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What is a needs assessment?

Watch to learn more about the importance of a Needs Assessment and how to arrange for one to be completed.

At a glance

A needs assessment helps to determine whether someone needs ongoing residential care, and if so, at what level.

Each needs assessment is completed by a DHB-approved assessor and addresses a person’s:

  • Health needs
  • Support needs
  • Care level needs (e.g. rest home, long-term hospital, specialist dementia)

Are needs assessments compulsory for rest home care?

Needs assessments are a required step in the following situations:

  • Applying for the Residential Care Subsidy
  • Applying to live in a rest home that provides DHB-contracted care services
  • Needing to increase the level of care, for example moving from rest home care to hospital care
  • Reapplying for the Residential Care Subsidy due to a change in financial situation

If none of these situations apply, getting a needs assessment is optional but strongly recommended.

Who performs a rest home needs assessment and what does it involve?

Needs assessments are performed by a DHB-approved assessor. These professionals are qualified to thoroughly and accurately assess a person’s care needs and recommend the services that will benefit them.

First, an assessor will call for a telephone conversation with the person being assessed and their family member, friend, or caregiver. If they deem it necessary after this initial phone assessment, an assessor will then visit the person at home for around two hours to get a full picture of what’s needed to ensure a comfortable living situation. A family member, friend, or caregiver may be present.

A residential care needs assessment

Benefits of a rest home needs assessment

A needs assessment helps to ensure everyone receives the support and care they need throughout their senior years. The process provides valuable insight that can be difficult to arrive at independently.

For example, a needs assessment will:

  • Provide clarity around types of services e.g. in-home care or residential care facilities
  • Offer information about facilities in your area
  • Identify the ‘next best steps’

Arranging a needs assessment for rest home care

To apply for a needs assessment, you can request one via the local Needs Assessment Service Coordination. You can find your local NASC here and get in touch, or ask for information from a medical provider. A medical provider may also directly refer you for a needs assessment if they think it’s necessary.

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