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Decode the lingo of retirement and aged care


Decode the lingo of retirement and aged care

Are you finding the terminology of retirement living options and aged care confusing? LESA MACPHERSON explains the ABC of the acronyms.

TRYING to get your head around some of the abbreviations used when you are navigating retirement living and aged care can be tricky.

No need to feel confused. Here are some of the more commonly used terms you are likely to come across.

ACAT:   Aged Care Assessment Team – This is the team you need to know. They are dedicated to determining your best care options – whether at home or in a care facility.

DAP:  Daily Accommodation Payment – This is the payment for aged care accommodation. It is paid fortnightly or monthly and is non-refundable.

DMF: Deferred Management Fee – This occurs in most retirement villages and may also be called the exit fee. This is often misunderstood and is, in a sense, a deferred purchase cost. The DMF helps the retirement village pay for building the community facilities you enjoy such as pools, sports facilities, and community rooms.  Generally, when you enter a retirement living complex your purchase price is cheaper than relative values in the area. The DMF is paid upon exit, and is a percentage of either your purchase price, or sale price, depending on the particular village contract. Usually it is relative to the time you’ve been there.

The DMF is often confusing and varies from contract to contract, so seek the advice of a specialist lawyer before signing.

GSC: General Services Charge – This is payable for the day to day cost of management and administration, gardening, minor maintenance, recreation, and entertainment facilities.

ILU: Independent Living Unit – In the retirement village these are accommodation units/villas where people largely look after themselves, although usually some help is available (at a cost).

RAD: Refundable Accommodation Deposit – This is paid in part or in full on entrance to an aged care facility and is refunded upon exit (after deductions).

RTO: Right to Occupy – Usually in retirement villages you purchase a right to occupy.  You don’t own the property. Often the RTO is referred to as a lease or licence.

And finally:

LTD: LIVING THE DREAM – This is what we all hope for.

Retirement living and aged care law is complex.  Contracts, while having some standard clauses through government requirement, vary significantly among villages. Advice prior to signing, or at least during any “cooling off” period is essential.

 Lesa Macpherson is an expert in retirement village contracts. Visit or or call 1800 961 622.

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