Resident agreements for residential aged care

You must enter into a resident agreement with a person before you can start providing services to them. You must include certain details, provide a copy to the person, and make sure they understand and agree to it. Review the agreement as needed, and update it if you both agree to the changes.

What is a resident agreement?

A resident agreement is a legal agreement between a resident and the residential aged care provider.

It sets out the care and services you will provide to a resident, and how much it will cost them.

As well as a resident agreement, a resident may also have an:

What to include

The resident agreement must be written in plain language and easy to understand.

It should state that a resident has a right to occupy a place at the aged care home. Their right to a place begins on the day the agreement takes effect and continues until:

  • the period set out in the agreement
  • the end of the resident’s life

The agreement should also include the following information.

Details of people and services

The agreement needs to have:

  • resident details
  • your provider details
  • the date you will start providing services
  • the levels of care and services you will provide

Fees, charges and payments information

You should include in your agreement:

  • which fees the resident may be asked to pay
  • any extra services and their costs
  • any additional service fees the resident has agreed to pay
  • a copy of your policies and practices used to set fees, charges and payments
  • how much interest the resident will pay on late payments, or a method for working out interest
  • what happens if a resident doesn’t pay fees, charges and payments

Other details

Other details that must be included in the agreement are:

  • why you may ask the resident to leave and how you will help the resident find alternative accommodation if you ask them to leave
  • the resident’s rights and responsibilities
  • your rights and responsibilities
  • how you deal with complaints
  • any other matters agreed between you and the resident, within the requirements of the Aged Care Act 1997.

How to prepare a resident agreement

You must work with the resident to prepare the resident agreement.

They must understand and agree to the fees and conditions before any services begin. You’re responsible for making sure they understand what is in the agreement.

You can use the National Translating and Interpreting Service to help you.

A resident can choose to agree without signing the agreement. If they choose not to sign, you must record your interactions and that they agreed as part of your record keeping responsibilities.

When to provide a resident agreement

You should provide a resident agreement to a resident before or not long after they move in.

The resident has 14 days from agreeing to withdraw.

The 14-day withdrawal period

If a resident tells you in writing that they want to withdraw from the agreement within 14 days, the agreement has no effect. This should be stated in the agreement.

The resident is liable for any fees or charges payable while you provided them with care and services under the agreement. You must refund the resident for any other amount they paid under the agreement.

Reviewing and updating resident agreements

You must review and update the resident agreement if:

  • their care needs change
  • they ask you to

This should be part of your ongoing care discussions with the person.

You must provide a copy of the updated agreement to the resident as soon as possible after finalising it.

Full requirements

For legislated requirements on completing resident agreements see:

Last updated: 
22 January 2020
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