Retirement living can be a complex and sometimes confusing journey, with a variety of terms and definitions to navigate along the way. Whether you're exploring retirement village options for yourself or a loved one, having a clear understanding of the terminology can help you make informed decisions and ensure you're getting the most out of your retirement experience.
Aged care refers to the support and services provided to older adults who require assistance with their daily activities and healthcare needs. This can include assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, and managing medications. Aged care can also involve more specialised medical care, such as managing chronic conditions and providing rehabilitation services.
Aged care can be provided in a variety of settings, including in the individual's home, in a community setting, or in a residential aged care facility. The type of care required will depend on the individual's needs and level of independence, as well as their physical and mental health status.
The goal of aged care is to support older adults to live as independently and comfortably as possible, while also promoting their health and wellbeing. Aged care providers may include trained caregivers, nurses, and medical professionals, as well as community organisations and government programs.
Assisted living is a type of residential care for older adults who require some assistance with their daily activities but still want to maintain a level of independence. Assisted living facilities are designed to provide a safe and comfortable living environment, while also offering personalised support services. The level of care and services provided can vary depending on the needs and preferences of the individual.
Assisted living facilities typically offer a range of services, including assistance with tasks such as bathing, dressing, and grooming, medication management, housekeeping, and meals. Many facilities also offer social and recreational activities to help residents stay engaged and connected with others. Assisted living can be a good option for older adults who are no longer able to live independently, but who do not require the level of medical care provided in a nursing home.
Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT/ACAS)
An Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is a group of healthcare professionals who assess the needs of older adults to determine their eligibility for aged care services. ACATs assess an individual's physical, medical, social, and psychological needs to develop a personalised care plan. The team may include doctors, nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals who work together to evaluate the person's needs and make recommendations for care options. ACAT assessments are typically required before an individual can access government-funded aged care services in Australia.
Ageing In Place
Ageing in Place refers to the ability of older adults to continue living in their own home or community, with the support of care services, as they age and their care needs increase. The aim of ageing in place is to provide older adults with the necessary services and support to maintain their independence, quality of life, and social connections. This may include home modifications, home care services, transportation assistance, and access to community activities and services. Ageing in place is often preferred by older adults who wish to remain in their familiar environment, close to family and friends, and avoid the potential upheaval of moving to a new residence.
Aged Care On-Site
Aged Care On-Site refers to the provision of aged care services within a retirement village or aged care facility. This model allows older adults to receive care and support services while remaining in their own self-contained accommodation, such as an apartment or villa. On-site aged care services can include home care, personal care, nursing care, and social activities, all delivered within the confines of the facility. This approach can be beneficial for older adults who may require more support and care as they age, as it allows them to receive care within a familiar environment and community, while also providing the peace of mind that care is available if needed.
If a home in a retirement village remains unsold after a specified time period, the retirement village operator may opt for a buyback, which involves purchasing the home back from the resident. This process is required by state legislation, which provides additional protection for the resident. If a resident resides in a leasehold or license village in New South Wales, their home will be repurchased by the village provider if it remains unsold after 6 months, while in Queensland and South Australia, the buyback period is 18 months. However, this provision does not extend to resident contracts in strata title villages.
A care apartment is a specialised living arrangement designed to cater to the needs of older adults who require assistance with daily activities. These apartments are typically located within retirement communities and feature various amenities that promote safety, comfort, and convenience. Care apartments offer a range of services, including meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, and transportation, among others. They are staffed with caregivers who provide assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management. Care apartments aim to provide older adults with a supportive and social environment that enhances their quality of life while ensuring their safety and well-being.
During your research on retirement villages, you may encounter various types of contracts. Among the most prevalent types of agreements in Australian retirement villages are leasehold and licence contracts. Under these agreements, you acquire a long-term lease, typically lasting 99 years, to reside in your home.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP)
The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) is an Australian government-funded initiative that provides a range of in-home support services to help older adults maintain their independence and continue living in their homes for as long as possible. These services may include domestic assistance, personal care, transportation, social support, and home modifications, among others. CHSP is targeted towards individuals aged 65 years and over, as well as Indigenous Australians aged 50 years and over. The programme aims to provide flexible and affordable support to individuals with varying needs and levels of care, while promoting community involvement and social connection. CHSP is delivered by a network of community-based organisations and service providers across Australia.
Community Care Packages
Community Care Packages are government-funded programs designed to provide a range of support services to individuals who require assistance with daily activities, but who are still able to live independently in their homes. These packages are targeted towards older adults and people with disabilities, and may include services such as personal care, domestic assistance, nursing, allied health, and social support. The packages are tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual and are provided on a case-by-case basis. The aim of Community Care Packages is to enable individuals to live as independently as possible, while also promoting social connection, community engagement, and wellbeing. The packages are administered by government-funded organisations and service providers, and are subject to eligibility criteria and assessment processes.
A retirement village departure fee, also known as an exit fee, is a payment made by the resident to the retirement village operator upon leaving the village. This fee is typically calculated as a percentage of the original purchase price or market value of the resident's home, and may also include a share of any capital gains made on the property during the resident's tenure. The departure fee is intended to cover the costs of refurbishing and maintaining the home for the next resident. The percentage and calculation of the departure fee may vary depending on the specific retirement village and the terms of the resident contract. It is important for potential residents to fully understand the departure fee structure and any other associated costs before entering into a retirement village contract.
Deferred Management Fees (DMF)
Deferred Management Fees (DMF) is a fee structure commonly used in retirement villages, which is designed to defer a portion of the resident's payment until they leave the village. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the original purchase price or market value of the resident's home, and is typically payable upon the sale of the property. The DMF is intended to cover the costs associated with running and maintaining the retirement village, such as refurbishment, administration, and management. The percentage and calculation of the DMF may vary depending on the specific retirement village and the terms of the resident contract. It is important for potential residents to fully understand the DMF structure and any other associated costs before entering into a retirement village contract.
Domestic assistance is a service provided in retirement villages to assist older adults with household chores and activities that they may no longer be able to do independently. This service typically includes assistance with cleaning, laundry, ironing, meal preparation, and grocery shopping, among others. The aim of domestic assistance is to promote the independence and well-being of older adults, while also reducing the risk of accidents and injuries in the home. Domestic assistance may be provided by the retirement village staff or outsourced to external service providers, depending on the specific retirement village and the resident's needs. The frequency and extent of domestic assistance may vary depending on the resident's individual requirements and the terms of their contract.
An entry payment, also known as an upfront payment or a refundable deposit, is a payment made by the resident to the retirement village operator upon entering the village. This payment is designed to secure the resident's right to occupy a specific home within the village and is typically calculated as a percentage of the purchase price or market value of the property. The entry payment may be fully or partially refundable upon the resident leaving the village, subject to the terms and conditions of the resident contract. The entry payment structure may vary depending on the specific retirement village and the type of contract offered.
A retirement village exit entitlement, also known as a departure entitlement, is the amount of money owed to the resident upon leaving the village. This entitlement may include a refund of the resident's entry payment, any accrued interest, and a share of any capital gains made on the property during their tenure. The calculation of the exit entitlement may vary depending on the specific retirement village and the terms of the resident contract. It is important for potential residents to fully understand the exit entitlement structure and any other associated costs before entering into a retirement village contract. The exit entitlement is typically payable within a specified period of time after the resident has vacated their home and is subject to the terms and conditions of the resident contract.
A retirement village exit fee, also known as a departure fee or deferred management fee, is a fee paid by the resident to the retirement village operator upon leaving the village. This fee is calculated as a percentage of the original purchase price or market value of the resident's home, and may also include a share of any capital gains made on the property during their tenure. The exit fee is intended to cover the costs associated with refurbishing and maintaining the home for the next resident. The percentage and calculation of the exit fee may vary depending on the specific retirement village and the terms of the resident contract. It is important for potential residents to fully understand the exit fee structure and any other associated costs before entering into a retirement village contract. The exit fee is typically payable within a specified period of time after the resident has vacated their home and is subject to the terms and conditions of the resident contract.
Gardening and Maintenance
Gardening and maintenance are services provided in retirement villages to assist older adults with the upkeep of their homes and surrounding gardens. This service typically includes tasks such as mowing lawns, pruning bushes and trees, weeding, watering plants, and general garden maintenance. Maintenance services may also include minor repairs and upkeep of the resident's home, such as changing light bulbs, fixing leaky faucets, and repairing minor electrical faults. The aim of gardening and maintenance services is to promote the independence and well-being of older adults, while also ensuring that their homes and surroundings are well-kept and safe. Gardening and maintenance services may be provided by the retirement village staff or outsourced to external service providers, depending on the specific retirement village and the resident's needs. The frequency and extent of gardening and maintenance services may vary depending on the resident's individual requirements and the terms of their contract.
Home care refers to a range of support services that are provided to older adults who wish to continue living independently in their own homes. Home care services may include assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, and mobility, as well as household tasks, such as cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation. The aim of home care is to promote the independence and well-being of older adults, while also providing them with the necessary support to remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Home care services may be provided by government-funded or private providers, and the type and extent of services offered may vary depending on the individual's needs and preferences.
Home Care Package
A Home Care Package is a government-subsidised program in Australia that provides older adults with a range of personalised home care services to help them continue living independently in their own homes. The program is designed for older adults who need more extensive and ongoing support than what is available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP). Home Care Packages are provided by approved home care providers, who work with the individual to develop a personalised care plan that addresses their specific needs and goals. Services may include assistance with activities of daily living, nursing care, allied health services, transport, and home modifications. The cost of the Home Care Package is partially subsidised by the government, with the individual required to contribute towards the cost based on their income and assets. The level of subsidy and the type and extent of services provided will vary depending on the individual's needs and the availability of government funding.
Independent Living Unit (ILU)
An Independent Living Unit (ILU) is a type of housing designed for older adults who are still capable of living independently but require some level of support or assistance. ILUs are typically located in retirement villages or aged care communities, and may be available for purchase or lease. These units are designed to be low-maintenance, with features such as single-level living, wide doorways, and step-free access. They may also include communal facilities such as a clubhouse, pool, or gym. The level of support and care provided in an ILU may vary, with some communities offering on-site support services such as home care or nursing care, while others are solely designed for independent living.
In-home Care Services
In-home care services refer to a range of support services that are provided to older adults in their own homes. These services are designed to help individuals continue living independently in their own homes, while also receiving the necessary care and support they need. In-home care services may include personal care, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, and grooming, as well as household tasks, such as cleaning, laundry, and meal preparation. The aim of in-home care services is to promote the independence and well-being of older adults, while also providing them with the necessary support to remain in their own homes for as long as possible.
Land Lease Community
A Land Lease Community (LLC) is a type of housing development in which residents lease the land on which their homes are located, rather than owning it outright. The land is typically owned by a private company or organisation, which is responsible for maintaining the community and providing services and amenities. Residents are responsible for maintaining their own homes, and may be subject to community rules and regulations. LLCs are often designed for older adults or retirees, and may offer a range of amenities and services, such as community centers, pools, and on-site healthcare facilities. The cost of living in an LLC may be lower than traditional homeownership, as residents are not responsible for the cost of the land.
Leasehold is a type of property ownership in which an individual owns the right to occupy and use a property for a specified period of time, typically through a long-term lease agreement with the landowner or property owner. The lease may last for several years, with the leaseholder paying rent to the owner for the right to use the property. Leasehold arrangements are common in many parts of the world, particularly in urban areas where property ownership may be more expensive or difficult to obtain. While leasehold ownership does not provide the same level of control or flexibility as freehold ownership, it can be a more affordable way for individuals to secure a long-term home or property.
License to Occupy
A License to Occupy is a legal agreement between a resident and a retirement village operator, which grants the resident the right to occupy a specific unit or property within the retirement village for a set period of time. Unlike a leasehold agreement, a License to Occupy does not provide ownership rights to the resident, but rather, a license to use the property for the duration of the agreement. This means that the retirement village operator retains ownership of the property and is responsible for maintaining and managing the village. In exchange for the license, the resident typically pays an entry fee and ongoing fees for services and amenities provided by the village operator.
Meals and Shopping
Meals and shopping services are a type of in-home care service that can be provided to older adults who require assistance with grocery shopping and meal preparation. These services are designed to help individuals maintain a healthy and balanced diet, while also providing them with the necessary support to live independently in their own homes. Meals and shopping services may include assistance with grocery shopping, meal planning and preparation, and help with cleaning up after meals. This type of support can be particularly valuable for older adults who have mobility or cognitive challenges that make it difficult to shop or cook for themselves.
A Maintenance Charge in a retirement village is a fee paid by residents to the retirement village operator to cover the cost of maintaining and repairing common areas and facilities within the village. This may include the upkeep of communal gardens, the maintenance of buildings and infrastructure, and the provision of services such as garbage collection and security. Maintenance charges are typically included in the ongoing fees paid by residents and may vary depending on the size and complexity of the village and the level of services provided.
A nursing home is a residential facility that provides 24-hour nursing care and assistance to individuals who require ongoing medical care and support. These facilities are designed for individuals who have complex medical needs that cannot be met in their own homes or in a retirement village. Nursing homes typically have qualified nurses and other medical professionals on staff to provide medical care, and they may also offer a range of therapies and activities to support residents' physical and mental well-being. Nursing homes may be publicly funded or privately owned and operated, and they are regulated to ensure quality care and safety for residents.
Primary care refers to the first point of contact that an individual has with the healthcare system, usually provided by a general practitioner (GP) or family doctor. Primary care services are focused on providing preventative care, health promotion, and the diagnosis and management of common health problems. Primary care providers play a critical role in maintaining the health and well-being of individuals and communities, and they often work closely with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive and coordinated care to their patients. Primary care services are typically accessed through community-based clinics, medical centres, or in some cases, through telehealth services.
Residential Aged Care
Residential aged care refers to 24-hour care and accommodation services provided to older adults who can no longer live independently in their own homes. Residential aged care facilities, also known as nursing homes, provide a range of support services to help residents with their daily living activities, personal care needs, and ongoing health care requirements. These facilities are staffed by qualified nurses and other healthcare professionals, who provide individualised care and support to meet the unique needs of each resident. Residential aged care facilities are regulated to ensure the safety and well-being of residents, and they may be publicly or privately owned and operated.
A retirement village is a community designed for older adults who want to downsize their homes and live independently while enjoying a range of amenities and support services. Retirement villages typically offer a range of accommodation options, such as independent living units or apartments, as well as access to communal facilities, such as gyms, swimming pools, and social spaces. Residents pay fees to cover the cost of services and amenities provided by the retirement village operator, and they may also have access to additional support services, such as home care or nursing care, as needed. Retirement villages are regulated to ensure the safety and well-being of residents.
Respite care is a short-term care service that provides relief for caregivers of older adults or individuals with disabilities who require ongoing care and support. Respite care services may be provided in a variety of settings, including in the person's own home or in a residential care facility, and may be scheduled for a few hours, a few days, or up to several weeks at a time. The goal of respite care is to provide temporary relief to caregivers, allowing them to take a break and attend to their own needs, while ensuring that the person receiving care continues to receive the support they require.
Retirement Living Council
The Retirement Living Council is the peak industry body representing retirement village and senior living providers in Australia. Its members include not-for-profit and for-profit organisations that offer a range of retirement living options, from independent living units to residential aged care facilities. The Council's mission is to promote best practices and high standards in retirement living, advocate for the interests of its members, and provide information and resources to consumers and stakeholders. The Council also works with government and industry partners to shape policy and regulatory frameworks that support the growth and sustainability of the retirement living sector.
Retirement Living Code of Conduct
The Retirement Living Code of Conduct is a voluntary industry code that sets out standards of conduct and practice for retirement village operators in Australia. Developed by the Retirement Living Council in collaboration with industry stakeholders, the Code aims to promote transparency, fairness, and accountability in the retirement living sector. The Code covers a range of areas, including marketing and advertising, contracts and disclosure, resident rights and responsibilities, and dispute resolution. Retirement village operators who sign up to the Code commit to adhering to its standards and can display the Code's logo as a sign of their commitment to ethical and responsible practices.
Retirement Villages Act
The Retirement Villages Act is legislation in Australia that regulates the operation of retirement villages and protects the rights of residents. The Act sets out requirements for disclosure of information, contracts, and financial arrangements, as well as provisions for dispute resolution and the establishment of a residents' committee. The Act also outlines the rights and responsibilities of residents and operators, including provisions for the provision of services and amenities, exit entitlements, and dispute resolution. The Act is designed to ensure that residents of retirement villages are treated fairly and with respect, and that operators operate in a transparent and accountable manner.
A serviced apartment is a type of accommodation that provides a combination of independent living and support services. Generally found in retirement villages or aged care facilities, serviced apartments are self-contained units that include a kitchenette, living area, and private bathroom. Residents have the option of preparing their own meals or having them provided by the facility, and can access a range of services such as housekeeping, laundry, and personal care as needed. Serviced apartments are designed to provide a level of independence and privacy while also offering the reassurance of on-site support and assistance.
Service charges in a retirement village are fees paid by residents to cover the cost of services and amenities provided by the village operator. These charges can include things like maintenance of common areas and facilities, landscaping and gardening, security, and building insurance. The amount of the service charge can vary depending on the size and complexity of the village, the range of services provided, and the needs of the residents. Service charges are typically calculated on a regular basis and are included in the resident's ongoing costs of living in the village.
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