I think my parent nees care, what do I do?

The Aged Care Process

Glossary of Common Terms

Admission Agreement

An Admission Agreement is an agreement between the resident and the rest home or hospital. It states the rights and responsibilities of the resident and the facility.


An advocate is a person who can help you if you have a complaint.

You can get an advocate from the Health and Disability Commissioner or Age Concern.

Age Related Residential Care Contract (ARRC)

The Age-Related Residential care contract is an agreement between rest homes and the government.  The ARRC has information on the requirements set by the government for staffing, accommodation, services and equipment.


An assessor is a person who evaluates how much help someone needs in their daily life. The assessor interviews the person, and uses the information to decide what kind of assistance is best.

Assessment, Treatment & Rehabilitation (AT&R)

The AT&R service assesses a person’s needs, creates a plan for rehabilitation, and provides clinical treatments. The service is based in public hospitals. It is provided by a ‘multidisciplinary’ team made up of doctors, nurses, social workers, speech language therapists, occupational and physiotherapists.  


An attorney is a person who receives Power of Attorney.  


Audits are inspections by the Ministry of Health of rest homes to check if they meet government standards for quality and safety.

Care Plan

The care plan outlines the services recommended for support. The assessor uses the information from the assessment to create the plan. 


Carers provide personal care, support, and assistance to someone who is aged, or has a medical condition or disability.

Carer Support Subsidy

A carer support subsidy helps cover the cost of replacement care while the carer takes a break.


The Ministry of Health certifies rest homes that meet health and safety standards. Certified homes are eligible to have contracts with the District Health Board and receive government funding.

Code of Resident’s Rights

The Code of Resident’s Rights outlines the rights and responsibilities of the resident.

It has information on:

Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights

The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights outlines the rights of users of health care.

Contracted Care Services

Contracted care services are services that all rest homes with a DHB contract must provide subsidised residents.

Day Care

Day care is personal care during the day for the elderly by trained care workers. An activities programme of exercise and hobbies is generally included. Rest homes, retirement villages and stand-alone day care facilities offer day care programmes.


Dementia is the loss of mental ability, caused by the loss of or damage to neurons in the brain.

District Health Board (DHB)

District Health Boards are responsible for providing healthcare to the people in their region. 

Diversional Therapy

Diversional Therapy is the use of recreation and play to supplement conventional therapy.


A donor is a person who gives Power of Attorney to a designated person.

Enduring Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document which gives a designated person the authority to make decisions on someone’s behalf.

Financial Means Assessment

A Financial Means Assessment is an assessment which determines whether or not a person is eligible for the Residential Care Subsidy. The person’s income and assets are assessed to determine whether they are under a threshold.

General Practitioner - GP

A General Practitioner is a medical doctor who provides primary health care. A General Practitioner is often referred to as the family doctor.

Health and Disability Commissioner

The Health and Disability Commissioner promotes and protects the rights of consumers of health and disability services.

An advocate from the Health and Disability Commissioner can help your parent resolve complaints.

Home Care

Home care is a range of services for people who need help to live at home. Services include personal care, domestic assistance, and nursing care.

Home Modifications

Home modifications are changes to the home to make it safer and more secure. A range of home modifications are available, such as installing stair rails and a door-entry intercom.


Hospice care is end of life care that focuses on relieving and preventing the suffering of patients.


A computer based assessment programme used to determine what level of care a person needs.

Maximum Contribution

The Maximum Contribution is the regional price limit placed by the government on the cost of care.

Ministry of Health (MOH)

The Ministry of Health is the government agency responsible for improving and protecting the health of New Zealanders.

The Ministry of Health has the following functions:

Ministry of Social Development (MSD)

The Ministry of Social Development is a government agency that provides social services and social policy advice to the government.

Needs Assessment and Service Co-Ordination (NASC)

A Needs Assessment is the process of an assessor evaluating how much help a person needs in their daily life.

The assessor interviews the person, and asks questions about:

The assessor uses this information to create a plan for the person’s ongoing support.

Service co-ordination is when the assessor organises a package of services for the person being assessed. The person may be given home care services, or may be allowed to enter a rest home or hospital.

Needs Assessor

A Needs Assessor evaluates how much help a person needs in their daily life.

The assessor interviews the person, and asks questions about:

The assessor uses the information from the interview to recommend what kind of assistance is best. The assessors may recommend home help, or they may suggest entry to a rest home or hospital.

Occupational Therapist (OT)

Occupational Therapy is the use of treatments to help patients develop, recover, or maintain skills. Occupational Therapists do this in many ways, including teaching the skill, modifying the task, or adapting the environment.

Palliative care

Palliative care is provided for people who have an advanced illness, with little or no prospect of cure. The aim of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for the person.

Premium Services

Premium services are services that can be purchased for an additional cost above the Maximum Contribution.

Psychogeriatric Care

Psychogeriatric care is hospital level care for people with a very high level of dementia. Residents may have challenging or noisy behaviours. Staff members are trained to manage this type of behaviour.

Residential Care

Residential care is long-term care provided in a rest home or hospital.

It includes these types of care:

It does not include independent living in a retirement village.

Residential Care Subsidy

A Residential Care Subsidy is a government subsidy that pays for the cost of care.

Residential Care Loan

A Residential Care Loan is an interest-free loan, secured by a caveat over the person’s home, used to pay for care.

Respite Care

Respite care is short-term care for a dependent person which allows caregivers to take a break. 

Service Co-ordinator

A service co-ordinator decides what care a person will receive. The service-co-ordinator uses the information from the needs assessment to create a plan for the person’s ongoing support. The plan outlines what services are recommended for the person’s care.

Service Provider

A service provider is an organisation that provides care to older people.

Service Package

The service package is the package of care set by the government provided to all needs assessed residents.

Top-up Subsidy

The government provides a subsidy – called the top-up subsidy – for care that is more expensive than standard rest home care. The subsidy covers the difference between the price of care and the maximum contribution. 

Work and Income (WINZ)

Work and Income provides financial assistance and employment services throughout New Zealand.