Privacy and Policies

The Altira Gladesville Retirement Apartments (Altira) respects the privacy of individuals and is committed to providing the highest levels of service. This also includes protecting the privacy of individuals. From the 12th March 2014, we will be bound by new sections of The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Protection) Act 2012 (Privacy Amendment Act), which has resulted in significant amendments to the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). At Altira we are committed to complying with the obligations of the Australian Privacy Principles (APP). This document set out when and how Altira will collect, hold, use and disclose an individual’s personal information, as well as how an individual may contact Altira in relation to their personal information, or in order to make complaint about a breach of privacy. The following is the information that the Privacy Act requires us to communicate. We recommend that you keep this information for future reference.

Your Personal Information

Altira will generally only collect personal information which relates to the operations of its retirement village, employees and its members. Personal Information held by Altira may include your name, date of birth, current and previous addresses, telephone/mobile numbers, e-mail address, financial details, occupation and information on your health. Whilst this personal information will usually relate to an individual themselves, it may, from time to time, be necessary for Altira to collect personal information about individuals who are not residents of Altira (for example the details of a Next of Kin), to ensure that in the case of an emergency we are immediately able to contact those closest to our residents. In such cases, Altira will only collect the minimum amount of personal information required and will take reasonable steps to obtain the individuals consent to the collection of their personal information. While an individual may choose not to provide personal information to Altira, failure to do so may result in Altira being incapable of making its services available to an individual.

How we collect Personal Information

Altira collects Personal Information in several ways, including: –

  • Directly from individuals, when they provide information by phone, or in documents such as an application form;
  • Details regarding an individual’s health, which are provided to us by the individual’s medical practitioner (with their consent);
  • From a like organisation who many be trying to location accommodation for an individual, on that individual’s behalf;
  • From information provided to Altira from Government Departments, where the Associations confirmation of details is required for an individual to access government benefits;
  • From family members, friends or an individual’s Power of Attorney.

How we use personal information

Personal information may be used in order to:-

  • Provide services that individual may require, and any discussion that may involve with the individual, their family or next of kin;
  • Administer and manage those services, including charging billing and collecting debts;
  • Inform an individual of information regarding the management and financial position of their Retirement Village;
  • Providing an individual’s contact details or other information to a Resident’s Committee (should one exist), for the purpose of facilitating the communication between the committee and an individual, who is a resident of a retirement village;
  • Maintain and develop our business systems and infrastructure, including better means of communication, and the presentation of information to individuals.

We will also use personal information to keep individuals informed of our services. However, should an individual not wish us to contact them regarding our services, they should call Altira on 02 9816 0777.

Security

Altira is concerned with the security of personal information and is committed to taking reasonable steps to protect it from unauthorised access and use.

Internet

We take care to ensure that any personal information you give us on the internet through our website is protected and secure. We use cookies to protect and secure the security of information that you give us on our website. You should keep any passwords or access codes that you have confidential. We provide links to other websites. These linked websites are not under our control. We are not responsible for the conduct of organisation linked to our website. We suggest that you review the privacy policies of any linked sites that you may access from our website before disclosing your personal information to them.

Cookies

Cookies are small bits of electronic information that a website transfer to a visitor’s hard drive to help tailor and keep records of his or her visit to the site. The use of cookies is standard on the Internet and many websites uses them. Cookies allow website operators to better customise site visits to the visitor’s individual preferences. For example, by setting a cookie you would not have to enter information in the site more than once, thereby saving time. We do not receive or record any personal information in the cookies we use. Although, most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, you can usually change your browser to prevent that, or to notify you when you are sent a cookie.

Direct Marketing

Altira does not sell, trade or transfer personal information to third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.

Help us to ensure we hold accurate information

Altira takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we collect, use and disclose is accurate, complete and up to date. However, the accuracy of that information depends to a large extent on the information that an individual provides. That is why we recommend that individuals:

  • Let us know if there are any errors in their personal information; and
  • Keep us up to date with changes to personal information such as contact details.

To assist us in ensuring the accuracy of the personal information we hold, we ask our residents and member to confirm/update this information every 12 months.

You can access your personal information

You have a right to access your personal information, subject to some exceptions allowed by law. If you would like to do so, please let us know. You may be required to put your request in writing for security reasons. Altira may charge a reasonable fee to cover our costs for searching for and providing access to your information.

Who will see or have access to personal information

Only the Staff and Directors of Altira will have access to an individual’s personal information. However, Altira may be required under government legislation to supply information to a third party, for example: The Retirement Villages Act 1999 may allow access by the Office of Fair Trading.

Complaints

If an individual wishes to make a complaint about Altira collection, use or disclosure of any personal information, or about any potential breach of an APP, the individual may contact the Privacy Officer by use of the contact details at the end of this document. When making a complaint an individual should include as many details as possible, including the nature of the personal information concerned, how it is believed to have been misused, which APP is believed to have been breached, the details of any Altira employee or representative involved and any other relevant information. The Privacy Officer may request additional information to enable the Privacy Officer to properly investigate the complaint and take such reparatory action as necessary.

How to contact us

If you have any questions in relation to privacy, please contact Altira on 02 9816 0777 between 10.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Policy Procedure

Objective:

This policy is designed to ensure that the Operator complies with its legislative obligations under the Retirement Villages Act (NSW) and Retirement Villages Regulations (2017) with respect to managing complaints and disputes.

Responsibility and Authority:

Operators have certain obligations in respect of complaint handling and resolving disputes.  Operators:

  • Must ensure residents are encouraged to raise concerns
  • Must not discourage residents from making complaints or pursuing internal disputes
  • Must not prevent residents from consulting with the Residents’ Committee nor does it require residents to consult with the Residents’ Committee
  • Must ensure complaint and internal dispute resolution processes are prepared and maintained and provide for:
  • A process for the resolution of complaints made by residents, including complaints made by persons acting on behalf of residents
  • A process for the resolution of internal disputes between a resident and the Operator or between 2 or more residents
  • Must make their complaints and internal dispute policy available on the operator’s website and posted on the community’s noticeboard
  • Must keep records of complaints and internal disputes and keep these records for at least 5 years
  • Must ensure staff are trained in complaint handling and internal dispute resolution

Records:

  • Sections 121 to 125 of the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW)
  • Schedule 3A Rules of Conduct, Part 5 Complaint Handling and Internal Dispute Resolution Scheme, Regulations 24 to 35 of the Retirement Villages Regulations (2017)
  • Complaints Register
  • Staff Training Records

Procedure:

When living in any form of communal living disputes may arise from time to time.  Altira’s complaint and dispute resolution process aims to provide residents and management with the means by which such disputes can be resolved in an easy, informal and inexpensive way.

Should a dispute arise we would encourage you to firstly discuss the matter with the Community Manager.

How do I Make a Complaint?

Complaints should be made in writing addressed to the Community Manager outlining your complaint and what action you would like us to take.

Who Will Manage my Complaint?

The Community Manager will be responsible for managing your complaint and will escalate your complaint to the Club’s CEO (where relevant).  The Community Manager and Club CEO meet regularly and these meetings involve review of Altira’s complaints register.

What we will do if a Complaint is Received or a Dispute Arises:

If we receive a complaint or a dispute arises between a resident and ourselves, we will follow any legislative process outlined in the Retirement Villages Act 1999 (NSW) and the Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (NSW).  All complaints must be made in writing and cannot be anonymous.  We will ensure that all complaints will be treated with confidentiality and privacy and at a minimum we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 5 working days.
  • Assess and investigate the complaint. Management of your complaint will be undertaken within 60 days in line with the Retirement Villages Regulations 2017 (NSW)
  • Respond to you in an efficient and timely manner, proportionate to the urgency and nature of the complaint.
  • Respond in plain English.
  • Upon receiving a complaint, the Community Manager will investigate the matter and arrange to meet with you (or your agent) to discuss the matter and, if required, confirm with you the matters to be resolved and the outcomes that you are seeking. We will ensure that the person who attends any meeting is appropriately informed and has appropriate authority to deal with the matter at hand.
  • Following this meeting, a letter confirming the discussion points, agreed outcomes and anticipated timeframe for us to provide you with our response will be issued to you.
  • Once we have concluded our investigation into your complaint, we will arrange to meet with you (or your agent) to discuss our response and reasons for our decision. We will also confirm our decision and reasons in writing to you.

Conflict Between Residents

Should conflict arise between residents, Altira’s preferred process when attempting to resolve issues between residents is as follows:

  • We will firstly encourage residents to attempt to resolve the issue firstly amongst themselves and will offer counselling as required.
  • Upon confirming the issues at the centre of the matter and subject to the resident’s consent, the Community Manager will contact the other party involved and request a meeting to discuss the issues. Both parties will be invited to bring along a support person should they wish.
  • We will provide reasonable assistance to resolve the matter. This means we will make a venue available to facilitate discussions and provide our views on the matters at hand.  The Community Manager will undertake this role without discrimination or bias towards either party.  If the matter involves a potential breach of a resident’s obligations, we may take action in respect of that breach.
  • If the matter cannot be resolved at this forum, the Community Manager may, subject to the wishes of the parties, refer the parties to an external dispute resolution centre for further mediation of the dispute.

Where can I get help?

Further information on disputes and complaints is available by contacting the following organisations:

Fair Trading

Tel:  13 32 20

www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Seniors rights service

Provides free, confidential advocacy, advice, education and legal services to older people in NSW. This includes advice to residents of retirement villages about retirement village contracts and other disputes.

Tel: 9281 3600 or 1800 424 079

www.seniorsrightsservice.org.au

Council on the Ageing (COTA)

Produces directories of retirement villages in both the metropolitan and country areas. These include details about the contracts, services and costs of each village.

Tel: 9286 3860 or 1800 449 102

www.cotansw.com.au

Law Access Service

Provides free legal information and advice in NSW.

Tel: 1300 888 529

TTY: 1300 889 529

Retirement Village Residents Association (RVRA)

A non-profit organisation which represents the interests of residents.

Tel: 1300 787 213

www.rvra.org.au

Seniors Information Service

Provides information to seniors and others on a variety of issues.

Tel: 13 12 44

www.seniorsinfo.nsw.gov.au

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