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Take a home review and look ahead to right-sizing


Take a home review and look ahead to right-sizing

The end of one year and start of another is often a time to reflect on plans for the future, and what changes are needed to improve lifestyle. DON MACPHERSON suggests it’s a good time to look at accommodation options.

Common resolutions involve such things as losing weight, getting healthy, being more careful with money, and generally doing things better in the year ahead, but one thing relevant to over 50s is whether current accommodation is suitable.

It may be time for a change.

This is also the time of year when families get together (sadly a rarer event these days) and one issue that often comes up is ageing parents.

Reflection on the year ahead, raises the thought that grannie and grandpa aren’t looking as sprightly as they did last year, and perhaps the time has come for them to consider moving into a retirement village, or even aged care.

These decisions are not easily made, and often encounter some initial resistance, but over time there is usually 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 of accommodation, but also an upsizing of community involvement.

In fact, some in the industry call it “right sizing”. A move into a retirement village is best made 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 see that Mum and Dad/Nanny and Pa are only just managing, and a change from the family home to a retirement village may be timely and beneficial.

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

It is essential that seniors and their family understand the ramifications of what they are signing, and what it means to them down the track. Generalist advice isn’t good enough.

Elder Law is an expert in the area of retirement village and aged care contracts and its website has extensive information, including the 24 things to look for in a retirement village, and all the recent changes in the law relating to retirement villages.  Call 1800 961 622 or visit or

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