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Finding the appropriate place to call home


Finding the appropriate place to call home

With the end of the year coming up, it’s a good time to reflect on plans for the future, and what changes need to be made to improve lifestyle. DON MACPHERSON discusses retirement villages.

For seniors, one of the most relevant things to think about, especially while the family is together, is whether current accommodation is suitable, and if changes need to be made.

If you haven’t had everyone together for a while, they may have noticed changes that you haven’t felt – basically, are grannie and grandpa as sprightly as they were last year.

Perhaps the time has come to consider moving into a retirement village, over 50s resort, or even aged care.

Such decisions are not easily made, and there may be some initial resistance.

Over time though, there is usually recognition that the house seems bigger, the maintenance workload greater, the health issues increasingly significant, or even lack of community and communication could becoming burdensome.

Retirement villages and over 50s resorts inevitably involve “downsizing” in accommodation but often an “upsizing” of community involvement through the retirement village or resort. In fact, some in the industry call it “right sizing”.

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 decision to move into a retirement village, over 50s resort or aged care is best done as a whole-of-family decision, with the involvement of the seniors, as well as their supportive children (themselves often in their 50s or more).

Commonly it is the children who first notice that Mum and Dad/Nan and Pa are only just managing, and that a change from the home to a retirement village, over 50s resort or aged care may be timely and beneficial. Such a move is a significant legal decision as the terms of retirement village, over 50s resort and aged care contracts are complex, lengthy, and onerous.

It is essential that seniors and their families understand the ramifications of what they are signing, and what it means to them down the track.

Generalist advice isn’t good enough.

There have been recent changes in the law relating to retirement villages.

To learn more, and for a list of 24 points to consider when considering a move to a retirement village, visit our website.

 Don Macpherson is an expert in elder law at Sunshine Coast Elder Law. Call 1800 328 952 or visit or

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