Rest homes

A rest home (or residential care) might be an option for you if you have significant difficulties coping with the activities of daily living or need continual nursing care.

Entering a rest home

Who is eligible to enter a rest home?

Not everyone is eligible to enter into a rest home.

Eligibility is determined by a Needs Assessment. If you haven’t been assessed you can contact your doctor or the Assessment service at your District Health Board for more information.

Eldernet has a great guide on the process of entering a rest home or hospital.

Residential Care Subsidies

If you’re assessed as needing long-term care, you may be eligible for a residential care subsidy. The needs assessor can provide an application form. Both assets and income are taken into account.

Eligibility for this subsidy is assessed by Work and Income.

Finding a rest home

You can find rest homes in your area on the Ministry of Health website.

Non-English speaking rest-homes

If English is not your language, there are a number of homes that provide services in non-English languages.

You may want to think about this if you suffer from dementia and are from a non-English speaking background. Rest homes that use a non-English language can provide a safe and comforting environment

See what rest homes non-English rest homes there are in your area below

Rest home checklist

No rest home is the same. What may suit someone else may not suit you. That’s why it’s important to know your needs and preferences when you investigate a rest home.

ElderNet has designed a checklist to help you narrow down your choices.

Rest home certification and audits

All rest homes and aged residential care facilities are certified to ensure they:

  • provide safe, appropriate care for their residents and
  • meet the standards set out in the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act

If you or someone you know is planning to go into a rest home, it’s a good idea to visit the Ministry of Health website to view their rest home audit reports. This will give you an idea of the quality of the care they provide.

Making a complaint

If you're having any problems, check your Admission Agreement (the rest home contract)

The Admission Agreement will tell you:

  • about the complaints procedure
  • the services you should receive
  • how much you should be paying

You can follow the complaints procedure outlined in the contract and talk to the rest home manager about your concerns.

You may want a family member, friend or advocate present with you to provide support when meeting with the manager. You can also request an advocate from the health and safety commission.

There are other options available if your complaint has not been dealt with within 20 working days

Three agencies in New Zealand have the power to investigate complaints about rest homes.

  • District Health Boards – Go to the Ministry of Health website to find a local Health Board near you
  • Ministry of Health- The Health and Disability Services (safety) Act fives the Ministry power to enter and inspect any rest home to assess whether health care services are provided in a safe and satisfactory manner.
  • Health and disability commissioner – You can request an advocate from the Health and Safety Commission to listen to your complaint, inform you of your rights and options.

If you have serious concerns about the quality of your care, contact the Health and Safety Commissioner.