Aged Residential Care Agreement Contract Paperwork
The Residential Care Agreement is the binding legal contract between the care recipient (the resident) and the aged care provider (the aged care home).
The contract describes the care and services that are provided to the care recipient, how much the services will cost, the manner in which the payments will be made, the rights of the care recipient and the responsibilities of the aged care provider.
The Residential Care Agreement is signed by both the care recipient (or their legal representative) and the authorised person representing the aged care provider.
Every care recipient must have a signed Residential Care Agreement completed and signed by both parties before the care recipient will be admitted to the aged care home as a permanent resident. However, it is common for a resident to begin a respite care stay in the aged care home and then to transition to permanent status while currently in the home.
The Commonwealth stipulates the broad content of the Residential Care Agreement. The initial template of the contract document was developed by a legal firm and most aged care providers found it easier to use this template rather than create their own. However, many aged care homes have since modified that template and introduced their own clauses into the agreement, so there is now no uniform approach to the paperwork.
Download a template of the Permanent Residential Care Agreement (pdf 942 Kb)
The residential care contract must contain the following subject areas:
We have identified a number of problem clauses that may be included in standard Resident Agreement documents.
They should be closely checked before you sign:
Because the Residential Care Agreement is based upon a template - it is usually not necessary to seek legal advice concerning the contract. However, some of our family clients seek the peace of mind knowing that this legal review has been completed.
The residential care agreement will define how the aged care home will continue to support you as your needs change, this is known as “ageing in place”. The agreement will also include details around when you can be asked to leave, how to exit the residential care agreement, and how to gracefully move to another aged care home.
Yes. If you change your mind and want to withdraw from the resident agreement, you have a 14-day cooling off period from the date you agreed. If you change your mind within this 14-day period you should let the aged care home know in writing straight away. You will still need to pay for any care fees and charges mentioned in the agreement for the period that you were in care. If you’ve made any other payments to your aged care home during that time, you are entitled to a refund.
The Residential Care Agreement is a legally binding document, so it’s important you understand everything in the document before you sign it.
If you have any questions, you should ask the aged care home. It’s their responsibility to make sure the agreements offered to you are clear and understood.
You can also ask your family, friends, carer or a legal practitioner to help you understand the terms of your residential care agreement. The proposed agreement may not automatically include all the things that you think are important, so it is a good idea to check.
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 on 13 14 50.