• My home is my castle

    My home is my castle

    For those of us who are fortunate to have a place to call home, it can be a place of safety, privacy, and sanctuary.

    Homes change during the course of our lives, adapting to meet our needs. As families grow, additional rooms are added, or granny flats built.

    As we age, a home that once perfectly fit our needs can become a burden to maintain.

    Some people choose to downsize, finding a home that best suits their changing requirements. However, this decision can be difficult, as you part with years of memories. Then there is the difficulty in finding a suitable home at the right price in a heated market.

    Increasingly, we are seeing older people at risk of homelessness, either through divorce or other changes in life circumstance. There is a growing need for suitable affordable accommodation.

    Retirement villages offer an alternative. Instead of purchasing the property outright, residents pay a licence to occupy. This amount is then refunded when the resident leaves, after deducting any fees, which will vary from village to village.

    Residents pay a regular maintenance fee, which covers the upkeep of the village, any maintenance that is required on the unit, villa or apartment, council rates, water rates and insurance.

    There is a wide variety of retirement living options available. Some seek a lifestyle village, with a vibrant social group and facilities that might include a swimming pool, a bowling green, gym, and other amenities.

    For others, who wish to maintain their independence and privacy, a village set in small clusters of units may be preferred.

    Some not-for-profit operators also provide a donation or entry contribution model, where residents pay a much lower entry price, which is non-refundable when they leave. This may allow the resident to free up capital to assist in funding their day-to-day retirement needs.

    There are retirement villages providers who offer both market priced and affordable rental accommodation. Other rental models, such as serviced apartments, also provide meals and laundry.

    Access to supermarkets and other services, such as doctors and pharmacists are important considerations, as well as proximity to family and friends and other social supports.

    If the need arises, home care can also be provided into the retirement village, either through the Commonwealth Home Support Programme or through a Home Care Package.

    Whatever the circumstance, it is important that our houses remain a home and not a burden.

    Opinion piece by Darren Birbeck
    Chief Executive Officer
    Resthaven Incorporated

    Stay up-to-date with our publications, newsletters and brochures