Welcome to the latest edition of the Village News.
For the 8th year in a row since the commencement of the NSW Food Authority’s annual audit of our residential aged care facility catering services, we were served another Classification A awarded in April, the highest result.
At Allambie Heights Village Ltd., we understand how important and immensely reassuring this is to our residents, their relatives and to all of our visitors.
Congratulations to all our colleagues at Catering Industries Pty Ltd, Chef Manager Andrew Haskett and his team and to the staff and management of Allambie Heights Village Ltd. for their attention to detail, high standards of hygiene, safety, food presentation, nutrition, meal range and choice as well as to our maintenance and housekeeping staff for their cleaning standards in our kitchen and dining rooms. 80,000 meals per year. That’s 80,000 times we try to get it right for our residents and visitors who continue to give us excellent feedback.
Very well done to all!
Allambie Heights Village full
We are always pleased to welcome new residents to our Villages and as of May 2017, Allambie Heights Village is full with a healthy waiting list. This is one of the highest compliments for the village. Of course, we are aware always of those residents who have visited other retirement villages, made a decision to want to live with us and then wait for their chosen apartment in a location and size of their choosing to meet their needs. Our staff keep an open and helpful rapport with our prospective residents and make and take calls to keep everyone engaged as we plan together. Our range of apartments include studio; one bedroom; one bedroom/study and two bedroom apartments which are renovated to high standards before presenting to prospective residents.
We encourage readers to visit our website www.alhvillage.com.au to remain updated, to email us or to phone our friendly team for current information. We also appreciate when you share information about us with your friends. They too could be our future residents!
William Charlton Village
We have been busy in past months choosing the team of contractors to assist us with our renovation of apartments at William Charlton Village. We have commenced the renovation program and look forward to presenting vacant apartments to future residents.
Our gardeners, housekeeping and maintenance teams are engaged during the week to provide a great service to our residents and the feedback from residents has been positive and appreciative. Our electricians have upgraded communal stairwells and walkway lighting.
In April 2017, following a thorough assessment of fire safety equipment in all apartments and buildings as well as investing in replacing a number of appliances, we submitted on schedule the Annual Fire Safety Statement to Northern Beaches Council.
Development Application with Council
Readers will be aware that the development application for the extension of our residential aged care facility at Allambie Heights Village was lodged with Northern Beaches Council in February. We await news regarding consent and will update residents, relatives and staff when we have information to report.
The Welfare State is here
We are truly privileged to live in Australia, a country rich in natural resources, able to produce our own food with hours of sunshine, levels of high employment and a record of twenty five years without an economic recession. We are the envy of many nations around the world and we should never take it for granted. Now, it is only fair that living in Australia means that we pay our way, that we live within our means and that should any of us require Government assistance, that we can access it fairly. Our Medicare system provides a universal system that provides a baseline and in many cases, a better than baseline service to millions of people of all ages. Some would argue that it is not enough, others argue that those who can pay should not be able to access the benefits of Medicare. It’s a difficult one for politicians and a nettle that many do not wish to grasp given the emotive responses that the subject provokes. Let me share with readers a policy that I believe is universally unnecessary and which was clearly not thought through by politicians or by Treasury when it was introduced in July 2014.
I am referring to the incongruous Government policy to apply an Annual and a Lifetime Cap on Means Tested Fees in Residential Aged Care Facilities.
Following the outcome of a medical ACAT assessment that approves the requirement for Home or Residential Care, the client chooses to complete a Department of Human Resources/Centrelink SA457 Form, a Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment which is submitted to Centrelink. A decision to not declare to the Government your assets and income leads to an assumption that you are choosing to pay all care fees and the Government will not be funding the care component.
The purpose of the assets and income assessment is to achieve a fair contribution that the person should make to their care costs based on their assessed means. For residents of residential aged care facilities before 1 July 2014, this is referred to as an Income Tested Fee and for residents who entered care after 1 July 2014, a Means Tested Fee. The daily income or means tested fee is deducted from the Government monthly payment to the aged care provider who needs to collect it from the resident through monthly invoicing.
The Government decided to introduce on 1 July 2014 a Cap on Means Tested Fees in residential aged care facilities and this is currently $26,380 per annum and a Lifetime Cap, currently $63,313. This means that the Department or in reality the taxpayer picks up the tab once the Cap is reached irrespective of the Centrelink assessed income and assets of the resident. So, a person might be assessed as being able to pay a Means Tested Fee of $90 per day (excluding Basic Daily Care Fees currently $49.07) and by the 293rd day of the year has reached their obligation to pay towards their care needs. Within less than 3 years, they would reach the Lifetime Cap and their obligation towards payment of care costs, would cease (basic daily care fees excepted).
Is the tax payer happy about this? Well, the average person probably doesn’t know anything about it. Imagine a resident with substantial property and other assets and means not having to pay a cent towards their care when the annual cap is reached and never again for the rest of their lives once the lifetime cap is reached!
Why would the Government not see the incredulous lack of fairness of such situations and abandon the policy? Residents prior to 1 July 2014 continue to pay the Income Tested daily fee and as an Aged Care Provider, I am not aware of dissatisfaction expressed by them or by persons authorized to manage their finances. Wouldn’t tax payer funds be best used funding a multitude of alternatives? I can think of many including adding to, not reducing further the ACFI fees paid to providers who actually care for older Australians at home or in residential aged care facilities.
And for a further sting in the tail, wait for it! When the Department decides that the annual cap has been reached, they cease the payment to the aged care provider who currently waits at least three months to receive the Means Tested Fee equivalent amount that the Department is now obliged to pay to the aged care provider. If we assume that the daily means tested fee was $90 over 90 days, that’s a debt of $8,100 per person. Multiply that by 100 residents which is easily feasible for those aged care providers with 6,000 residents and that’s $810,000! You can see where this is going. Businesses cannot afford to carry such debt when we are responsible for paying our staff, paying our contractors, meeting all of our regulatory obligations in one of the most regulated industries in Australia.
In a meeting with the Federal Assistant Minister of Health, Dr David Gillepsie MP on 12 May 2017, I presented these points and I found him to be fair minded and respectful. He agreed to bring these issues to the attention of his colleague, Mr Ken Wyatt MP, Minister for Aged Care.
I met at the same meeting, the NSW Minister for Health and the Minister for Medical Research, Brad Hazzard MP and I found him to be across many State and Federal health issues in what is a new portfolio for him since his appointment three months ago.
The Australian Welfare Bill is currently $190 billion. It is only fair that those of us who have the means to pay our share, should do so.
Chief Executive Officer.