Big Difference Between Commonwealth Funded Aged Care Homes and SRS Homes

Jillian Slade – Placement Consultant Commonwealth funded Aged Care Facilities

Recently a supported residential services home, Viewbank House in Banyule Rd, Rosanna gave its residents only 45 days to find alternative accommodation. It was reported in the Herald Sun Leader newspaper that “TWENTY elderly Melbourne residents will be left homeless after their cash-strapped nursing home was placed into administration.” Unfortunately, this sort of reporting doesn’t differentiate between aged care facilities that are  Commonwealth government funded facilities and a Supported Residential Service (SRS).
SRS homes come under State regulations, are privately owned and operated
businesses that provide accommodation for people who need support in
everyday life. These can be frail, aged or people with a mental or physical disability. Residents pay a weekly fee and do not need an aged care assessment or have to do the Centrelink paperwork. I believe they can still claim rental assistance.

In the past when similar close-downs have happened with SRS homes consumers haven’t understand that it’s not a government funded facility and they start to talk and worry about aged care in general.  It impacts on the whole industry and causes distrust of the system. As an Aged Care Accommodation Specialist I have seen this happen before.

SRS homes are registered under the Department of Health & Human Services, who monitor them. They are covered by the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 and the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Regulations 2012. The proprietors of the home determine who they accommodate, services they provide and fees charged.  Some SRS homes have predominantly aged residents whilst others cater to people with a disability or younger residents. There is no government assessment of the people accommodated in this type of residence, it is simply an agreement between the resident and the proprietor.
In my role I assist elderly people to find suitable accommodation in Commonwealth government funded aged care facilities that are heavily audited and have to meet 44 standards. This is a completely different standard of care and I assure any clients or potential clients that I will always carefully assess the suitability of any aged care facility I recommend.

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