Moving residents between residential aged care rooms

A resident can choose to move rooms. There are also times when you can ask a resident to move rooms. You need to discuss this with the resident and update their agreement, and fees if required.

When can residents move rooms?

A resident can move rooms within the aged care home if:

  • the resident requests it
  • the resident is consulted and agrees to move rooms
  • an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) or at least two eligible health practitioners decide it’s necessary for medical reasons
  • the resident was receiving care under a specialist dementia care agreement, which a clinical advisory committee has determined they no longer need
  • the place the resident occupies becomes an extra service place and they don’t want to pay the fee
  • you need to repair or improve the room and the resident has the right to return to it.

The criteria for moving residents and who is an eligible health practitioner is in Division 2 of the User Rights Principles 2014. This information must be set out in the resident’s accommodation agreement.

Charging for the new room

You cannot ask the resident to pay a higher accommodation cost if:

Otherwise, you can ask the resident to pay a new negotiated room price up to the maximum price published for that room on the day they move.

Changing the accommodation agreement

You must vary the resident’s accommodation agreement with the new room service and fee arrangements.

If the resident pays more for the new room, they can choose to pay the extra amount as:

  • a lump sum, refundable accommodation deposit (RAD)
  • rental-style payments called a daily accommodation payment (DAP)
  • a combination of both.

To work out the DAP amount for a resident who voluntarily moves rooms, use the maximum permissible interest rate (MPIR) current on the day they agreed to a new room price.

If the resident has paid a RAD and the room cost is lower, you must refund any excess balance to the resident.

Read more about managing accommodation payments and contributions.

Temporary relocation to another service

A resident may need to be involuntarily moved from your service for a short period of time if you are unable to care for them. This could be because you need to repair or improve their room, or in the event of a natural disaster or other emergency.

The resident can be temporarily relocated to another approved residential aged care service without being discharged from your service.

However, your responsibilities for the resident do not transfer to the new provider. You continue to be responsible for the care of the resident under the Aged Care Act 1997.

What providers should do

Keep the resident admitted to your service during the temporary relocation. This makes the process less disruptive for the resident and makes it easier to manage fees and funding.

The temporary service provider should not admit the relocated resident through the aged care payment system. Instead, you should negotiate financial arrangements with the temporary provider to give them the funding needed to deliver care and services for the resident as required under the Act. This can be done with a brokerage arrangement or another type of financial reimbursement arrangement.

For more information talk to your Department of Health state or territory office.

Managing fees and funding during temporary relocations

As long as a resident is not discharged from your service:

  • you continue to receive subsidies and supplements on behalf of the resident (including any applicable hardship supplement)
  • the resident continues to pay their agreed residential care fees to you
  • you provide funding to the temporary provider as per your agreed arrangements so they can care for the resident
  • the temporary provider cannot charge fees directly to the resident
  • the resident does not need a new resident or accommodation agreement
  • you do not need to vary the resident or accommodation agreement
  • the resident does not require a new means assessment
  • you or the temporary provider cannot charge additional fees to the resident.

Security of tenure

The relocated resident has the right to return to their room once your service can care for them again. You cannot give the room to a new resident or charge the resident additional fees to reserve their room.

Assistance for providers

Your Department of Health state or territory office can assist you in the administrative process of relocating residents, including determining service vacancies.

Last updated: 
29 October 2021

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