Aged Care How Does it Work_

How does aged care work in Australia

In Australia, there is a growing demand for aged care services. But, how does the process actually work?

Residential aged care includes accommodation as well as personal and medical care 24/7. In general, the aged care industry utilises different staff and health professionals who come together in order to provide the best care for an elderly individual who may also have additional high care needs such as dementia.

While we know most people would prefer to stay in their own home as long as they can, Scalabrini is available for support when this is no longer possible.

There are a few steps that need to be covered before we’re able to accept your loved one as one of our aged care residents:

• Assessment:

Individuals can apply through MyAgedCare for the Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) to approve someone based on the level of care and support they require. This is called the AN-ACC (Aged Care Funding Instrument) assessment where permanent aged care residents receive funding based on the determined level of care needed.

• Choosing a Provider:

It’s important after an assessment to research different aged care providers and their offerings to see if they suit your needs. If you have any questions about Scalabrini as a provider, please contact us at 1800 722 522 or enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

• Care Plan:

In conjunction with aged care and medical staff, the resident and their loved ones, a care plan is formed which outlines the medical needs and timings for an individual resident to ensure they get the support they need.

• Funding:

The price for residential aged care varies. There is a basic daily fee which is the same for all residents and is means tested by the Government. At Scalabrini, you can choose if you’d like to submit to a Combined Assets and Income Assessment. This assessment will help the Government determine what funding you maybe be eligible to receive based on your unique circumstances. This comprises a list of your assets and income which is assessed by the Department of Human Services. Depending upon your personal situation you may be classified as a ‘Fully Supported Resident’ or a ‘Partially Supported Resident’ and receive some financial assistance from the Government. It can take up to 6 weeks to receive the results of the assessment so you’re encouraged to complete this in advance before applying for care.

However, if you do not submit to the Combined Assets and Income Assessment, you’ll be charged the maximum price for the means tested care fee and accomodation price once your AN-ACC (Aged Care Funding Instrument) assessment has been received by the Department of Social Services. Then, there can also be additional costs for extra services that an aged care facility may provide such as in-house physiotherapy or podiatry.

For more information of the costs for residents at Scalabrini, please contact our staff who can answer your questions.

• Application:

The next step is to apply and move into the aged care facility of your choice.

If you have any questions or need some guidance through this journey, please contact our helpful staff today at 1800 722 522 or enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

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How Scalabrini is Addressing Affordable Housing for Seniors

At Scalabrini, we provide more than just aged care services. We have retirement communities on the same campus locations as some of our aged care facilities where those aged 70 and older can purchase Independent Living Units (ILUs).

We sell these ILUs at different price points across Drummoyne, Allambie Heights, Austral and most recently we’ve started the process of reviewing and accepting applications for those wanting to live at the Cabrini Apartments in Bexley.

The ILUs at Bexley are named Cabrini after St Frances Xavier Cabrini as a nod to Scalabrini’s Catholic Italian background as a non-for-profit organisation. She was a contemporary of Saint John Baptist Scalabrini and the founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart. Saint Cabrini founded her order to provide support to migrants as worked closely with our founder Saint Scalabrini and we found it was fitting given her missionary focus on migrants and the links to the Scalabrini Order to name the apartments after her.

In line with our Scalabrini Mission, these Cabrini Apartments are designed to be good quality and low cost. We have focused on creating an accessible and comfortable living space that promotes feelings of pride and belonging while maintaining a sense of independence. These ILUs at Bexley aim to bridge the gap of housing needs for elderly seniors who come from migrant and lower income backgrounds.

All residents in the Cabrini Apartments are not just a retirement community on their own, but are also connected to our Scalabrini Bexley aged care village. As they’re on the same site, those within the ILUs can access the large range of aged care village’s support services, including pastoral care.

Why is there an application process?

As part of our heart and mission to care for the elderly in our community, the Cabrini apartments are intentionally priced as affordable housing for low-income, migrant seniors. An application process ensures that the people renting this space are actually the community in need that we’re wanting to help. Seniors, especially those form lower income backgrounds, have a higher risk of becoming homeless. Therefore, at Scalabrini we want to address the housing needs of this under serviced group of individuals.

Prospective residents in need of affordable housing and supportive services are encouraged to explore the opportunities offered by Cabrini Apartments. For inquiries regarding the application process, availability or to schedule a visit, please contact Scalabrini on 1800 722 522 or enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

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Independent Living Units (ILUs) and their benefits

What are Independent Living Units (ILUs) and their benefits?

Independent living units (ILUs) are a type of housing for seniors looking to downsize in order to reduce their maintenance responsibilities at home. It’s important that was we get older we’re able to age in place. Having accessible living ensures that once you move into an ILU, you shouldn’t need to move again unless there are other unforeseen circumstances where more care is needed as you age.

There are 3 main benefits to moving into an ILU:

Moving into a new community tailored to your needs and built around convenience

• ILUs help you maintain independence while removing certain stresses or concerns around housing and aging. General unit maintenance like gardens and gutters are no longer a concern as this is all completed for you by our onsite maintenance team. With units that are one level with walk-in showers, ILUs like those offered at Scalabrini should have a focus on accessibility.

Enhancing your quality of life by promoting an active and fulfilling lifestyle with other seniors

• The retirement community often holds their own social events where you can spend time with neighbours and meet new people. With something new always happening, there are no fears of social isolation or loneliness.

Safety, security, and peace of mind as you’re connected to staff from our aged care facilities

• The ILUs are on the same grounds as our aged care facilities. Therefore, while you’re living in a retirement community, you can still gain access to the services of our aged care facilities and reap the benefits of having access to our staff.

Our ILUs are clean and newly refurbished, meaning they’re ready to buy and move into today. However, you can also choose your own furnishings to suit your personal preferences and needs. Outside of the units there are community common areas for you to spend time in and get to know your neighbours as well as participate in group activities. Extra services are additionally available at an added cost which includes things like physiotherapy or hairdressing.

We have units available at different price points at Austral, Allambie Heights, Bexley and The Village by Scalabrini. To enquire today about joining the Scalabrini retirement community, call us at 1800 722 522 or email at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

Aged Care Star Rating

Australia’s Aged Care Industry Star Rating System Explained

With so many different aged care providers saying that they provide the best service, how to you know where to place your loved one to ensure quality care?

The Star Rating system from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care was introduced and rolled out to all aged care providers in late 2022 with the goal of helping older Australians and their families to compare the quality and safety performance of different services.

Star Ratings will support older Australians and their representatives to easily compare services and make informed choices based on an overall Star Rating and four sub-categories:

  1. Compliance– based on non-compliance decisions made by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission reported daily.
  2. Residents’ Experience– at least 10% of older Australians living in residential aged care homes are interviewed face-to-face about their overall experience at their residential aged care home by a third-party vendor annually.
  3. Staffing minutes– derived from reporting under the Quarterly Financial Report and Annual Financial report, case-mix adjusted through the Australian National Aged Care Classification and reported quarterly.
  4. Quality Measures– data on five existing quality indicators (pressure injuries, physical restraint, unplanned weight loss, falls and major injury, and medication management) reported quarterly.

The introduction of Star Ratings is a key milestone in the aged care reforms and will deliver a range of benefits, including:

  • •. Transparency about the quality of care in all aged care homes
  • •. An easy way to compare the quality of aged care homes using the free ‘Find a provider’ tool on the My Aged Care website
  • •. Nationally consistent quality measures to monitor, compare and improve aged care
  • •. Providers will be engaged to continuously improve their Star Ratings, improving the quality of care for older Australians.

Feel free to read more about the Star Rating system from the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care here: https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/star-ratings-for-residential-aged-care

You can also see the Star Ratings for aged care providers including all the Scalabrini village locations with the ‘Find a provider’ tool here: https://www.myagedcare.gov.au/find-a-provider-choice

If you have any further questions about Scalabrini’s star rating and how we operate at our villages, feel free to contact us by phone at 1800 722 522 or email us at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

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Palliative Care: Our Scalabrini Approach

Palliative care is a type of family-focused assisted living with medical help for individuals with serious life limiting illnesses, including end-of-life care. The goal of palliative care is to ensure dignity is upheld and to provide individualist care to meet the specific needs of a person in order to best help them live comfortably.

Scalabrini’s approach to palliative care is highly tailored to each individual, with our Advance Care Planning ensuring that families, medical professionals and our team are all on the same page regarding a person’s wants and needs for their future care. We also make sure that the preferences expressed by the individual’s loved ones are also taken into consideration during this time.

We ensure our specialised team is providing the correct support needed and improving an individual’s quality of life. Palliative care at Scalabrini means that we are managing pain and symptoms with high quality levels of care, where registered nurses are on staff 24/7 to meet any needs presented.

However, we treat more than just physical symptoms. Our focus on holistic wellbeing means that while also looking after physical aspects, an increased quality of life is also managed in emotional, spiritual and social aspects.

This high level of care also extends to our treatment of an individual’s family and loved ones. Scalabrini always operate in a way that upholds a strong expression of sensitivity, compassion and understanding.

Our brilliant religious Sisters are available at each village location 24/7. They provide prayer, companionship, grief support and spiritual & emotional comfort to all our residents and their loved ones regardless of religion or faith.

We understand and respect that this season contains a lot of distress, conflict and hard decisions. Our team is always here to guide you through the process and provide all the information and support needed to make a fully informed choice. You can contact our team for more details by emailing us at enquires@scalabrini.com.au or calling us at 1800 722 522.

Considering Mental Health in Aged Care

Considering Mental Health in Aged Care: Scalabrini’s Approach

Each and every year, we’re able to have more conversations about mental health – but there is still more work to do.

Mental health, especially mental health in men, is slowly becoming a regular mainstream conversation. However, for some there is still sensitivity or unawareness around how negatively poor mental health can impact a person.

In Australia, approximately 3,000 people end their life each year, with suicide being the leading cause of death for Australians aged 15 to 49. Out of the 9 suicide deaths that occur on average every day, roughly 7 of those are males.

Knowing the national statistics, Scalabrini can not only ensure we provide the appropriate care and support for residents, staff and volunteers.

At Scalabrini, one of our main goals is to help our aged care residents improve their mental health in order to maintain a high quality of life no matter their life circumstances. Our care planning for residents will always consider their mental health and keep their wants in mind to ensure they are living life feeling fulfilled with all their needs being met.

All our villages have Wellbeing Coordinators whose work with our People, Learning and Culture team as well as the Village Managers to facilitate activities that improve the wellbeing of our residents which can include:

  • •.   Regular exercise
  • •.   Engaging in hobbies like cooking, reading and art
  • •.   Connecting and conversing with others

Events are also organised throughout the year which include but are not limited to:

  • •.   Men’s Mental Health Awareness week in June
  • •.   R U OK Day on September 14th
  • •.   Movember over the month of November

These events are the perfect opportunity and reminder for us to be checking in with our loved ones. Events and activities that focus on improving wellbeing and mental health awareness are consistently organised at each of our village locations and at our support office. We aim to consistently create opportunities for all of the Scalabrini community to have deeper conversations about mental health both at work and during our daily lives.

If you’d like to enquire about how Scalabrini accommodates for mental health needs as an aged care provider, call our helpful staff today at 1800 722 522 or email us at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

If you have concerns about a loved one or need mental health support personally, please contact the following organisations:

  • •.   Lifeline: 13 11 14
  • •.   Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636
  • •.   Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467
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Dignity of Identity and Person-Centred Care

As a non-for-profit aged care provider, Scalabrini’s main focus is to provide quality person-centred care rather than valuing other things like cutting costs and making large profits. Scalabrini’s care approach is to put our full attention on the individual and customise the care they receive based on their personal wants, needs and values.

We see the goal of person-centred care to be facilitating and maintaining the concept of ‘dignity of identity’.

Dignity of identity, also known as personhood, has three parts:

  1. Individual autonomy and integrity
  2. Connectedness and relationship with others
  3. Defined personal view of self that has both a past and a future

A loss or reduction of dignity of identity is often seen in individuals who are aging or have received a difficult diagnosis regarding a disability or an illness (eg. dementia). This can leave the individual feeling frustrated due to a sensed lack of control based on real or perceived restrictions around their expressions of personhood.

At Scalabrini, we aim to help our aged care residents maintain their dignity of identity through person-centred care. This care is specialised and customisable, meaning it looks different for each unique person based on their needs.

Person-centred care includes:

  • Making time to communicate with, understand and build trust with residents and their families
  • Encouraging holistic health by meeting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs
  • Preserving and maintaining levels of independence where possible for residents
  • Creating transparency and mutual respect due to a partnership with residents and families, especially around decision making regarding care

If you’d like to learn in more detail about the concepts of dignity of identity/personhood and its relation to person-centred care, you can read these journal articles:

Want to learn more about Scalabrini’s approach to person-centred care and how we can accommodate for you or your loved one? Please reach out to our helpful staff at 1800 722 522 or by email at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

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Dementia FAQs

What is dementia?

Dementia is defined by Dementia Australia (dementia.org.au) as ‘a collection of symptoms caused by disorders affecting the brain.’ Dementia is an umbrella term for a group of diseases that impacts brain function, specifically effecting memory and therefore behaviour.

Why does dementia occur?

Dementia happens due to a combination of age, genetics and lifestyle factors and while certain things we have confirmed increase the risk, the exact reason why people develop dementia is still unknown.

Which type of dementia is the most common?

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia.

Other common types of dementia include:

  • Vascular dementia
  • Lewy body disease
  • Frontotemporal dementia

How does dementia effect the brain?

How dementia effects the brain depends on the type of dementia that an individual is diagnosed with. Therefore, symptoms and experiences of dementia can be unique and vary from person to person.

For the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, there is a significant decrease in the chemicals that help the brain’s neurons to communicate with each other in the way they normally do and can occur in different areas of the brain.

Are Dementia are Alzheimers the same?

No, dementia and Alzheimers are not the same. Alzheimers is the most common type of dementia, where dementia is the type of condition and Alzheimers is the individual diseases within the dementia category.

Which dementia is hereditary? 

Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) noccurs when Alzheimers can be inherited due genetic mutations on three genes being presenilin 1 (PSEN1), presenilin 2 (PSEN2) and amyloid precursor protein (APP) genes. However, while it does happen, hereditary dementia like FAD is rare.

Can dementia be prevented or reversed?

While it can’t be reversed, you can reduce your risk of developing dementia by having a healthy and positive lifestyle. Things that increase you risk for dementia includes:

  • physical inactivity
  • lack of mental exercise
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure

However, if they develop, dementia symptoms can be managed with quality care and medication.

Will dementia be curable?

There is currently no cure for dementia. Due to the fact that over 100 diseases may cause dementia, it is possible that with more research and further understanding of how dementia develops, certain types of dementia may be curable in the future.

Where to get help with dementia?

Dementia Australia has a national dementia helpline that you can call or you can visit their website for additional resources.

National Dementia Helpline: 1800 100 500

Dementia Australia website: dementia.org.au

Here at Scalabrini, we also provide dementia related services. As an aged care provider, we specialise in caring for those who have been diagnosed with dementia and need a place to live where their higher level needs can be met around the clock by our Dementia Excellence Team. To enquire about moving you or your loved one with dementia into one of our villages, please call or email us to see if we’re the right fit for you.

Scalabrini phone number: 1800 722 522

Scalabrini email: enquires@scalabrini.com.au

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Dementia Education: Signs and Symptoms

Dementia is an umbrella term for multiple neurological disorders that causes a decline in brain functioning which impacts an individuals everyday life. While typically seen in older people, dementia is not considered a normal part of ageing and generally occurs due to a combination of lifestyle factors including age, genetics and health, but anyone can develop the disease.

There is unfortunately no cure yet for dementia. However, specialised dementia care can be provided to manage presented symptoms. To ensure the right care is provided, it is important for individuals to be diagnosed as early as possible. While we understand that this is difficult, recognising dementia at its early stages is crucial.

To provide the care needed, please look out for the following dementia symptoms in your loved ones:

  1. Memory loss impacting daily living
  2. Confusion around time, dates and places
  3. Changes in personality, behaviour and/or mood
  4. Decrease or absence of good judgement and decision making
  5. Decrease or absence of personal initiative and motivation
  6. Difficulties performing familiar tasks
  7. Difficulties with language – including speech, writing or language comprehension
  8. Difficulties with abstract thinking (eg. depth perception, problem solving, hypotheticals and symbolism etc.)
  9. Difficulties with misplacing items and an inability to retrace steps to find it

While Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, it does not come from one specific condition alone, as multiple conditions can lead to dementia. Dementia is also experienced differently by the individuals impacted because of a large variation of symptoms. However, after an official diagnosis from a medical practitioner, people with dementia can still live fulfilling lives.

If you’re worried that a loved one is showing signs of developing dementia, you don’t have to care for them alone. As the condition becomes more complex overtime, so does the care that needs to be provided.

At Scalabrini, we specialise in dementia care to increase the quality of life for those with high care needs by creating enriching environments and managing symptoms. We specifically cater to individuals living with dementia and they are accommodated by our Dementia Excellence Team who specialise in creating ideal environments for residents.

Our experienced team is here to answer any questions that you may have about dementia and what dementia care at Scalabrini looks like. To learn more about how we can help you meet the needs of your loved one, please don’t hesitate to have a chat with us at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au or call 1800 722 522.

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8 Signs of Caregiver Stress

Are you or someone you know a caregiver? It’s important for caregivers to make sure that while they’re looking after others, they’re also looking after themselves.

 

Being a caregiver for a loved one with a chronic or complex condition can be stressful due to the high levels of dependency and care the individual requires. Noting signs of stress and burnout when they first start ensures that caregiving can still occur, but not at the expense of the caregiver’s personal holistic health.

Common signs of caregiver stress to look out for includes:

  1. Trouble sleeping
  2. Trouble focusing and maintaining current duties
  3. Feeling resentful and/or hopeless
  4. Feeling anxious, depressed or irritable
  5. Feeling exhausted and constantly tired even after resting
  6. Constant new health issues (eg. the flu) or an increase in the severity of current ones
  7. An increase in drinking, smoking or eating
  8. A decrease in personal hobbies and interests

Caregivers need to have their own lives where their needs are also met and they feel fulfilled and well rested. Caregiver burnout can happen when you’re either too busy or feel so discouraged and overwhelmed that you stop trying to look after yourself.

Delegating care responsibilities means that your loved one is still looked after, but there is now the time and energy to take care of your own wellbeing too.

As an aged care provider, at Scalabrini we aim to come alongside caregivers to provide customised care for those who require dementia care, palliative care and chronic and complex care. We understand that there is no one size fits all approach to aged care and that every individual is unique in their personality and their needs.

Contact Scalabrini today at 1800 722 522 or email us at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au to see how we can provide everything you value most when it comes to quality aged care and help you decide if aged care is right for you and your loved one.

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What Does Spiritual Health Look Like In Aged Care?

For the elderly, spiritual health is an important aspect of providing quality care. In an aged care setting, spiritual needs are also catered for to promote holistic health and maintain an individual’s identity. As a Catholic organisation, we understand the role religion and spirituality plays in the lives of others when it comes to personal identity, especially for those with higher care needs like individuals in palliative care.

 

Spiritual health and wellbeing is a significant part of providing care as it helps individuals to:

• Reduce stress

• Find inner peace

• Transcend pain and suffering

• Discover meaning & purpose

• Maintain Identity

 

Meaningful Ageing Australia (https://meaningfulageing.org.au) segments spiritual care into five areas:

  1. Organisational leadership and alignment – Embedding and practising spiritual care at all levels through the organisation
  2. Relationship and connectedness – Providing care in the context of mutual, respectful and genuine relationships
  3. Identifying and meeting spiritual needs – Recognising choices, preferences and needs of older people, to be identified, documented and shared by the care team
  4. Ethical context of spiritual care – Ethical framework to ensure spiritual care is offered in a way that respects and upholds the rights of older people
  5. Enabling spiritual expression – Individualised activities and interventions to encourage the finding of meaning, purpose, connectedness and hope.

 

Both seeking and expressing spirituality your way is highly important as at all stages of life as it’s the core of who we are. Scalabrini’s mission is to provide high quality and meaningful aged care, which includes accommodating for all spiritual and religious needs. We have religious sisters who live onsite at all of our villages who are available to provide pastoral care to assist in improving the quality of life of our residents through spiritual care.

 

If you have any questions about how Scalabrini accommodates spiritual health for our residents, please don’t hesitate to call our friendly staff today at 1800 722 522 or enquire by email at enquiries@scalabrini.com.au

Intergenerational Relationships

 

Intergenerational relationships are defined as two people who have a bond with each other and a 15+ years of age difference. Intergenerational relationships are beneficial for both the younger and older person and at Scalabrini, we try to ensure our residents are able to build and foster such bonds.

 

For the older individual, intergenerational relationships have two main benefits:

  1. Intergenerational relationships shape their approach around everyday ageing
  2. Intergenerational relationships influence how they feel about societal ageism

 

Shaping Everyday Ageing

Intergenerational relationships have a significant positive impact on shaping everyday ageing of the older individual due to:

  • Younger people are typically being more optimistic
  • Younger people are typically future focused
  • Younger people help increase both physical and social activities which improves wellbeing

 

Influencing Societal Ageism

Intergenerational relationships have a significant positive impact on influencing societal ageism felt and experienced by the older individual due to:

  • Younger people encouraging ‘active ageing’ where a full and present life is still maintained
  • Younger people help expand the world of older people by teaching them new things (eg. Technology)
  • Younger people help to keep older people mentally sharp

 

The younger person in the relationship helps to combat negative feelings or fears around getting traditionally older. This helps the older person break certain stereotypes on what being older looks like as more than just a physical number of age.

 

The younger person in the relationship helps to combat negative feelings or fears around getting traditionally older. This helps the older person break certain stereotypes on what being older looks like as more than just a physical number of age and fulfil a desire to create a legacy and impact with stories and lessons of their past. In an aged care setting, these benefits are important to improve and maintain a high quality of life and positive outlook for the elderly within themselves and for their future.

At Scalabrini, we understand the significant positive impacts of intergenerational relationships. Our goal is to help residents age successfully, meaning with dignity, control and respect. Scalabrini residents gain the benefits of intergenerational relationships from not just loved ones, but also from their bonds with staff and volunteers as they spend time together partaking in wellbeing activities.

You can read more about our Gold Soul program here: https://www.catholicweekly.com.au/at-23-katie-finds-life-in-a-nursing-home-is-full-of-joy/