What is an Aged Care Resident and Accommodation Agreement?
A ‘resident agreement’ is the agreement between you and your aged care provider regarding the services they will provide you and the cost of those services.
An ‘accommodation agreement’ is the agreement between you and your provider regarding your accommodation. The accommodation agreement covers matters such the cost of your accommodation and any conditions of living in that accommodation.
The resident agreement and accommodation agreement are often combined into one agreement. In our experience, the agreements are often combined for the interest of simplicity.
What do I need to know?
Most of the content of a resident and accommodation agreement is regulated by the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth). However, there is still a degree of contractual freedom between you and your provider. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice and understand the effect of the terms of the agreement on you.
In particular, we recommend that you review the agreement carefully and seek legal advice. For example, we recommend that you consider the following:
- What is the provider’s reputation? Are there any red flags based on past resident surveys or compliance audits?
- Do you understand the fee structure? Have you sought financial advice about how best to structure your financial affairs to maximise any available government subsidies?
- Do you have rights to a particular room? If so, when can the provider move you with or without your consent?
- What kind of financial security is the provider requesting from you and is it reasonable in the circumstances? For example, is the provider seeking the right to register a caveat against any real property (i.e. house and land) that you own? Is the provider requiring a personal guarantee from your personal representative?
- Does the agreement include all additional or extra services that you are expecting and for what price? For example, does the provider offer additional services like haircuts or WiFi? Can you pay extra for better food or entertainment?
- Are the facility’s rules consistent with your expectations?
- Is there certainty around who pays for and arranges maintenance for items that are not fixtures, such as the television advertised as being included with your room?
- Do you need to get your own insurance for your personal belongings?
Moving into aged care is a big step both financially and emotionally. It is important that you take that step confidentially.