There’s nowhere quite like home, and making the move from one home to another can sometimes be challenging for most of us, but this is especially so as people get older and move out of the family home.
The expectations of today’s ageing population have changed. People want the ability to live in a comfortable and warm environment where they can welcome visitors in stylish surroundings, and have the flexibility for guests to join them for dinner or even stay over.
That’s why when SummitCare began work on its new residential aged care centre at Baulkham Hills, it turned to world renowned Australian architectural practice, CHADA, to help create a place its residents will feel is a beautiful and relaxing place to be — more like a home than any type of institution.
CHADA is better known for its designs of high-end hotels and residential developments, including The Hilton, Hayman Island Resort, Westin Hotels in Sendai and Delhi, and the Pan Pacific in Singapore. The company worked hard to understand from extensive research what today’s ageing population wants from aged care.
The result is a 186-suite residential building that is light, spacious, stylish and comfortable, with a wide range of facilities including flexible living spaces, a café, hairdresser and nail spa, a wellness centre, family accommodation, and specially designed large suites to suit couples who want to stay together.
SummitCare director Peter Wohl said his organisation made the bold move to hire a practice with such prestigious hospitality experience because consumer expectations for future aged care environments are so high.
“Getting the design right was critical. We wanted to create an environment that helps to deliver our values of warmth, worth
and wellbeing, so every resident can continue to live life on their
own terms.
“Our organisation has been looking after Australians in aged care for more than 50 years, and we have used this half-century of knowledge and experience in caring for individuals and their families to create and drive this wonderful new centre. We value feedback from all our stakeholders and the design process was truly collaborative and based on insights from older people, residents, their family members and, importantly, our team,” he said.
“It’s also why SummitCare Baulkham Hills will include suites for family members to stay overnight, as well as wonderful outdoor areas including a rooftop garden where residents can enjoy afternoon tea, barbeques and other activities.”
According to CHADA principal, Juliet Ashworth, the brief was to create an environment that would be less than a traditional aged care facility and more like a beautiful home, and specified to luxurious hotel standards.
“We feel confident residents and their families are going to love this new approach to aged care living,” said Juliet. “While it is not a hotel, the facilities and feel of SummitCare Baulkham Hills will be strikingly different to people’s preconceptions of aged care.
“Designing a major residential aged care facility for the first time meant we had to factor in a number of operational considerations, like the mobility of residents, particularly when creating an appealing bathroom that accommodates everyone from the able bodied to the wheelchair bound.
“One of the most striking things in the research was the fact couples are not traditionally well served when they enter an aged care facility and are generally separated, even after years together. Here couples will be able to stay together in couples’ suites,” she said.
Other accommodations include single, twin and larger suites, many with balconies or terraces, as well as options to include living or
kitchen areas for those who want to share, or who have more specific care needs.
“It’s about striking a balance between high quality aesthetics and the need for operationally appropriate materials. We have created beautiful living environments using new textiles and finishes that are high tech in their performance, environmentally friendly and, importantly, dementia friendly. Too many aged care homes feel more like hospitals, and consumer demands and expectations have changed.”
The quality finishes include custom designed handmade rugs, luxurious soft furnishings, polished metal and the extensive use of warm timber panelling and joinery. However, the design choices were not simply made on aesthetics.
“There is excellent work being done around the globe on design for people with dementia and living well as you get older — for example, the positive effects on a person’s wellbeing using certain patterns and textures, as well as good signage and lighting,” added Juliet.

One of Australia’s leading interior architecture practices, CHADA has created more than 110 built projects in the hospitality and multi-residential sectors internationally.
With eight aged care centres located around New South Wales, fully accredited and thrice award-winning SummitCare is recognised for its high standards and quality care. SummitCare Baulkham Hills is set to open in October 2017. For more information please phone: 1300 68 55 48 or email

Power of Attorney

Do you know what’s around the next corner?

Unless you have a fully working crystal ball, no one knows what is around the corner. We all expect (and hope) to continue our lives in good health but the simple fact of life is that as people age the likelihood of an accident or an illness rises.
And when it does, for many of us, it can be too late to get our affairs in order. If our mental capacity is diminished, it may be up to the courts to decide who can make decisions on our behalf.
Planning ahead is important for everyone over the age of 18, but more particularly as people get older. Too often adult children are left to pick up the pieces and make decisions without having a clear understanding of the wishes of their parents, including where they may wish to live, their health and medical needs including choice of doctor, management of any assets, as well as how to access funds to cover day-to-day needs.
Writing legal documents like Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship is the best way to safeguard against confusion and stress, but you should know which is right for the situation.
Even before you start preparing documents, the first thing everyone should do is have a conversation with their loved ones. This can be parents initiating chats with their children, or adult children raising it with their mum or dad. This can be difficult for some families, but it is important to remember carers need to know the wishes of their nearest and dearest.
Once these discussions are underway, you need to consider which type of Power of Attorney or Guardianship is better for you. There are four types.
General Power of Attorney
This is usually for a specific time or purpose — for example, when a person is travelling overseas and wants to sell shares or property while they are away. These powers have no effect if the individual loses competence.

Enduring Power of Attorney (Financial)
This gives broader powers that continue past the time when the individual becomes incompetent. It automatically starts from the time the individual loses competence unless the document specifies an earlier date.

Enduring Power of Attorney (Medical)
This power enables the person to make decisions about medical treatment on behalf of the individual. It cannot be used for euthanasia or palliative care.

Enduring Power of Guardianship
This is especially useful for older people and allows the appointed guardian to make day-to-day decisions about the individual’s lifestyle, healthcare, visitors, accommodation and work.
While people get a solicitor to prepare a Power of Attorney, it is possible to do it yourself, although this is not recommended as they can be fairly complicated documents.
You can also visit NSW Trustee and Guardian at or contact SummitCare directly on 1300 68 55 48.
“Our aged care experts are always happy to help provide advice,” said Cynthia Payne, CEO, SummitCare. “The best thing about getting these documents in place well in advance is the knowledge that people can get on with living the life they want without fear of something happening to them that is no longer within their control or the control of their loved ones to take care of.”

Deciphering aged care acronyms

Confused by all the abbreviated aged care terms? You’re not alone, but help is at hand.

With all the changes currently happening in home care and residential aged care, together with all the acronyms used, it’s not surprising that it can be a bewildering business to find quality aged care for your loved ones at what is already an emotional time.
Sure, there is plenty of information available from the government, Centrelink, aged care providers and financial institutions, as well as friends and relatives, but it can often seem overwhelming and confusing.
SummitCare Advisory Service gives you and your family access to aged care specialists who can assist you in understanding your options, answer your questions and put you in touch with the right people. Its aim is to support you through your journey and help you make informed decisions.
SummitCare has been providing residential aged care and home care in a number of locations around New South Wales for more than 50 years. Its approach has always been to ensure it works closely to support and care for all members of the family because this leads to the best clinical care and lifestyle outcomes for residents and home care customers.
With 50 years’ experience comes a wealth of knowledge about the ageing process and needs of individuals — from dementia specialists, nursing, occupational therapy and dietitians through to social workers and partnerships with specialist aged care financial providers.
If you are beginning to think about the aged care options available for you or a family member or if you need help immediately, SummitCare Advisory Service can assist you to locate the right information, put you in touch with the appropriate people and ensure that you make an informed decision about your care or the care of your loved ones. Best of all, the team can translate all the acronyms and take away confusion about aged care.