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Supported Residential Facilities

Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) provide accommodation and care services to older people and people with disabilities in a group setting. SRFs are regulated by the Supported Residential Facilities Act 1992 and are privately operated.

The Supported Residential Facilities (SRF) sector offers low level supported accommodation - not aged care. The SRF Entry Point Assessment (SEP) determines eligibility for the Board and Care Subsidy. There is no restriction on who can refer. Following SEP approval and move into an SRF, the Government pays a subsidy to the proprietor on behalf of the eligible person. The SEP assessment considers such factors as: medical and general health diagnosis, mental health, personal care needs and behavioural issues. Referrals can also be received for a needs-based, functional assessment of a person living in the SRF sector to determine eligibility for additional supports or services to enhance or maintain their accommodation. It is not a placement or crisis service.

Services vary between SRFs and may include personal care, medication monitoring, meals, laundry and cleaning.

Vacancies and Lists

Seniors Information Service maintains complete listings of seniors -specific SRFs in South Australia as well as monthly vacancy registers.

Is supported residential care right for me?

You might ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I discussed entering an SRF with the SRF Intake and Support Team, my family, friends, local aged care worker, social worker or general practitioner etc.?
  • What special help do I need?
  • Are there any other types of accommodation or services that can better provide the services I need?

Choosing a facility

If, after your assessment by the SRF Intake and Support Team, you decide that SRFs are the best option for you, it is time to visit some facilities. The following questions may assist you further:

Facilities and Services

  • What physical facilities are available? Lounge, TV room, library, games room, garden plots, outdoor recreation, hobby area, etc.?
  • What happens if I require a service that is not provided by the management, or is located outside the home? Is transport provided to and from the service available?
  • Are the following services available on site or within easy walking distance - doctor, hairdresser, podiatrist, occupational therapist? How are these services accessed? Is there assistance available 24 hours a day? What kind of assistance? How do I get assistance at night?

Ongoing care

  • What happens if, after moving into the facility, I need higher levels of care than are offered here? Who decides if I should be moved and what criteria are used (for example, mobility or incontinence problems)?

Conditions

  • What are the house rules? Are pets allowed? Are there set visiting hours?
  • How long may I be absent from the facility and will my place be kept for me? What do I pay to hold my place if I am away?
  • Do I have to share a room? Are there rooms for couples?
  • If the accommodation is taken as a couple and one partner dies, or is moved on, what happens to the remaining partner? (Will that person have to move to another room?)
  • Is there a residents' committee? Are residents consulted about changes to the facility that may affect them?

Financial

  • Is there an entry fee?
  • What type of agreement or contract applies?
  • What are my rights and reimbursements when I leave?
  • What are the financial consequences if I do not like living in a facility and wish to move out?
  • What recurring costs will have to be met, e.g. weekly fees, fees whilst on holidays?
  • Exactly what services are included in the basic fee? What services incur an additional cost? How much? How often do I pay? What is the process for adjusting those fees? How often?
  • For details of costs and services contact facilities to obtain a prospectus.
  • If I take my own furniture, will I need private contents insurance?

Building features

  • Have security precautions been taken in the construction of the facility? Are there safety locks and screens on the doors and windows?
  • Does the facility meet with the required fire safety standards?
  • What type of heating/air conditioning is provided?
  • Is the building accessible in the event that I become disabled and need a wheelchair or walking aid?
  • What internal fixtures, such as ramps or rails, are in place to assist mobility?

How much will I pay?

  • If you choose to live in a ‘pension only’ facility and pay no more than 80% of the single age pension combined with rent assistance, the proprietor of the facility will receive a small state government subsidy on your behalf to help cover basic living expenses and meet requirements under the SRF Act. Serviced apartment-type facilities are free to set their own fees and no subsidies apply.

The contract

The Supported Residential Facilities Act requires that a resident contract will be entered into within 28 days after personal care services are first provided to you. Prior to signing the contract, the proprietor must ensure that you understand the contract and your rights and responsibilities.

A copy of the contract will be given to you at the time you become party to the contract and a fully executed copy will be kept in a safe place at the facility at all times.

If the SRF charges an entry fee (i.e. serviced apartments) the facility may also come under the Retirement Villages Act 1987.

Standards of care

The Supported Residential Facilities Act is concerned with quality of care issues. According to the Act residents have the right to:

  • quality care
  • reasonable levels of nutrition, comfort and shelter in a home-like environment
  • a safe physical environment
  • treatment with dignity and respect
  • a reasonable degree of privacy
  • independence and freedom of choice
  • manage their own affairs
  • freedom from exploitation
  • administration and enforcement of the Supported Residential Facilities Act
  • licensing and inspecting facilities
  • receiving complaints about facilities and other residents

Who regulates the quality of SRFs?

The licensing authority is the local council. The local council's role includes:

After you move in

If you do have any complaints speak to the manager of the facility. If this does not resolve the difficulty speak to the local environmental health officer at your council.

Useful contacts

Your local council

The  Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (formerly Department for Families and Communities) for general information, tel. 8226 6052 

Exceptional Needs Unit: SRF Intake and Support Team tel. 8448 4600

Seniors Information Service Inc for a list of SRFs as well as a list of current vacancies tel. 8168 8776
 

 

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Seniors Information Service is supported by funding from the Australian Government under the Commonwealth HACC Program.