Frequently Asked Questions
Each Care Recipient is provided with a bedroom, built in robe, drawers, chair and a single bed. Care Recipients are encouraged to furnish their own rooms as much as practicable to make the room more like home.
Safety is important to us and staff will need to ensure that any furniture or goods that you bring to the facility, for your room, is safe and does not impede the care that you may require.
The facility will provide sheets, pillowcases, towels, face washers and blankets. You may wish to provide your own personal doona and cover or quilt. Full servicing and laundering of most items of clothing is provided by the facility.
There is a common lounge/dining and kitchen area where you are encouraged to make yourself at home.
Our Activities Coordinators encourage Care Recipient’s to maintain their life interests and hobbies as appropriate. It is our belief that if a Care Recipient cannot go out into the world then we will endeavour to bring the world them.
There are planned activities for all Care Recipient’s, both in groups and on a one to one basis.
Relatives and friends are invited to participate in many of the activities and enjoy special events with their family member or friend.
We will assist the Care Recipient to maintain as much independence as possible and encourage and assist them in their endeavours.
We invite you to attend the Care Recipient and family meeting that is held regularly. It is important to have your input to ensure that the program we provide is relevant and appropriate to the Care Recipient’s needs.
The Activity Coordinators will be pleased to meet with you and discuss the program. Activities include:
Outings & drives
Visiting entertainment groups
Quiz’s, puzzles & current affairs
Gentle and active exercise
We provide beds, mattresses, pillows, linen for the bed and any pressure relieving devices/mattresses as may be deemed appropriate for the Care Recipient following assessment of care needs. We encourage the Care Recipient to bring in their own doona and cover or bedspread to add their own familiar personal touch. You may have a favorite pillow and you are welcome to bring this in for your comfort.
Buses and Outings
Gippsland Southern Health Service has its own bus. The bus is shared with other services within Gippsland Southern Health Service and can be booked for use by the various Residential Care Services to take Care Recipient’s shopping or on short outings. There is no charge for the use of the bus. Formal outings are arranged through the activities program. Care Recipient’s may choose to go out with family or friends, see the leave entitlement information in the financial section of this booklet.
Is available in close proximity to the facilities. Disabled Parking is available if required.
It is important that the clothing a Care Recipient wears is both comfortable and easy to both put on and take off. Easy wear and easy care fabrics are ideal for clothing to maintain a good look and yet at the same time the item of clothing is serviceable.
Some Care Recipient’s require clothing that opens down the back and fastens with Velcro or tapes for ease of changing clothes with a minimum of difficulty. The staff can help you choose appropriate clothing if required. Some companies specialise in ready-made clothing for this purpose. The Nurse Unit manager can provide relevant information if required.
As a guideline it is suggested that a Care Recipient has the following as a minimum:
8 sets of daytime clothing suitable for all temperatures
8-10 sets of underwear, singlets, bras, underwear
8-10 pairs of socks (loose tops)
5 cartigans/ jackets (preferably open down the front to allow for easier dressing)
Slippers with Velcro closure (no scuffs)
Warm jacket for outings
6 nightgowns or pyjamas
Dressing gown (washable)
Elastic waisted trousers
Comb or brush
Clothing: Laundry Service for Personal Clothing
Gippsland Southern Health Service provides a laundry service. However facilities are not available for any woollens, delicate and heavy clothing.
To ensure that delicate fabrics are maintained in excellent order we suggest that woollen or delicate fabric garments are taken home for Care Recipient families to launder or they may be dry cleaned. The dry cleaning remains the Care Recipient’s or family’s responsibility.
Gippsland Southern Health Service provides for laundering of personal clothing.
All personal items of laundry should be clearly marked with the owner’s name, preferably welded name tags or sewn on tags. The home cannot accept any responsibility for any lost or misplaced items.
Gippsland Southern Health Service can provide suitable labels for the Care Recipient. These labels can be welded onto all types of fabrics and are very suitable for the needs of clear identification of personal clothing.
Clothing Identification Labels
All clothing is to be labeled with the Care Recipient’s name. A marking pen is not suitable as this does fade in time and makes it difficult to identify and track clothing.
Gippsland Southern Health Service is able to provide a quality Name Label system using labels that are able to be welded onto all garments including socks. There is an initial cost of $50 which will be added to the Care Recipient’s monthly account, staff will be able to apply these labels. Our staff will be happy to discuss this with you. You may wish to provide your own labels and sew them onto each garment.
We will look at your individual needs on a regular basis. To do this we will consult you and your family or authorised representative.
Our staff and your medical practitioner aim to achieve a coordinated and informed approach to ensure you receive the best quality care.
Community Based Services Readily Available to the Homes
A doctor will visit as required and on a regular basis. You are free to have the doctor of your choice.
You are free to use the Pharmacist of your choice. The Local Pharmacist does visit the home. The Care Recipient is responsible for payment.
Podiatry Services are available.
A visiting hairdresser is available. The Care Recipient is responsible for payment.
Appointments are available on request.
A range of Churches conduct regular services in the facilities and a visiting priest or minister may call. Communion may be arranged at any time on request.
Charges may be levied to the Care Recipient for the use of the above services where the services are not included in the Schedule of Specified Care and Services set out in Schedule 1 of the Quality of Care Principles 1997.
Dentist/Audiologist/Optometrist and Complementary Therapies
If you would like to engage any of these services. Please discuss with the manager.
We welcome individuals of all genders, ethnicities, religious beliefs and sexual orientation. We endeavour to offer an inclusive environment which caters all beliefs and preferences.
All electrical equipment that is brought to the facility is to be safety tested by our Maintenance department shortly after admission to ensure its safety and compliance with standards.We ask that Care Recipient’s do not keep or use electrical kettles and toasters in their rooms.
You must be accompanied for external appointments and consultations.
Where possible a relative or friend should provide the company and transport. If this is not possible please discus with the manager. Costs may be incurred.
At Gippsland Southern Health Service, we believe that a complaint is an opportunity to improve. Please feel free to approach staff with any concerns or grievances you may have. We appreciate any input and will do our best to resolve any grievances. Confidentiality is assured at all times.
If you feel your grievance has not been dealt with appropriately, we welcome you to put your grievance in writing and address it to the Complaints Officer at Gippsland Southern Health Service. A response in writing will be provided to the complainant with appropriate explanation, actions taken and an invitation for further discussion if you are not satisfied with the response.
Complaint forms are available from each of the Residential Care facilities or the Nurse Unit Manager. Please feel free to ask any staff member for one of these forms if you would like to raise your concern in this format.
A Care Recipient may feel more at ease resolving their grievances externally. Talking to a friend can do this or a further avenue is to contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.
The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner is available to anyone who wishes to provide information or make a complaint about an Australian Government subsidised aged care service that may need to be investigated.
You can provide information or make a complaint either on free-call:
1800 550 552
or in writing to the:
Aged Care Complaints Commissioner
Locked Bag 3
COLLINS STREET EAST VIC 8003.
For further information you can go to the web site www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au or brochures are available in all the facilities
Elder Rights Advocacy (ERA)
Level 2, 85 Queen Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9602 3066
1800 700 600 - free call in Victoria except from mobile phones
Fire and Evacuation Procedures
In the event of a fire it is important for you to know where the Fire Exits are and the Evacuation Assembly area and your role as part of the team.
Staff will show you these points. Please see the map of this facility that is enclosed with in this package.
It may be possible for you to bring in some furniture following discussion with the Unit Manager to ensure that the furniture is appropriate for the Care Recipient needs and that there is adequate room for it. In a shared room this is sometimes more difficult due to space limitations. The safety of our Care Recipient and staff is always paramount.
Often a Care Recipient has a favorite chair at home and would like to bring it in to the home. Our Occupational Therapists are able to assess the Care Recipient and make a recommendation as to the suitability of the chair.
The Care Recipient’s room is their home and we encourage you to bring in pictures or photographs and memento’s to personalise their room.
Staff are not able to accept offers of money or gifts.
Gippsland Southern Health Service takes every precaution to prevent the spread of infections. Infections are most commonly spread via hands and all staff receive regular education in relation to when and how to clean their hands. Hand gel and hand wash products are placed throughout the facilities for the use of both visitors and staff. Visitors to the facilities are encouraged to clean their hands before entering a facility, before leaving and between coming into contact with more than one Care Recipient.
Care Recipient’s are more prone to contracting infections such as influenza and gastroenteritis therefore we would ask family members experiencing symptoms of either condition to refrain from visiting the facility for up to 48 hours after the symptoms have disappeared.
All Care Recipient’s are offered annual vaccination for influenza from March. You will be notified and offered a consent form when vaccines are available. All Care Recipient’ are strongly encouraged to receive this vaccination.
The Care Recipient’s may take temporary leave up to a maximum of 52 days in a financial year, for any reason and whenever desired. Several days’ notice would be appreciated. Note: Excluding Hospital admissions.
Temporary leave taken by a Care Recipient shall be treated by the Facility as occupancy for all purposes under the agreement.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing will not pay a subsidy for any Care Recipient’s Temporary Leave that exceeds 52 days in a financial year. When leave is taken in excess of 52 days, the home will charge the Care Recipient’s, on top of their rate, the equivalent of the Commonwealth Subsidy.
It can be arranged for you to access the Visiting Library and the Talking Library Service through the Residential Care Facility Activities coordinators.
Each of our facilities has a residential address for personal mail, which is delivered by the local postal service:
6-8 Gordon Street
PH 5654 2753
22-23 Sloan Street
PH 5667 5547
PH 5654 2733
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia recommends regular medication reviews are carried out by an accredited pharmacist. When reviews are carried out. Information regarding your medical history and medications will be provided to the pharmacist. If they identify an improvement can be made they will communicate with your doctor who will then consult with you.
Care Recipient’s have a choice of a local doctor who will visit regularly. An emergency service is provided by the local Medical Centres 24 hours a day. Staff will make the arrangements as necessary.
Meetings - Care Recipient & Family
These meetings are held at the facility every 2 – 3 months and are an opportunity for you to have an input into the activities program of the facility. We value your input and suggestions. We would be delighted for you to attend. A notice of times and date of these meetings will be in the regular Newsletter that is sent out to you.
A range of newspapers and magazines are provided for general use.
If you would like a personal copy or publication please discuss with the nurse manager. The cost of these items will be invoiced to you by the supplier.
Each room has call buttons that should be used if you require assistance.
Personal Items & Valuables
As you are living in a communal environment it is recommended that valuables are not kept in your room. Money and anything of personal value should be left with relatives.
Note our insurance does not cover loss of personal items. If against this advice you choose to keep valuables in your room, it is recommended that you or your relatives arrange personal contents insurance.
A small float of petty cash is kept secure in each facility (except Koorooman House) and managed by the Unit Manager, this is to pay for incidentals such as the hairdresser etc. Please discuss on admission, a copy of the balance and expenditure is available to the Power of Attorney (POA) / Next of Kin (NOK).
Personal Refrigerators and Externally Produced Food Items
All Care Recipient’s in consultation with relatives or significant others are welcome to have choice in deciding what they would like to bring into our Residential Care facility and what food they may choose to eat. If Care Recipient’s or relatives choose to have a small refrigerator within a Care Recipient’s room they must therefore assume responsibility for the contents and cleaning. Whilst we may endeavor to ensure food safety, GSHS cannot take responsibility for the monitoring or controlling of refrigerator temperature, contents from external sources or consumption thereof.
For many of us pets are like family. They can offer companionship and unconditional love.
At GSHS we are very aware how difficult it is for many people to transition to residential care and that this can be even more difficult if there are pets to consider. We are aware that leaving a pet behind may be very difficult.
Unfortunately it is not possible for us to allow pets, due to issues not limited to Occupational health & safety, allergies, environmental hazards etc.
Your pet may visit but this must be discussed with the unit manager.
Should you require assistance in finding a new home for your pet, the South Gippsland Animal Aid may be able to help - Ph 5681 2290 or 0438 680 261.
Privacy & Respect
Please always knock before entering another Care Recipient’s room.
Your medications will be supplied by the local Pharmacy of your choice. Your Doctor will provide scripts and staff will send to the pharmacy who will in turn deliver the medicines and send an invoice.
Physio/Dietitian/ Speech Therapy & Occupational Therapy (OT)
A review of your care needs will be conducted to establish your requirements.
Depending on your assessed care needs there will be no cost for these services
All residential care facilities are meant to be your home. We do our best to cater for your individual needs, but as in any Organisation, certain routines are necessary.
Routines that may affect you include:
Breakfast from 7.30 a.m.
Lunch from 12.00 noon
Tea/Dinner from 5.00 p.m.
The safety of our Care Recipient’s and staff is of paramount importance to us. We have a falls assessment and prevention plan in place to identify those Care Recipient’s at risk and a plan to minimise and manage any identified risk.
Our staff are trained in ways to minimise risk of injury to self and appropriate equipment is available when required.
Security Code for Access and Departure
The safety of our Care Recipient’s is of paramount importance to us. We ask visitors to ensure that the doors are closed as you leave. Codes are available from the staff.
Staff should be advised when care recipients leave and expected return from outings. Please record in the leave book at reception.
Smoking & Alcohol
Smoking is confined to designated smoking areas and only when a safety assessment has been conducted or appropriately supervised. Visitors are not permitted to smoke within GSHS grounds.
Responsible consumption of alcohol is permitted but only with the permission of your medical practitioner to ensure there is no contraindication with your medications.
Aged Care Facilities are staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The Unit Manager is available Monday to Friday. The staff are here to assist you and support the Charter of Care Recipient’s rights and responsibilities- Residential care.
We would like to make this process as easy and trouble free as possible for you. We understand that it is often a difficult time for the prospective Care Recipient and family and if we can help in any way please discuss your concerns with us.
Tea and Coffee / Hot or Cold Drinks
Is available to you from the Pantry please feel free to have a ‘cuppa’ when you come. The staff will assist you with this.
It is important to us that you feel comfortable and are able to discuss your concerns and wishes with us. We will be discussing the Plan of Care regularly in consultation with you and the Care Recipient to ensure that you are happy with the care that has been assessed, planned and provided for your family member.
Television Sets/CD Players
You may wish to bring in your own. Our recommendation is a flat screen TV of a maximum 54cm size. This can be wall mounted to reduce OH&S risks to staff and family members.
In Koorooman house – television sets are provided. DVD players can be fitted on request – just see the Unit Manager.
It is suggested that you bring in a small CD player as we encourage Care Recipient’s to bring in favorite CD’s or tapes to play in their room for enjoyment.
There is a phone available where outgoing calls can be made. External, incoming calls are received through the nursing staff who will ensure that the Care Recipient’s receive their calls. We request that the calls be limited to 10 minutes. Staff can arrange for the Care Recipient to return the call, if a longer conversation is required.
If a Care Recipient would like a private telephone, they can notify the Unit Manager. Hillside Lodge requires these phones to be installed by Telstra and families need to make the arrangements if the Care Recipient is unable to organise this service with the supplier. Hillside Lodge’s address is 77 Bridge Street, Korumburra and you will need to state the room number.
Koorooman House and Alchera House Care Recipient’s are offered GSHS phones at a flat monthly rental, including call costs that is comparable to Telstra monthly rental costs. These are requested via the Unit Manager. All cost associated with the installation and maintenance of the telephone is the responsibility of the Care Recipient.
Our homes encourage visitors to the Care Recipient’s, however please check our current visitors page for hours and any restrictions.
Please remember to sign in and out of the facility
Our facilities encourage volunteers to become part of the care team. Assisting with the activity programs which may include: one on one visiting, involvement in activities, gardening, reading, musical entertainment for example.
If any of the family and friends of a Care Recipient would like to become a volunteer please contact: The Volunteer Coordinator on 5654 2738 or visit our volunteer page.
Our staff are not permitted to witness personal or legal documents.