Once you have accepted a place at an aged care facility or nursing home, they will send you one or more contracts to formalise their offer.
The documents are given a variety of names including agreements for residential aged care, aged care agreements or aged care contracts. They can include a resident agreement, accommodation agreement and extra services agreement. (See our client information sheet on agreements for residential aged care for more detailed information.)
What 3 items should I ask to be included in an agreement for residential aged care?
Our expert aged care lawyers recommend that you ask the aged care facility for your agreement(s) to include these three items.
The principles deal with security of tenure for care recipients, access for persons acting for care recipients, and the information the provider must give care recipients. The principles also describe your rights and` responsibilities of recipients of both residential care and home care.
This list of rights is contained within the User Rights Principles.
It came into effect on 1 July 2019 replacing previous charters of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities. The new Charter provides the same rights to all consumers, regardless of the type of subsidised care and services they receive.
A residential aged care facility must inform you of the Charter of and assist you with comprehending your rights. They must give you a copy and an opportunity to sign the Charter.
The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission expects organisations providing aged care services in Australia to comply with the Quality Standards. However, we see countless cases of some aged care facilities not complying with these standards. The regulator (the Commission) still provides accreditation to aged care facilities who do not meet all standards.
Why should I include these 3 items?
Any agreement must comply with the User Rights Principles detailed in the Aged Care Act. However, the User Rights Principles, the Charter of Aged Care Rights and Aged Care Quality Standards are NOT an enforceable set of legal rights unless they form part of your agreement with the aged care provider.
If you do not include them within your agreement you have to rely entirely upon the complaints system to address any issues and concerns you may have whilst living within residential aged care.
Expert help and advice regarding aged care agreements and contracts
Moving into an aged care facility is a big lifestyle change and financial commitment. A lawyer who is familiar with these types of contracts can help to ensure the contracts make sense to you and that you are protected.
Our expert, caring and experienced aged care and elder law team can:
- assist families with how to make a complaint
- help to navigate aged care regulation
- act as the advocate for the resident or family
- advise on residential aged care agreements
- advise and prepare a negligence claim.
Contact us today on (02) 4929 3995 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our website has a range of other resources including expert articles and client stories on the many ways we help people (and their families) plan for growing older.