Realizing that you need to go into residential care or have to put a loved one into care can be a very emotional time for the family. Often you can become very overwhelmed with all that is involved and you leave a prospective centre thinking of things you have forgotten to ask.

At SummitCare, we have retirement and aged care homes in Sydney and Newcastle. We provide low to high level residential aged care facilities for the individual needs of our residents. Here are some frequently asked questions we often get asked about our in-home aged care which may hopefully answer any questions you have:

General

1.  Is there a restriction on visiting hours?

Visiting hours are flexible at all of our SummitCare nursing homes in Sydney and Newcastle. Hours are made flexible to try and accommodate resident and family needs where possible. Visiting hours generally commence at 8:00am and extend to 8:00pm. However, hours may be extended depending on a residents' needs. If you’re visiting outside normal hours, you are requested to keep noise to a minimum.

2.  Am I able to leave the centre on occasions?

Yes, you are entitled to 52 nights leave per calendar year

3.  Can I have the doctor of my choice?

Yes, you can either ask your current doctor if they will continue to provide care once you have entered the centre, or you can choose from a list of GPs provided by the SummitCare centre. It’s your responsibility to arrange for ongoing medical care by a GP prior to entering the home. 

4.  What activities are available within the centre?

Each SummitCare centre employs Lifestyle & Leisure Officers who organise individual and group activities for all residents. Some examples of popular activities include bingo, art & craft, reminiscence and games. Our Lifestyle & Leisure Officers regularly come up with new activities for residents to try, and the activity calendar changing every month. 

5.  Does the centre provide day trips?

Not all SummitCare centres provide day trips. However, the activity programs provided for both internal and external activities are conducted on the premises.

6.  Are the meals cooked on the premises or brought in from outside?

All meals are freshly cooked in our centres. A seasonal menu is developed in consultation with a dietitian to ensure the highest standard of nutrition and taste.

7.  Will I have assistance with hygiene?

This depends on the assessed needs of a resident. Residents requiring assistance are supported by staff when they’re required.

8.  Do I need to arrange to have my laundry done?

SummitCare centres arrange laundry for all residents. Some SummitCare centres have internal laundries, while others outsource laundry. 

9.  Is physiotherapy available?

Upon entry for SummitCare, all residents are assessed by a qualified physiotherapist and an individual care plan is developed based on the assessed care needed. The physiotherapy plan is then managed by a physiotherapy aide and the care staff. The care plan is evaluated monthly and the residents are reviewed monthly or as required.

10. Am I able to have a telephone in my room?

Yes, telephones can be arranged with the administration assistant at the centre. Residents are billed directly from the telephone service provider and are responsible for ensuring the account is paid.

11. What personal items and furnishings am I able to bring in?

No furniture shall be brought into the centre without prior discussion with senior management. Personal items of a small nature such as photo frames, favourite ornaments and the like can be brought into the centre. 

12. If I am taken ill will I be sent to hospital?

When you become ill, your general practitioner is notified in the first instance. Should the medical officer not be available, depending on the severity of the illness you’ll be transferred to hospital following notification of the person responsible.

Where possible we do try to avoid hospital visits if the situation is able to be managed at the centre.

Payments

1.  What makes up the fees?

Fees are made up of:
  • basic daily fee: this is a flat rate, fixed by the department
  • an income tested fee: if the resident’s income is assessed as above the threshold
  • an accommodation charge: determined by the value of the resident’s assets (as determined by the assets declaration statement)
The basic daily fee and level of accommodation charge is prescribed by the Department of Health & Ageing as per the Aged Care Act. It is important that you send the Assets Declaration Statement to Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) as soon as you have been assessed for an aged care placement. Until we receive confirmation regarding your financial status, you will be charged the full accommodation charge.
 
  • Payment by Direct Debit: this means that the amount on your statement will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account or credit card around the 5th working day of the month. E.g. For an amount due on a statement dated 31.08.14, the direct debit will be processed by08.09.14.
  • Payment by Direct Deposit: this means that you can deposit the stated amount to our bank account at any Westpac Branch. For this process we will supply you with our BSB number, account number, name of bank account and a Direct Deposit
  • Direct Deposit Identification number (DDIN): It is important that you use the DDIN in the description or reference of your payment (depending on your bank), as this will help us identify that the deposit is in relation to your account.
  •  Group Schedule is available for pensioners or DVA Care Recipients who choose to have the pension paid into the Care Recipient Trust account. A trust statement will be issued each month with the trust balance.

2.  Why don't SummitCare centres accept cash?

We don’t offer cash or cheque payment options at our centres due to risks associated with this practice. It is important that we protect staff and care recipients at our centres, as we don’t have the authority to hold cash.

3.  How do I make an online payment (Direct Deposit)?

If you wish to pay via the internet you will need the same details as paying by direct deposit. We will supply you with our BSB number, account number, name of bank account and a DDIN. It’s important that you include the DDIN in the reference of your internet payment as this helps us identify that the deposit is in relation to your account.

4.  On admission do I need to pay in advance?

Yes, you are required to pay fees a month in advance. On admission, you are required to pay an amount equivalent to one month of the basic daily fee, current at the time of your offer of placement. This is done as part of the process to accept your offer of placement.

5.  How will I be invoiced?

Invoices are issued at the end of each month, which include fees and charges for the following month, as set by the Australian Government and Centrelink, dependent on your individual circumstances. Other charges may appear on your monthly account in addition to your daily care fee, accommodation charges and income tested fees. These charges may include (but are not limited to) any podiatry, hairdressing, pharmacy items, electrical tagging, cost of approved outings, and labelling of personal clothing.

Admissions

1. What is an ACAT 3020 Form? How do I get one?

An ACAT 3020 form is a requirement of entry into residential aged care under the Aged Care Act. It’s also required by other government funded care services such as community aged care packages or extended aged care at home packages. It details a person's requirements for assistance and care, and determines whether they need low care, high care or dementia specific care.

Forms can be obtained by contacting your local ACAT team and making an appointment for them to see you in your home. Alternatively, a social worker or doctor can organise it for you if you are in hospital. If the form is obtained prior to entering care, it is current for 12 months.

2. What is the Centrelink Asset Test?

The Centrelink Asset Test is a form which needs to be completed to determine your fee structure under the Aged Care Act. It comprises questions regarding all of your assets, and needs to be sent to Centrelink at the address on the back of the form once completed. Centrelink will send you a letter (within about 3 weeks) stating you are either assisted or non-assisted. A copy of this letter needs to be given to the residential care centre. If obtained before entering care, it is current for 12 months. If you are in a SummitCare centre and you move to another centre, a new form needs to be completed. Your social worker may have given you a copy of this form, or you can download a printable version.

3. What is the Centrelink Income Test?

The Centrelink Income Test is conducted by Centrelink to determine whether you need to pay an income tested fee or not. It can apply to pensioners and non-pensioners and measures your income outside of the pension e.g. from rental properties or shares. You don't need to complete any forms for this, as Centrelink conduct the test and then notify the Department of Health & Ageing, who will inform the centre of the fees required. If you wish to find out further information, you can contact Centrelink and ask to speak to a financial advisor. 

Centrelink : P 13 23 00 | Website : www.centrelink.com.au

 

Power of Attorney

1. What is a power of attorney?

In NSW, a power of attorney is a legal document that appoints one person (the attorney) to act on behalf of another (the principal or donor) in relation to their property and financial affairs. For example, the appointed attorney can buy and sell property and operate your bank accounts. It does not allow anyone to make medical or life decisions on your behalf. The attorney is someone you trust – someone who may be a family member or a close friend. You can make either an ordinary or enduring power of attorney. An ordinary power of attorney ceases to have effect if you lose the capability to make financial decisions, but an enduring power of attorney continues to have effect after you lose the ability to make financial decisions.

2. Who can make a power of attorney?

Anyone over the age of 18 who wants to and can understand the nature and effect of the document can be your power of attorney. Some adults with a disability may be able to do this. If their capability is in doubt, an appropriate professional should assess the person's understanding.

3. Why make an ordinary power of attorney?

You may want to make an ordinary power of attorney for a limited time if you: 

  • are going overseas or interstate
  • are going into hospital
  • are physically unable to look after your affairs
  • want something dealt with in another part of the country

An ordinary power of attorney has no effect if you lose the capability to manage your own affairs.

4.  Why make an enduring power of attorney?

Because it will continue to have effect even if you lose capability. For example, if you have a stroke or you’re injured in a car accident. Making an enduring power of attorney allows you to choose who you want to manage your financial affairs if you lose the capability to do this for yourself. It’s a cheap and easy alternative to other forms of financial management such as a Financial Management Order under the Protected Estates Act.

5. Who should I appoint as my attorney?

You will need to choose a person who is trustworthy and responsible enough to manage your finances. Unless there are special conditions, your power of attorney has the capacity to dispose of your assets. Before you appoint someone, you should be sure that they will do all the things you want. Your attorney is legally bound to carry out the written instructions in the power and any other instructions you may give while you are of sound mind.

The courts can intervene if your attorney acts dishonestly or improperly, but this can be expensive and may be hard to prove so be careful about choosing your attorney. You can appoint the Public Trustee or trustee company, but charges are applied, so you should contact these bodies if you wish to appoint them. Also, you can appoint more than one attorney but you should choose people who can appropriately coordinate. You will need to see a solicitor or chamber magistrate to decide whether you want your attorneys to act jointly (together) or severally (separately).

6. Do I lose my rights if I make an enduring power of attorney?

When you make an enduring power of attorney, you are giving someone else the right to make financial decisions for you. It is effective as soon as it is signed and certified but you may tell your attorney not to use the power until you say so or until you become incapable.

Note If you keep the power of attorney document in your possession, it cannot be used against your wishes. A power of attorney can be completely general. This is what most people choose to do but you can limit the power in any way you like, such as allowing the attorney to pay only certain kinds of bills or sell your house, or limiting the time the power will operate. You should see a solicitor if you want to put limits or conditions on your attorney. 

7. How can I make an enduring power of attorney?

You can use the form attached or use a form available from legal stationers (listed in Yellow Pages under "Legal Stationery") and many newsagents. A solicitor, barrister or clerk of the local court must explain it to you before you sign it. That person must sign a certificate on the form. Clause 2 of the form allows your attorney to do things that benefit him or her. This is necessary if, for example, your attorney is financially dependent on you. If you don’t want your attorney to benefit, you should delete clause 2.

8. Do I need to register my power of attorney?

Powers of attorney can be registered at Land & Property Information NSW, Queens Square, Sydney, but in some cases this is not necessary. The advantages of registering your power of attorney are that it will be: 

  • on record as a public document
  • safe from loss or destruction
  • more easily accepted as evidence that your attorney can deal with your property and financial affairs

Your power of attorney must be registered if you want your attorney to sell, mortgage or in some cases, lease your land or to deal with shares. To register a power of attorney you should take the completed form to Land & Property Information NSW. It’s important to keep in mind that a fee does apply as part of the process.

Their office will keep an official copy of your power of attorney, and the original will be returned to you with a registration number stamped on it. Your attorney should use this number when signing on your behalf.

9. How long will my power of attorney last?

Until you notify your attorney that the power has ceased or your attorney notifies you that they will no longer act under the power. It also ceases if either of you becomes bankrupt or die. It’s advisable to review your power of attorney every three to five years as circumstances can change.

10. Can I change my mind?

You can cancel your power of attorney at any time if you are of sound mind. Make sure your attorney knows that you are cancelling it and that you destroy the document. You can tell your attorney in person, over the phone or in writing. It is best to do it in writing so that your intention is clear to everyone, especially if you have registered it with Land and Property Information NSW.

11. Where can I get legal assistance?

Community Legal Centres - Some community legal centres will assist you for free or at low cost.  Private Solicitors - Many private solicitors will prepare a power of attorney for less than $100. The Public Trustee - The Public Trustee will prepare a power of attorney at no cost if they are appointed as the attorney. Chamber Magistrates - Chamber magistrates are at most local courts. The clerk of the local court can witness an enduring power of attorney. This service is free. 

Guardianship Tribunal

2a Rowntree Street, Balmain NSW 2041
Postal Address : Locked Bag 9, Balmain NSW 2041 
Phone (02) 9555 8500
Toll free 1800 463 928
TTY (02) 9552 8534
Fax (02) 9555 9049
Website: www.gt.nsw.gov.au

The information in this document is provided to help you plan ahead in relation to your property and financial affairs. It is not legal advice. If you decide to make a power of attorney, seek legal assistance.

 

If you or someone close to you is looking for an appropriate aged care home in Sydney or Newcastle, we’ll ensure a patient’s wellbeing is paramount. If you have further questions about our residential aged care facilities, call us today on 1300 685 548. Our friendly team can provide you with additional information about SummitCare’s retirement homes and in-home aged care services in New South Wales.