The Australian Government respects the rights of aged persons and has implemented initiatives to ensure their care and protection in society. The Aged Care services are available to elderly people in Australia and people with specific health or cultural needs are supported under the said services. The Aged Care Act, 1997 (Cth) (the Act), provides for residential care, flexible care and Community Aged Care Packages (CACP) for senior Australians.
The Act pertains to matters relating to the planning of services, the approval of service providers and care recipients, payment of subsidies and responsibilities of service providers. The Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency is an independent body responsible for supervising and providing accreditation to Aged Care homes funded by the Government.
In cases where an elderly person seeks to avail these services, but prefers to stay at home without relocating to an Aged Care home, other services are also available. There are provisions for short term care if you are recovering from an accident or a surgery. The Aged Care services also amalgamate the services of health care to look after the physical and mental well-being of an elderly person.
Efforts have been made to make the services available to rural centers so that they are not confined only to major cities or big urban areas.
A person may decide to stay in a Retirement Village after he has reached 55 years of age or retired from full time employment. The decision to relocate into a Retirement Village is an important one and you should carefully think about it before making the decision. A Retirement Village may be either funded by residents or donors. The ones funded by donors are generally charitable institutions. A resident funded Retirement Village may be run for commercial purposes. The accommodation facilities vary depending upon the fees required for gaining admission.
There are different legislation in different States and Territories which regulate the operation of Retirement Villages in their respective jurisdictions. The definition of what is to be considered as a Retirement Village also varies from one State to another. The particular living arrangements in different Retirement Villages and the various types of contractual arrangements entered into with different boarders may also attract the application of other legislation which are operative within New South Wales.
The level of care provided in Retirement Villages can vary, and independent living units or self-care units provide the lowest level of care though different services may be available on payment basis. The level of care is highest in assisted living units or serviced apartments.
These units should not be confused with hostels and nursing homes which are regulated and partly funded by the Government. These units are regulated by different legislation and admission criteria and funding arrangements are completely different.
Before enrolling in a resident funded Retirement Village, you must remember that it is a costly affair and expenses include a bond, periodical service charges and a departure fee. The structures of the fees are widely different and complex. The initial entry fee may relate to purchase price of a freehold property, security or other assets. Similarly, departure fees structures are also very difficult to understand and it determine how much refund a boarder gets back after he leaves the Retirement Village.
It is particularly important for you to consult a Solicitor or a Legal Practitioner, to decide about the contractual terms and implications of the fee structure, before you decide to join a Retirement Village. Our experts at Owen Hodge Lawyers are well experienced to help you in this regard.