Once you have found an aged care home that is able to provide respite care, you will need to formalise the arrangement. This will take the form of a resident agreement (respite).
What’s in the resident agreement?
Your resident agreement is a legal agreement between you and your residential respite care provider. It includes:
Care and support services
It sets out the care and services the aged care home will provide to you.
It will outline how much your care will cost, which may include:
- your basic daily fee
- a booking fee
- additional services fees for any additional services that you have agreed to receive
- an extra service fee if you occupy an extra service room.
The agreed start and end date of your short-term stay.
Rights and responsibilities
The agreement will explain your rights and responsibilities as a resident, and the responsibilities your respite care provider has to you. It will also outline the process for dealing with concerns and complaints.
If they have a policy on visitors, it will be explained, along with any other matters agreed to between you and the manager of the aged care home.
There are no leave arrangements if you are receiving residential respite services. This includes hospital leave. You will be discharged from the service upon exit, whatever the reason may be.
Entering into an agreement
When you’re happy with the terms of the agreement(s), you can ‘enter into an agreement’. This is usually done by signing the document to declare that you understand and accept it.
Do I have to sign the agreement?
No, you don’t have to sign the agreement. If you don’t, your service provider still has to fulfill their responsibilities to you.
What if I can’t sign the agreement?
If you cannot sign the resident agreement because of physical or medical problems, another person representing you may do so on your behalf. You will then get a copy of the agreement.
Can the agreement be changed?
Yes, but only if agreed to by both you and the aged care home. If you wish to end your agreement, you’ll have to give notice of your intention to do so, preferably in writing.
Can someone help me understand the agreement?
The resident agreement is legally binding, so it’s important you understand it before you sign.
If you have any questions, ask your aged care home beforehand. It’s their job to make sure it all makes sense to you. You can also ask family, friends, carers or a legal professional for help.
You may also want to get help from an advocate. They provide help for a wide range of government aged care services. You can find out more by visiting the Older Persons Advocacy Network website.