Australian Aged Care Redefined As Federal Minister Christopher Pyne Opens Summitcare Baulkham Hills

on the Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Sydney’s newest and most beautiful residential aged care home, the state-of-the-art SummitCare Baulkham Hills, was officially opened last week by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP.

The 10th centre in the SummitCare aged care portfolio, Baulkham Hills provides residents with a unique and lovely combination of homelike warmth and serenity coupled with the luxurious elements of a five star hotel.  

“Together with the local community, and our architects and builders, we have designed and delivered an enviable aged care lifestyle like no other,” said SummitCare director Peter Wohl.

“SummitCare Baulkham Hills brings to life everything residents and families could wish for in a home, plus the best in experienced service and professional care.” 

As a leader in Australian aged care, SummitCare has supported the wellbeing of older Australians and their families for many years. The award-winning organisation has a reputation for outstanding care through its residential homes in the Sydney and Newcastle areas, in-home support and day respite services.

“Last year SummitCare celebrated its 50th year of operations. We have used this half a century of knowledge and experience in caring for individuals and their families to create and drive innovative design and an extensive range of support services that is synonymous with the SummitCare brand,” said Peter.

“It was the local community of Baulkham Hills who told us what they wanted in this new home, during extensive consultation.

“We spoke with them throughout the design and master planning phase and right through the 18-month build to ensure we were creating the perfect home and community for them. And the end result is stunning, looking more like an upmarket hotel than a traditional residential aged care home,” he added.

Pictured: Peter Wohl and SummitCare Baulkham Hills' first resident Mona Patrick

SummitCare Baulkham Hills offers an abundance of flexible living spaces, ranging from single suites with ensuite bathrooms through to superior suites with kitchenettes and living areas where couples can reside together. Guest and family rooms are also available for overnight stays.

SummitCare identified the need for a new approach to the layout of the new home and the culture associated with ‘nursing homes’ of old.  They created smaller hubs within the home, each named after local roads, with a maximum of 20 people sharing a dining room and lounge as well as a number of smaller lounge areas. There is also a dedicated team comprising of a Registered Nurse, an Assistant in Nursing and carers who support and care for each community, ensuring consistency and a more family-like atmosphere.

SummitCare CEO Cynthia Payne said, “This ‘person-centred’ approach marks a significant shift in aged care, by creating these smaller hubs residents and their families can foster meaningful relationships with other families and feel connected.  “It also means residents can refer to their new home as Unit or Suite 1, The Grove, 5 Bass Drive, which is a much more respectful and dignified address than, say, Room 1, Ward or Wing A.”

Spacious communal living areas are filled with natural light and are a perfect place to relax and socialise with family members and friends, although there are plenty of peaceful nooks and cosy armchairs in the library for some quiet time.

Other features include a beauty salon, hairdresser, café, private dining rooms for residents to host guests, wellness spaces and a media room. The exterior landscape offers a variety of gardens and terraces, a children’s play area, putt-putt golf facilities, an aviary, a rooftop terrace to enjoy balmy evenings, a vegetable garden and a men’s shed.

Cynthia said the opening of Baulkham Hills was a landmark event in the organisation’s history:  “There is no doubt this will be a gorgeous home for so many people, where SummitCare can support the wellbeing of each of these individuals.

“Our residents can choose how they want to live their life, and our professional and caring team will ensure they are supported every step of the way. Not only do we have a clinical team on site around the clock but we also offer behavioural support programs, nutritional and health-filled meals from our executive chef, a wonderful menu of activities for the entire community to enjoy – and even the ability for residents to bring pets to live with them.”

Architects for the $60 million project were Boffa Robertson Group, the centre was built by Richard Crooks Construction and project managed by Donald Cant Watts Corke (DCWC) with international designers CHADA responsible for the stunning interiors.

“I thank all these professionals for their incredible work in creating SummitCare Baulkham Hills, which we believe is at the cutting-edge of aged care,” added Peter Wohl.

“For decades, we have experienced first-hand the way in which aged care needs of Australians have evolved, and SummitCare Baulkham Hills demonstrates we are well positioned to meet community needs now and into the future.” 

Find out more about SummitCare.