What if I’m not happy with my assessment result?

You have the final decision to accept or reject an ACAT recommendation.
If you are unhappy with the recommendations, it is always best to first talk with the person in charge of the ACAT; most concerns can resolved this way.
If you cannot come to an agreement, you can appeal the decision. ACAT will send you a letter that explains how you, or someone acting on your behalf, can do this.

How do ACATs assess the type of care I need?

Whether you live at home or are in hospital, ACATs can visit you to discuss exactly what it is you need.
Team members simply ask you a series of questions that are designed to determine how much and what type of help you need.
With your permission, the ACAT will also make contact with your doctor. This helps them to gain important information about your medical history, which helps with the assessment process.

What are my rights during an assessment?

- To be treated with dignity and respect.
- To be provided with correct and complete information about the assessment process.
- To be listened to.
- To have someone with you, such as a carer, close friend or relative.
- To have an interpreter (which ACAT can arrange).
- To receive independent advice from an advocate, or have them act on your behalf.

Who provides the care?

We want to give the best care possible. To that end, all of our specialist staff are trained to give attentive, individualised care. They aim to make respite an enjoyable experience for the people they care for. And because you know the person you care for is in good hands, they make it a positive experience for you too.

How much does it cost?

We’re a not-for profit organisation, and all of our services are government-subsidised. However, in order for us to provide the best possible care, we do ask you for a contribution.
This amount is worked out case-by-case, and we never refuse service on financial grounds.
There is no cancellation fee, but we appreciate as much notice as possible so that we can assist others.

What happens if they become unwell while in care?

Our staff are all trained to respond to emergencies. In most cases we call an ambulance to ensure the person in our care receives the best medical treatment.
If you have any preferences as to how you would like emergency situations handled, don’t hesitate to let us know.

What is a Carer?

Carers are usually family members or friends who provide support to a person who cannot care for themselves. Carers may be partners, brothers, sisters, friends or children of any age. They may give care for a few hours a week or all day every day, depending on the level of support needed. Many carers don’t consider themselves to be carers; they see just themselves as family members. So they may not ask for help, and can sometimes miss out on the wide range of services available to help them meet their responsibilities.

Do I need to pack anything?

So we can provide appropriate care, we will need you to pack a few items. For daytime care it’s important to bring the following:
- Any medication packed in Webster-pak® or Sachet pack
- Supplied by a Pharmacist aids such as a walking stick or frame continence aids appropriate clothing
- Footwear to wear outside

If the person you’re looking after is staying overnight, as well as the items above, you’ll need to bring:
- Nightclothes
- Toiletries (all the items used daily)

We also ask that you label all clothes to ensure they do not get mixed up.

When can I visit?

We welcome visitors at both our cottages. But it’s important to keep in mind that these places are for other clients as well, and excessive numbers can cause our clients distress.

Our respite care cottages can be visited at any time during our opening hours.

Myrtle Cottage
Monday–Friday 8.30am-4.30pm
Saturday 9.00am–4.00pm

Willow Fern Cottage
Tuesday to Friday 8.00am - 5.00pm
Overnight Stay – Wednesday and Thursday night only

How do I access respite?

To access our respite services, simply contact us.

Our respite services are for people who care for someone with dementia.

The majority of places are for people aged over the age of 65 or over the age of 50 for people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. Support is also available for carers of people with dementia under the age of 65 based on assessed need.

Carers, health professionals or community service providers can also make referrals by contacting our respite service.

What is respite?

Respite is ‘taking time away or a break from regular roles or activities that may be challenging’ . In practice, it means finding someone to take over your care role for a short time, so you can have some time to yourself.

Our respite services are flexible and responsive to both the needs of the carer and care recipient. We provide respite programs and activities that are safe, engaging, stimulating and focused on individual interests.

We provide personalised respite care to people living with all types of dementia. We specialise in caring for people who may have difficulty accessing other support due to challenging behaviours.

We offer in-home, centre-based, and overnight care, so you can find a respite option that works for you .

Health & Wellness
How do I access Health and Wellness Services?

If you’re aged 50 or over (over 50 for people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds), you can access our Health and Wellness Services through self-referral, referral through a GP, Aged Care Assessment team (ACAT), Allied Health professional, hospital or any community health worker.

Depending on the treatment, we may need details of your medical history and medication you currently use. This can be determined when you apply.

How much do Health and Wellness Services cost?

All our services are subsidised by the Australian Government and vary according to which service or program is being used.

We understand that not everyone can pay the full fee, so we have financial hardship policies and fee reductions can be negotiated if necessary. We can also arrange payment through existing private health cover.

Our experienced staff are always happy to discuss the best options for you and the programs offered in your area.

Retirement Living
Who owns and manages the site?

Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc (“Southern Cross Care”) own and manage over 30 retirement
villages and estates across South Australia and Northern Territory. Southern Cross Care is a charitable,
non-profit organisation. Southern Cross Care has been providing independent living, community care
and residential supported care accommodation to South Australians for 50 years. We pride ourselves
on the community spirit our residents enjoy – and the enthusiasm and professionalism of our staff in
looking after our residents.

Who can live at the property?

Each site is designed for retirees or those over 55 years that are able to live independently. Living at any
one of Southern Cross Care’s sites enables residents to enjoy all the normal aspects of living in your own
home, but without the burdens of home and garden maintenance that are required in your standard
residential property.
Southern Cross Care is committed to providing all residents with a secure, peaceful, friendly, private
environment as a restful setting for its residents.

What are the costs of securing a villa?

Residents pay a premium to Southern Cross Care. This premium is paid as follows: First, an option fee of $5,000 is paid to Southern Cross Care when application for a villa is made. The balance of the premium is paid on the date specified for settlement.

The amount of the premium varies depending on the villa size, number of bedrooms, floor plan style, location, aspect, flooring type, etc. Each architecturally designed villa has been styled by an interior designer and comes complete with extensive, high-quality fixtures and fittings, including Westinghouse kitchen appliances. Detailed specifications are available.

What stamp duty is payable?

Nil. This is a considerable saving compared with a typical residential property purchase or a community
title. Southern Cross Care is the owner and whilst residents have full occupation rights in respect of
their home, there is no transfer of title at the Lands Titles Office and as a result there is no stamp duty

Why Leasehold?

All residents living at a Southern Cross Care site will occupy their homes under a Leasehold arrangement,
which is often referred to as a License to Occupy. Whilst Southern Cross Care will maintain the title
ownership of the property, The Retirement Villages Act and the Residence Agreement protect the
residents’ tenure.
Your interest in the home is secured by a lifetime lease. The rights and obligations of residents are
clearly set out in the lease, and cannot be changed without the residents’ consent. This means that
although the residents do not have the title to their home, each resident will have the exclusive right to
occupy their home for his or her lifetime if they wish, subject only to certain exceptions set out in the
Retirement Villages Act. Continuity of management is ensured by this form of contract.

How do I secure a unit/apartment/villa?

Upon being offered a property by Southern Cross Care, you may complete a “Registration of Interest and Option” (“the Option”) and pay to Southern Cross Care a fully refundable option fee of between $500 and $5,000, which will secure your interest in that property. The option fee is fully refundable if you are unable or decide not to proceed to purchase the property within 2 working days of signing the Option.

Once you have exercised your Option, Southern Cross Care will provide you with the documents that we are required by law to provide to a prospective resident of a retirement village within 30 days. Once you have received these, you will be required to sign them within 14 days.

We recommend that you seek legal independent advice of your choice prior to signing the documents. Fees for such advice will be an additional expense to you.

After signing the Residence Agreement you will have a cooling off period of 15 business days. You will be given a copy of the Residence Agreement for your own records.

What are the services and benefits covered by the maintenance fee?

The maintenance fee is designed to simplify household budgeting by incorporating many of the typical
household costs into one regular charge. Additionally, it also funds the ongoing operation of the facilities
and services provided as detailed in your Agreement.
The fee is levied to meet the cost of:
• Rates and taxes – e.g. council, water, emergency services levy
• Insurance (excluding contents) of building, common areas, plant and equipment
• Public lighting
• Repairs, painting and maintenance of buildings, plant and equipment
• Use and maintenance of all common facilities
• Administration costs – wages for manager, administration, gardening and maintenance staff.
• Cleaning of common areas, rubbish removal
• Replacement of hot water services, air conditioning (installed by Southern Cross Care), appliances, floor coverings which were supplied in the villa when it was first occupied by the resident.
The maintenance fee is charged per week and is payable every four (4) weeks in advance.
The cost of periodic refurbishment of a home is funded by Southern Cross Care (SA, NT & VIC) Inc.

What other expenses am I responsible for?

Residents are responsible for internal cleaning, general housekeeping, personal phone bills, contents insurance, emergency call system, and if required, pay-TV and internet services (cabling provided).

Will you accept an application for a unit “subject to the sale of my property”?

Yes, absolutely. This is quite common.

Will there be a “cooling off” period after signing the lease in case I change my mind?

Yes, you may choose to withdraw from the arrangements within ten business days after signing the
Residence Agreement, provided written notice is given to Southern Cross Care. Southern Cross Care will refund any money paid by you in full.

Are visitors allowed?

Yes, of course. There is nothing to prohibit family and friends visiting you in the same manner that you
are accustomed. Overnight guests are also welcome as long as prior written consent has been provided
by Southern Cross Care if those guests stay with you for more than 10 days in any one year period.

Are there limitations on absences?

Southern Cross Care requests you to advise the Retirement Living Manager Communities of your
intended period of absence. We acknowledge that the unit is your home. We would appreciate receiving
advice from you, for security reasons, if you intend to be absent from your home for an extended

Can I still work if I enter into an Agreement to live at a retirement site?

Yes. However, in each home there must be at least one retired person. This means that at least one
resident in each home must have attained 55 years of age and be retired from full-time employment.

What inclusions/chattels does the unit contain?

Your home comes complete with floor coverings (i.e. carpets / vinyl); wall oven, cooktop, rangehood;
heating and cooling; Hot water service as well as other fixtures and fittings as outlined in your documents.

How can I vacate or be compelled to leave my villa?

A person may vacate a unit at any time by giving notice to Southern Cross Care in accordance with
your residence agreement. Subject to the provisions of the Retirement Villages Act, Southern Cross
Care may also terminate the lease, but only if the person breached any of the terms of the lease or if,
in accordance with medical advice, the unit is no longer appropriate for daily living.

What special arrangements have been made for entry of residents into health and care facilities?

Subject to assessing a resident’s care needs, Southern Cross Care will use its best endeavours to arrange admission and give priority to residents to Residential Care (low level and high level). If a place is not available immediately, priority will be given when a bed becomes available. Admission will be subject to Government requirements at the time.

Once I move in do I have a settling in period?

Yes. You have 90 days from when you move in or 180 days from settlement (whichever is the earlier) to decide if you like the retirement village lifestyle. If you do not, we refund your money in full, less market rent for the time that you have occupied the villa, and less other expenses incurred by us.

What happens if I require urgent assistance with maintenance outside of normal office hours?

Southern Cross Care has a member of the maintenance team rostered on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Naturally, that person is only available to be called out of hours in an emergency. The cost of this service is included in the weekly maintenance fee.

Are pets allowed?

Domestic pets are welcome as long as prior written consent has been provided by Southern Cross Care. The organisation reserves the right to withdraw such consent should such pets cause inconvenience and annoyance to others, and the consent automatically lapses upon the death of the nominated pet.

How long will you give me to sell my property?

Firstly we will confirm the expected settlement date. Once this has been provided to you, we will give approximately 4 months to confirm the sale of your property.

Will I have full entitlement to my villa/unit?

Upon becoming a resident, you will be granted a Licence to Occupy the villa and will have those contractual rights set out in your Lease Agreement.

Will you accept an application for a villa “subject to the sale of my property”?


Can I make variations/additions to our Villa?

The villas are architecturally designed to provide optimal living spaces and are supported by professional interior design expertise to ensure that the presentation suits most requirements. In the event that variations are required, they are to be costed and approved by both the prospective resident and Southern Cross Care prior to signing the contract. All variations must be paid for in full within two weeks of signing the contract, and are not refundable.

What other expenses am I responsible for?

Residents are responsible for internal cleaning, general housekeeping and the maintenance of the rear garden (associated with your specific villa/unit). You are also required to pay your own phone bill, home contents insurance, emergency call system, and if required, pay-TV and internet services.

Residential Care
How much will I be asked to pay?

For residents who are assessed as eligible for government financial assistance, your accommodation contribution will be determined by the government assessment. All other accommodation prices are published on our website for each of our sites, and are regulated by the government. Regardless of your financial situation, you will always get the care you need.

Please call our Care Options Team on 1800 180 781 to discuss your individual circumstances.

What are my payment options?

Accommodation charges can either be a lump sum payment (Refundable Accommodation Deposit – RAD) or a regular daily payment (Daily Accommodation Payment – DAP), or a combination of both.

If the accommodation charge is paid as a lump sum (RAD) it is refundable, unless you choose to pay other charges from this.

How are my assets determined?

Centrelink or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will determine the fees payable. They are calculated according to the value of your assets.

How is my income assessed?

Your income is usually assessed by Centrelink. However, if you receive a regular service pension or income support supplement from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), they will assess your income.
If you do not receive any pension, when you enter care you will need to provide information about your income to Centrelink.

What happens if I am not eligible to pay an accommodation payment?

If you are assessed as not being eligible to pay a RAD, you will still get the care you need. The residential care service will receive a full rate of government assistance to ensure you receive the highest levels of care.

What is an accommodation payment?

Depending on your government mean testing assessment, you may be asked to contribute to the cost of your accommodation in residential care. This may be as either a lump sum payment (Refundable Accommodation Deposit - RAD) or as a regular periodic payment (Daily Accommodation Payment – DAP), or a combination of both.

Will my home be protected?

If you own a home, it will not be counted as an asset if, at the time of the asset assessment or your entry into care (whichever is earlier):
• Your partner or dependent child is living there; or
• A carer eligible for an Australian Government income support payment has been living there for at least two years; or
• A close relative who is eligible for an Australian Government income support payment has been living there for at least five years.

What is a basic daily fee?

This fee acts as a contribution towards living expenses such as meals, cleaning, laundry, heating and cooling.

Who has to pay a basic daily fee?

All residents of Australian Government subsidised aged care can be asked to a pay the basic daily fee.

How much will I have to pay for the basic daily fee?

The basic daily fee is calculated using a percentage of the single age pension. Most residents pay the standard rate, which is 85% of the single rate of the basic age pension, but this does depend on the circumstances.
The basic daily fee is indexed on 20 March and 20 September each year, in line with the indexation and increases to the age pension.

Will I have to pay anything else besides the basic daily fee?

Some residents have to pay a means-tested fee, in addition to the basic daily fee. This is determined by Centrelink on behalf of the Department of Social Services.

Residents may also have to pay an Additional Wellbeing Services fee, which is a daily fee that covers the provision of key wellbeing services including group gym sessions & personal training, social activities, excursions and health promotion, and in-room telephone services.

How is the accommodation charge calculated?

1. Calculate the value of your assets.
2. Subtract $46,500 from the answer to Step 1.
3. Divide the result by 2,080 to give a daily accommodation amount (or a maximum of $35.37).
4. If the calculated amount is less than $1, no charge is applicable.

What is a means-tested fee?

Depending on assets and the amount of care required, residents in permanent residential care may be asked to pay an income tested fee on top of the daily basic fee.

When will I have to start paying the means-tested fee?

When you enter one of our residential care services, you may be asked to pay an interim fee while Centrelink determines the official amount you will have to pay. This is done to ensure you are not faced with the prospect of a large back payment. Most residents receive a letter from the Department within the first 28 days of their stay, informing them of the amount they are required to pay.
For more information on aged care fees and charges please refer to the My Aged Care website

What happens when I leave residential care services?

When you leave, your Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) will be refunded back to you, minus any payments which you have chosen to have deducted from the RAD. The timeframes under which the RAD will be refunded are legislated by the government, and are influenced by your particular circumstances.

Home Care
How do you access Home Care?

There are three ways to access Home Care services;

1) the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
2) Home Care Packages
3) privately funded services

CHSP is for lower care needs, Home Care Packages are for higher care needs, and privately funded services can be for either. To access Government funding through CHSP or a Home Care Package, your individual care needs will first be assessed by a Government assessor. Southern Cross Care can help people to register for these assessments.

Are there waiting times for Home Care services?

Waiting times may apply for people accessing Home Care services through Government support programs. Private services can be accessed without waiting times.

Am I eligible for Government-funded Home Care services?

There are a range of eligibility criteria for Government-funded Home Care services based on your age and individual care needs. To find out more please call our friendly team on 1800 852 772

How much will Home Care services cost me?

There are a number of factors that will determine how much Home Care services cost. These include whether you are funding your services privately or accessing government funding support. If you access government support, your financial situation will also affect the cost of your services. To find out more, please contact our friendly team on 1800 852 772.

If I am waiting for a Home Care Package, can I still access Home Care services?

Yes, you can access privately funded Home Care services while you wait for your Home Care Package.

I already have a Home Care Package with another provider – can I switch to Southern Cross Care?

Yes. Anyone receiving a Home Care Package can change providers if they are looking for a better fit to meet their needs. To transfer to a new provider you must notify your current provider and agree on the date that services will cease.

Does Southern Cross Care deliver Home Care services in my local area?

We currently offer Home Care services in the North, South, East and West of Adelaide as well as the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Darwin. To find out more about our specific services available in your area, please call our friendly team on 1800 852 772.