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Rest Homes & Hospitals Choosing a facility / Levels of care

Selecting a rest home or hospital is a very individual choice best decided by you and your family / whanau.
Many care providers now have their own websites, so you can view before visiting.
Eldernet lists all rests homes nationally. It has vacancy information for most regions and a search function that allows you to look for particular features. 
The 'Find a Rest Home' website lists information on rest homes that are members of the NZ Aged Care Association
Rest home audit information is listed on the Ministry of Health site.
Day care or short stays can provide a gradual transition to long-term care. This way you are not moving to a totally new environment and there is time to get to know staff and residents. 
Often the need for residential care is urgent. If there is no vacancy at your first choice, you might have to consider another facility. This sometimes happens when you are in a public hospital and there is pressure for discharge. If you plan to transfer, it is best to make this clear from the beginning. Try to negotiate a shorter period of notice to avoid paying for both facilities during the transfer process.
If you move into a facility and then decide it is not the right place, you can move again. Re-contact Needs Assessment and Service Co-ordination to begin the transfer process.
Viewing the facility
Making an appointment to view a facility ensures the manager is free to talk with you, or you may prefer to arrive unannounced. It is best to avoid first thing in the mornings and mealtimes, as these are the busiest times for staff.
Levels of Care
Rest Homes
Rest homes allow some independence and privacy in home-like surroundings. Access in and around the facility is geared toward people who have difficulty with mobility e.g. may need to use a walking frame. The majority of rest home residents are women over the age of 85 years and a significant number have memory loss. Rest homes employ a registered nurse some hours each week, there is at least one care staff on-duty at all times with another on-call. More staff members are on duty according to the number of residents.
Dementia Rest Home
A person with dementia does not necessarily require care in a dementia rest home. The assessor consults with others, e.g. a psycho-geriatrician, and recommends the most appropriate type of care facility. Residents of dementia rest homes are mobile and show confusion that requires specialist care in a secure environment.
Dementia rest homes are small - usually no more than 20 beds. They provide higher levels of staff trained in dementia care and have enclosed garden areas with access to the street restricted. Dementia rest homes employ a registered nurse some hours per week and have one staff member on duty at all times, with another readily available on-site.
Private Hospitals
These hospitals care for older people who need nursing due to illness and disability. Although they are called hospitals, long-stay hospitals are very different from public hospitals. They do not have doctors on duty 24 hours, or specialised rehabilitation. Hospital residents tend to be immobile and many of them are confused.
Private hospitals have two staff on duty at all times, one registered nurse and one caregiver, more staff according to numbers of residents.
Specialist Hospitals
Specialist hospitals are sometimes called ‘psychogeriatric hospitals’. The residents have high dependency needs coupled with challenging or noisy behaviours. The behaviour may be due to dementia, or the combination of an age-related disability and a mental health condition. Staff members are trained to manage this type of behaviour.
Specialist hospitals have two staff on duty at all times, one registered nurse and one caregiver, more staff according to number of residents. For larger facilities with several units on one site, registered nursing cover can be shared between units for the hours 10pm to 7am.


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