care fees and charges for care you’ve received during the 14 days. If you’ve made any other payments to your provider during that time, you are entitled to a refund.
Can I change the terms of the Resident Agreement?
Changes can only be made to your Agreement if both you and your aged care home agree. If you wish to end your Agreement, you’ll have to give the home notice of your intention to do so, preferably in writing.
What if I need help understanding the agreements?
Since the Resident Agreement is a legally binding document, it’s important you understand everything in the document before you sign it. If you have any questions, you should ask your new aged care home. It’s their responsibility to make sure the agreements offered to you are clear.
You can also ask your family, friends, carer or a legal practitioner to help you understand the terms of your agreements. The proposed agreements may not automatically include all the things that you think are important, so it is a good idea to check.
Or, if you’re having language difficulties because the agreements aren’t written in your preferred language, you can contact the Australian Government Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450.
TIS covers more than 100 languages and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for the cost of a local call.
What if I am not able to sign the agreements?
If you understand your agreement and want to sign it, but are physically unable to, you can ask someone with the legal authority to sign on your behalf, such as someone who holds power of attorney for you.
Rights and responsibilities
Your rights and responsibilities will be the same as those of every other resident. To make sure your rights and responsibilities are protected, there is legislation that all aged care homes funded by the Government must follow.
The Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities will be displayed in your aged care home, or you can ask your home for a copy when they offer you your Resident Agreement.