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Family gatherings a good time for forward planning


Family gatherings a good time for forward planning

The end of one year and start of another, is a time to reflect on plans for the future, and changes needed to improve lifestyle, writes DON MACPHERSON.

Common resolutions at this time involve such things as losing weight, getting healthy, being more careful with money, and generally doing things better in the year ahead.

For many retirees, this is often a time of year to consider whether our accommodation continues to be suitable, and whether a change is needed.

It is also the time of year when families get together and there can be recognition that

Grandma and Grandpa aren’t looking as sprightly as they did last year – perhaps the time has come to consider moving into a retirement village, or even aged care.

These decisions are not easily made, and often meet with some initial resistance, but over time there is usually a recognition that the house seems bigger, the maintenance workload greater, or even that the lack of community and communication is becoming burdensome.

Retirement villages inevitably involve downsizing accommodation, but often upsizing community involvement through the retirement village. In fact, some in the industry call it “right sizing”.

A decision to move into a retirement village is best done as a whole-of-family decision, with the involvement of the elderly persons, as well as their supportive children (who are often in their 50s or beyond).

Often it is the children who first see that Mum and Dad/Nanny and Pa are only just managing, and a change from the home to a retirement village may be timely and beneficial.

A move to a retirement village is a significant legal decision as well, as the terms of the contracts are complex, lengthy, and onerous.

It is essential that everyone involved understands the ramifications of what they are signing, and what it means to them down the track. Generalist advice isn’t good enough.

Brisbane Elder Law is expert in the area of retirement village and aged care contracts and its website has, among other information, 24 points to look for in a retirement village as well as the 2019 changes to the law relating to retirement villages.

 Don Macpherson is an expert in elder law. Call 1800 961 622 or visit

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