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Festive gatherings can signal a need for change


Festive gatherings can signal a need for change

The festive season is a wonderful time for family gatherings but Christmas and New Year can also be a time when family members notice a change in their parents or grandparents. LESA MACPHERSON suggests it is a good opportunity to evaluate.

If families haven’t had everyone together for a while, it is commonly the children who first notice that mum and dad or nan and pa, are only just managing.

Over time, these changes lead to recognition that their house is getting much harder to maintain, health problems are impacting more, and even a lack of community and accessible leisure activities become burdensome.

A change from a house to a retirement village may be timely and beneficial.

Staying in place, of course, may require added elements for safety, or a more engaging lifestyle. Home care can be a suitable area for upgrade.

Retirement villages usually involve downsizing accommodation – and upsizing community involvement is the happy result. Some refer to this as “right-sizing”.

A decision to move to a retirement village is best made by the whole family, with the involvement of those making the move, and their supportive children, who are often in their 50s and beyond.

If that move has already been made, or even if the stay at home has been extended, often health issues are significant enough that a move to aged care becomes necessary.

A move into a retirement village or aged care facility is a significant legal decision as well, because the terms of those contracts are complex, lengthy, and onerous.

It is essential that the older persons involved, and their family, understand the ramifications of what they are signing, and what it means for them down the track.

Generalist legal advice isn’t good enough in these situations.

 Lesa Macpherson is an expert in elder law. Visit or to read the 24 points to look for when choosing a retirement village, or call 1800 961 622.


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