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Considering care options

More often than not, the decision to place someone in care is done under difficult circumstances and usually within very short time frames. In many cases, it can be as short as a few days and can be a stressful time for all concerned.

It’s important you talk to other members of the family when the time comes for you to consider the options that are available for a loved one or family member who requires residential aged care. Rest assured there is support available to guide you through the process at each step.

If you are unsure about whether it’s time to consider care, we are always here to talk.

Considering care options

More often than not, the decision to place someone in care is done under difficult circumstances and usually within very short time frames. In many cases, it can be as short as a few days and can be a stressful time for all concerned.

It’s important you talk to other members of the family when the time comes for you to consider the options that are available for a loved one or family member who requires residential aged care. Rest assured there is support available to guide you through the process at each step.

If you are unsure about whether it’s time to consider care, we are always here to talk.

Types of care

There are many different types of care designed to meet individual needs. At Radius Care we cover the full range of accommodation and care options, from respite, to rest home and hospital level care to dementia, and palliative care. These broad offerings allow for ‘ageing in place’, so if any of our residents’ needs change they are able to stay with us.

Respite Care

Short-term stays, or respite care services, are available to those who are unwell (eg, recovering from an illness or hospital stay) or who simply are in need of extra support. Whether it’s for a couple days or a few of weeks, it allows the usual carer to take a break and gives the patient a refreshing change of scene.

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Rest Home Care

Our rest homes cater to those who have some level of independence but may require assistance with personal care and general day-to-day activities, and a safe and supported living environment. At this level residents tend to be relatively active, engaged and able, and enjoy taking part in community life.

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Hospital Care

Hospital level care is provided for those residents who have significant physical care needs and medical concerns. Expert assistance is delivered by a team of professionally trained registered nurses and health care assistants, 24 hours a day, and covers all aspects of personal care from medication and pain management to ongoing emotional support.

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Dementia Care

For residents with dementia we offer specifically tailored services, specialist trained staff and secure environments to ensure maximum wellbeing and safety at all times. Maintaining the best possible quality of life, in a calming, comfortable and safe setting takes priority.

For more information about Dementia and appropriate care, click here.

Palliative Care

For those nearing the end of their lives, specialist medical services and clinical staff are available to meet ongoing comfort and care requirements. This includes everything from pain and symptom management through to emotional, cultural and spiritual support, as well as communication and involvement with family members.

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Young Disabled Care

Young Physically Disabled (YPD) care is available in certain locations, for those under 65 who require assistance with self-care, mobility and/or communication. We have a great team of skilled and experienced care staff, who work closely with residents to nurture and maintain optimum independence and control.

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Applying for care

We know just how overwhelming it can be when someone you love is in need of residential care. It can feel like a daunting process, but don’t worry – help is at hand.

Below, you’ll find our simple 4-step plan to help find the right Radius Care facility to help your loved one feel safe, secure and right at home. During the process of selecting care, the team at Radius Care takes the time to understand you and your loved one’s needs first. That way, we can achieve the best possible outcomes for you. You will also be assigned a NASC needs assessor during the process who will help guide the way.

If you have any questions on the process, please contact us at any time.

4-Step Action Plan

Needs Assessment

To see if you or your loved one qualifies for residential aged care, a needs assessment will be completed to determine what level of care is required. You may be referred by your GP or hospital if you have been advised that care is the next step, or you can find a Needs Assessment Services Coordinator directly with NASC, or via Te Whatu Ora. The assessment’s purpose is to determine whether you or your loved one is eligible for long-term care in a residential aged care facility. If you are not eligible, you can still choose care on a self-funded basis, but the needs assessment is required if you wish to receive financial support or subsidy from Te Whatu Ora.

You or your family member is eligible for long-term care, if:

  • You/they have high or very high needs;
  • Your/their condition is irreversible;
  • and you/they cannot be safely supported within the community.

To make an appointment with NASC you can either get a referral from your GP or hospital, phone your local Te Whatu Ora and ask to speak to a local NASC organisation, or choose your local NASC online by checking the list on the Ministry of Health website, or by going directly to NASC.

Once an appointment has been made with NASC, a needs assessor will visit you in your home to identify and discuss the specific health requirements of you or your loved one. This is a necessary step to complete the needs assessment and may include a specialist geriatric assessment. If you or your family member is already hospitalised, the hospital can arrange a needs assessment in the ward.

The needs assessor will work very closely with your family or whānau to discuss the options and support services available. Depending on the needs of the person close to you, they may require rest home care, dementia care, hospital level care or psycho-geriatric hospital level of care.

Once NASC finds your loved one to be eligible to enter a rest home care facility, you will be given a financial means application to apply for financial support through a Residential Care Subsidy application.

After completing the needs assessment, the NASC will help you devise a plan of action to facilitate the commencement of the services you are entitled to, and authorise entry into a rest home that provides you with the assessed level of care required.

You have the right to choose any residential care provider in New Zealand that has a contract with Te Whatu Ora to provide aged residential care. Radius Care, for example, provides residential rest home aged care, dementia, hospital, specialist and palliative care for older people and in some facilities, younger person disabled, in locations all across New Zealand.

Alternatively, you can find rest homes through in the Residential Care section.

Funding & Payment

Understanding the costs of aged care

After your NASC assessment, you can apply for a financial means assessment straight away.

All applications for a financial means assessment will be made to Work and Income. The purpose of a financial means assessment is to determine whether the applicant qualifies for public funding through a Residential Care Subsidy or a Residential Care Loan.

We advise you to apply for a financial means assessment on behalf of your loved one as soon as possible, even if you cannot supply Work and Income with all the necessary papers immediately.

You will be required to pay for residential care, until it has been confirmed by Work and Income that you qualify for a Residential Care Subsidy/Loan. If your loved one has entered residential care on his or her own accord, without going through NASC first, then they are personally liable to pay for the full cost.

More information on Residential Care Subsidy and Residential Care Loan can be found here.

Most rooms have an accommodation supplement fee for which nightly costs can vary depending on the size and amenities available in the room. This additional fee is paid privately by the resident and is not Government funded. Many Radius Care homes provide standard room options with no additional fee, however it is subject to availability – ask your chosen care home’s team for information.

Choosing a Care Home

Choosing the right place for care isn’t always easy but planning ahead of time what your priorities are will help you to assess a location’s ability to provide safe and appropriate care for your loved one’s needs. You can begin this process while you are applying for funding, or before. Here are some tips on what to consider when making your decision.

The Ministry of Health conducts regular audits to ensure all rest homes meet the standards of the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001. You can review these audits here.

If possible, it is best to make this decision in consultation with your loved one. We understand that moving into a rest home can be a stressful experience especially for those with dementia.

You may wish to consider a gradual transition into long-term care, by means of a short stay such as respite care. A gradual transition where possible allows your loved one to get to know his or her new surroundings, the staff and other residents.

We also understand that choosing a facility can be a matter of urgency; and that the older person may be in hospital and be unable to visit the rest home themself.

When making a decision on behalf of a family member, be sure to make an appointment to speak to a Radius Facility Manager, who is there to help answer all your questions. We understand that you will have lots of questions and concerns. Moving into a rest home is a big undertaking for some older people, and we appreciate that this is a challenging time.

Before you visit, it’s best to write down any questions or concerns you may have. You may have questions relating to:

  • Management of the facility
  • Extra costs (additional costs not subsidised by the daily Te
  • Whatu Ora contract rate)
  • Meals and other service-related care
  • Rooms, grounds and buildings,
  • Staffing – clinical care, medical oversight
  • Policies and operating procedures
  • Activities
  • Complaints procedures

A complete checklist to help you evaluate and narrow down your choices can be found here. Often it comes down to whether you get a good feeling, and whether a home feels like a good fit personally. Here are a few things to consider, all of which we take very seriously at Radius Care:

What to look for when choosing a rest home

  1. Care: do the members of the care team listen to your needs respectfully with kindness and compassion?
  2. Living Environment: will the facility provide you with a home to live in and enjoy, but also with engaging activities, great food and social involvement?
  3. Maximising your independence: will the care team ensure that you are supported to be as independent as possible
  4. Community: does the facility feel like a community and have the support of the wider local community?

Admission to a Care Home

Before moving into a Radius care home an admission agreement or contract needs to be signed.

The purpose of the admission agreement is to protect the resident and the rest home by setting out the responsibilities and expectations of both parties.

The admission agreement is a legal document that specifies such things as extra services you have agreed to receive and pay for, costs and extra charges, liability for damage or loss of belongings of the resident, resident safety, transport, procedures, and complaint processes. Should you wish to discuss or negotiate any aspects of the admissions agreement with your rest home, you may choose to have a nominated power of attorney or lawyer support you.

You also have the right to refuse any extra services offered to you, and if you do it is important to make sure that this is noted in your contract. We advise you to read very carefully through the admission agreement before you sign it, and to request a copy for a relative, friend or lawyer to read.

Once the admission agreement has been signed, your loved one is able to move into the rest home of your choice.

You can now rest assured that they’re in safe hands and well looked after.

More than care

Choosing a care home is about more than the service provided, it’s about finding a place that feels like a home and knowing it’s right for the individual. If you can, have a visit so you can meet the team and get a feel for the place. Here are some tips to think about when you are choosing a care home.

Finding a rest home that suits you or your loved one
Guiding your loved one into care
Your family is welcome

Take the first step into a caring community

Shop living aides

When Aged Care isn’t required, the Radius Shop offers a range of high quality products to help you maintain independent life with freedom, confidence and comfort.


What determines whether I can move into a rest home?

People move into rest homes for different reasons. Some may feel like it’s the best decision for their family, both financially and logistically. Others realise that they can’t take care of themselves any more, and a rest home is the best places to be looked after, while some move to be around other people.

Do I have to move?

Unfortunately, sometimes the decision involving rest homes or care has to be made by others for the sake of an elderly loved one. It’s a major decision and not one to be taken lightly. At the end of the day, an improved quality of life is usually the ultimate goal. If you benefit from moving into a rest home, whether from daily care, companionship, or removing the stresses of looking after your home, then it’s almost certainly the correct decision.

What can I do to find a rest home that suits me?

You can get a list of rest homes in your area from the District Health Board, your local Age Concern, or the Needs Assessment and Service Coordination agency. Or search our locations for a Radius Care Home near you. Here at Radius Care, we put our residents first and foremost. We have a reputation for outstanding patient care, hospitality and professionalism.

What government funding is available to help with the costs?

Once you have been assessed as ‘needing care’ the person who carried out your needs assessment will explain how to apply for the Residential Care Subsidy. Government helps to fund the cost of care through this subsidy. It is means tested and depends on the level of your assets and income.

If your assets are equal to or below the asset threshold, you will qualify for the subsidy to pay for most of the cost of your care. The income test then determines what you will have to contribute to the cost of your care from any income you receive. To get full details about the Residential Care Subsidy and find out if you might qualify, contact Work and Income Residential Subsidy Unit. They can also be contacted on their helpline: 0800 999 727. If you don’t qualify for the subsidy, you will have to pay your own way. However you can ask for a review of your means test at any time if you think you might have become eligible for the subsidy.

How is the quality of rest homes monitored?

Rest homes must meet the Health and Disability Services Standards NZS 8134:2008, and be certified to operate by the Ministry of Health. They must also meet the requirements set in their contract with the District Health Board. The Ministry of Health arranges both regular and ‘spot’ audits of all rest homes to ensure they are continuing to meet both the Standards, and the District Health Board contract requirements. The District Health Board and the Ministry of Health will carry out additional inspections if needed. Summaries of audits for all residential homes are available for the public to read on the Ministry of Health’s web site page. Radius Care have an outstanding record with our audits.

Some of your rooms are larger than the standard rooms and come with amenities like an ensuite, access to a courtyard and/or great views. How much extra will this cost and who pays?

This is called an accommodation supplement fee and starts at $10 per night depending on the size and amenities available in a room. This additional fee is paid privately by the resident and is not Government funded. All of the aged care homes in the Radius Care Group offer a standard room option at no additional fee – dependent on availability at time of enquiry. Each care home sets its own fees so please talk to the care home manager for more details and to discuss your specific situation.