As Australians are living longer, many of us will be faced with the decision to look for an aged care residential home for ourselves or for a loved one.
Michelle Sloane, Chief Operating Officer at SummitCare, says that when the time comes, it’s very important to consider not only your clinical and care needs but how a home is run, the compassion of the staff, the activities they offer and the way they can make a resident ‘truly feel at home.’
“Fortunately, Australians have a lot of residential care options and our standards are world-class,” she says.
“It means we have a range of choices so we should try to be as specific about what we need as possible.
“The key thing is to find a place where residents have a strong sense of community and wellbeing, their individuality and personal tastes are catered for, and any special needs are met.”
SummitCare operates 10 nursing homes with more than 900 residents across Sydney and in Wallsend, Newcastle. Since opening the doors of its first facility in 1966, the group has built a reputation for person-centred care and the high-quality features of its homes.
Each SummitCare home provides a selection of generous-sized single, companion, and shared rooms with en-suites. Residences are centred around combined dining and living areas, providing lovely spaces for residents to interact, and outdoor garden areas where they can sit and read a book or enjoy an al fresco catch-up with family and friends.
Nutritious and tasty food is designed by a qualified dietitian, is prepared freshly onsite and is culturally respectful, on-site hairdressing services and an in-house laundry are available at all homes. Leisure and lifestyle activities are available every day of the week, including religious and cultural services, and professional entertainers provide music, dance and art therapy.
“Many of our residents function extremely well,” she says. “But if they need some extra help, our experienced, caring staff are well equipped to provide excellent clinical support and programs to help them feel connected and healthy in tranquil, comfortable surrounds.”
“As examples, we offer a 24 hour a day onsite Registered Nurse, expert palliative and dementia care, professional pain management, massages and services from full-time physiotherapists as well as a daily exercise program that all residents are most welcome to enjoy. Clinical treatments are available from medical specialists and allied health professionals such as occupational therapists, podiatrists, audiologists and speech pathologists.”
As we approach World Continence Week, it’s worth noting that one of the leading reasons Australian seniors take up residential aged care in the first place is incontinence. Many of us look for a home where professional continence care is practiced through standardised and accredited policies and procedures.
“Incontinence is a significant health issue affecting the aged. It can have physical, social, and quality of life implications for the individuals, their carers and the community,” says Michelle.
“Our policy is very clear. SummitCare aims to provide a continence management program for all residents who need it. Our staff undertake a continence assessment to determine if the resident requires a toileting program and or a continence aid. We also engage a specialist supplier to provide continence aides, education to staff, residents and relatives and support to link nurses located at each service.”
SummitCare understands that the decision to move into residential aged care can be a major change to many seniors’ lives. It is vital to get the right care and the right fit.
“The thing to look for,” Michelle says, “is a place where residents are clinically looked after to the highest standards, they are recognised as an individual and their personal wishes are respected.”
For more information or to book a tour of a SummitCare home, view our aged care locations and contact information.