Residential Care Homes

If you are having difficulty with every day tasks such as cleaning, shopping, paying bills and personal care you may need to consider full time assistance and care. This assistance can be provided in residential homes.

A residential care home may be the best option for older people who, for a variety of reasons, can no longer live at home. These reasons may include illness; disability; bereavement; an emergency; changing needs of carers, families or friends; or, because it is no longer possible to manage at home without help.

Every residential care home is different. The services, activities and room arrangements of each facility will differ. However at all aged care homes staff can help you with day-to-day tasks (such as cleaning, cooking, laundry); personal care (dressing, grooming, going to the toilet); or 24-hour nursing care (wound care, catheter care, medication management). Accessing a variety of additional services such as physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance training), dentistry, podiatry and lifestyle activities.

Finding the right residential home for you or your loved one will depend upon a variety of factors. When looking for the best residential home to suit you it is important to consider whether they can meet your specific needs and support you.

Some elements to consider are:

  • Do you feel comfortable with the staff and the environment?
  • Are your physical, spiritual and emotional needs able to be met?
  • Does the home cater to your language and culture?
  • Can your family and friends stay over night?
  • Is there transport available, to shops etc.?
  • Is the facility secure?
  • What cannot be provided at the facility?
  • What services cost extra?

5 steps of moving into a residential home

  • Assessing eligibility
  • Finding a home
  • Fees and charges
  • Applying to a home
  • Living in an aged care home

Retirement Villages

“A retirement village is a complex containing residential premises that are predominantly or exclusively occupied, or intended to be predominantly or exclusively occupied, by retired persons who have entered into village contracts with an operator of the complex.”

  • Most residents are 55 years or older or are retired from full-time employment (or are spouses/partners of such people)
  • Residents receive accommodation and services, other than services provided in a residential care or aged care facility
  • At least one of the residents, as a contractual condition of entering the retirement village, paid an ingoing contribution that was not rent. It does not matter who made that payment, or whether it was a lump sum or by installments.

Different types of contracts:

The main types of contract arrangements are:

  • Strata Title – where you pay an agreed amount to a former resident or the operator, and then own the unit. You usually also need to enter into a service agreement with the operator.
  • Loan and Licence – may be offered by not-for-profit organisations such as churches. You usually pay a contribution in the form of an interest-free loan.
  • Leasehold – where the lease is usually registered on the title deed, which protects you if the village is sold. You pay a lump sum for the leasehold.

Entry, ongoing and exit fees can apply to all three contract types.

Costs

Entry costs

There are large variations in entry fees for retirement villages, depending on factors including location, facilities, the age and condition of the unit, and other fees to be paid.

Ongoing costs

Ongoing costs cover any services provided, maintenance and a management fee for the village owner. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, average monthly fees for a retirement village are about $350 per month for independent living units, but can range from $280 per month up to $1000 per month for resort-style villages in very affluent areas.

Exit fees

Exit fees, also known as deferred management fees, can be very complicated and may include one-off and/or annual charges over a specific period of time, for example 10 years.

Examine your capital gain entitlement carefully as you may only get part back or possibly none at all; this could mean you suffer a significant capital loss. You may also have to pay an amount for refurbishment of the unit, such as new carpet or paint.

Retirement village checklist

If you’re thinking of moving into a retirement village, as well as checking the contract, consider:

  • talking to your family and friends
  • visiting a sufficient number of retirement villages to compare services, facilities and financial arrangements
  • whether the services and facilities at the village will still be suitable as you get older. Are there any stairs, for example, and are the paths easy to access?
  • whether there is adequate parking for visitors
  • whether you can access local facilities such as GPs, shops, hospitals, libraries, churches, clubs and public transport
  • whether you can make changes to the inside of premises – for example, in the event you need a wheelchair
  • whether you can have someone stay over for a visit or move in
  • whether you can have a pet
  • whether or not the grounds are pleasant and well-tended
  • what the security arrangements entail – e.g. is there sufficient external lighting?

What is not a retirement village?

Retirement villages are not aged care facilities (formerly known as nursing homes and hostels). These are facilities administered and operated under the Aged Care Act and are funded by the Australian Government. An aged care assessment is required to gain entry to these facilities.

Retirement villages are not Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) (formerly known as rest homes). However some retirement villages offer serviced apartments that are also licensed as Supported Residential Facilities.

Supported Residential facilities are required to comply with the Victorian Health Services Act 1988 and the Health Services (Supported Residential Services) Regulations 2001. They are privately operated and do not receive government funding.

 

Respite

Respite care is provided to allow a carer to take a break from their caring responsibilities. This break can last from a few days to a few weeks. Each eligible respite client can stay in respite up to 63 days per financial year.

The Commonwealth Home Support Program offers government subsidised access to a variety of respite services. These are:

  • In-home respite – A carer comes to your home for a few hours during the day or sometimes overnight.
  • Centre-based day respite – This involves attending a day center or a club with organised activities.
  • Overnight or weekend respite – This can occur in a respite house or the house of a host family.
  • Residential respite care (short stays in aged care homes) – In order to access residential respite it is necessary to have an ACAT assessment.
  • Respite after being in hospital – Transition care takes place in a residential home and prepares you to go home as independently as possible.

Probably the most common of these is residential respite care. Respite care is a short-term stay in a residential facility. If you receive residential respite care through a residential facility you won’t have to pay an accommodation payment or any means tested care fees. You will however pay a daily fee, and perhaps a booking fee.

Some facilities charge extra service fees. These extra services provide a significantly higher standard for those in respite.

At OAS we can help you obtain an ACAT assessment and provide you with a list of available respite beds in your area.

Case Management

If a home care package attracts too high a means tested fee in your circumstances but you still want in-home help you can access services privately using a case manager.

Your case manager can help you organise a range of care both in and out of the house.

Services offered around the home include:

  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Meal times
  • Cleaning
  • Toileting
  • Gardening

Services offered outside the home include:

  • Shopping
  • Escort to appointments
  • Daycare
  • Companionship

Your case manager may assist you in appointments, including attending the appointment with you, as well as referring you to a specialised allied health professional such as a continence clinic, memory clinic or a driving assessment team.

If you are having difficulty with every day tasks such as cleaning, shopping, paying bills and personal care you may need to consider full time assistance and care. This assistance can be provided in residential homes.

A residential care home may be the best option for older people who, for a variety of reasons, can no longer live at home. These reasons may include illness; disability; bereavement; an emergency; changing needs of carers, families or friends; or, because it is no longer possible to manage at home without help.

Every residential care home is different. The services, activities and room arrangements of each facility will differ. However at all aged care homes staff can help you with day-to-day tasks (such as cleaning, cooking, laundry); personal care (dressing, grooming, going to the toilet); or 24-hour nursing care (wound care, catheter care, medication management). Accessing a variety of additional services such as physiotherapy (exercises, mobility, strength and balance training), dentistry, podiatry and lifestyle activities.

Finding the right residential home for you or your loved one will depend upon a variety of factors. When looking for the best residential home to suit you it is important to consider whether they can meet your specific needs and support you.

Some elements to consider are:

  • Do you feel comfortable with the staff and the environment?
  • Are your physical, spiritual and emotional needs able to be met?
  • Does the home cater to your language and culture?
  • Can your family and friends stay over night?
  • Is there transport available, to shops etc.?
  • Is the facility secure?
  • What cannot be provided at the facility?
  • What services cost extra?

5 steps of moving into a residential home

  • Assessing eligibility
  • Finding a home
  • Fees and charges
  • Applying to a home
  • Living in an aged care home

“A retirement village is a complex containing residential premises that are predominantly or exclusively occupied, or intended to be predominantly or exclusively occupied, by retired persons who have entered into village contracts with an operator of the complex.”

  • Most residents are 55 years or older or are retired from full-time employment (or are spouses/partners of such people)
  • Residents receive accommodation and services, other than services provided in a residential care or aged care facility
  • At least one of the residents, as a contractual condition of entering the retirement village, paid an ingoing contribution that was not rent. It does not matter who made that payment, or whether it was a lump sum or by installments.

Different types of contracts:

The main types of contract arrangements are:

  • Strata Title – where you pay an agreed amount to a former resident or the operator, and then own the unit. You usually also need to enter into a service agreement with the operator.
  • Loan and Licence – may be offered by not-for-profit organisations such as churches. You usually pay a contribution in the form of an interest-free loan.
  • Leasehold – where the lease is usually registered on the title deed, which protects you if the village is sold. You pay a lump sum for the leasehold.

Entry, ongoing and exit fees can apply to all three contract types.

Costs

Entry costs

There are large variations in entry fees for retirement villages, depending on factors including location, facilities, the age and condition of the unit, and other fees to be paid.

Ongoing costs

Ongoing costs cover any services provided, maintenance and a management fee for the village owner. According to Jones Lang LaSalle, average monthly fees for a retirement village are about $350 per month for independent living units, but can range from $280 per month up to $1000 per month for resort-style villages in very affluent areas.

Exit fees

Exit fees, also known as deferred management fees, can be very complicated and may include one-off and/or annual charges over a specific period of time, for example 10 years.

Examine your capital gain entitlement carefully as you may only get part back or possibly none at all; this could mean you suffer a significant capital loss. You may also have to pay an amount for refurbishment of the unit, such as new carpet or paint.

Retirement village checklist

If you’re thinking of moving into a retirement village, as well as checking the contract, consider:

  • talking to your family and friends
  • visiting a sufficient number of retirement villages to compare services, facilities and financial arrangements
  • whether the services and facilities at the village will still be suitable as you get older. Are there any stairs, for example, and are the paths easy to access?
  • whether there is adequate parking for visitors
  • whether you can access local facilities such as GPs, shops, hospitals, libraries, churches, clubs and public transport
  • whether you can make changes to the inside of premises – for example, in the event you need a wheelchair
  • whether you can have someone stay over for a visit or move in
  • whether you can have a pet
  • whether or not the grounds are pleasant and well-tended
  • what the security arrangements entail – e.g. is there sufficient external lighting?

What is not a retirement village?

Retirement villages are not aged care facilities (formerly known as nursing homes and hostels). These are facilities administered and operated under the Aged Care Act and are funded by the Australian Government. An aged care assessment is required to gain entry to these facilities.

Retirement villages are not Supported Residential Facilities (SRFs) (formerly known as rest homes). However some retirement villages offer serviced apartments that are also licensed as Supported Residential Facilities.

Supported Residential facilities are required to comply with the Victorian Health Services Act 1988 and the Health Services (Supported Residential Services) Regulations 2001. They are privately operated and do not receive government funding.

 

Respite care is provided to allow a carer to take a break from their caring responsibilities. This break can last from a few days to a few weeks. Each eligible respite client can stay in respite up to 63 days per financial year.

The Commonwealth Home Support Program offers government subsidised access to a variety of respite services. These are:

  • In-home respite – A carer comes to your home for a few hours during the day or sometimes overnight.
  • Centre-based day respite – This involves attending a day center or a club with organised activities.
  • Overnight or weekend respite – This can occur in a respite house or the house of a host family.
  • Residential respite care (short stays in aged care homes) – In order to access residential respite it is necessary to have an ACAT assessment.
  • Respite after being in hospital – Transition care takes place in a residential home and prepares you to go home as independently as possible.

Probably the most common of these is residential respite care. Respite care is a short-term stay in a residential facility. If you receive residential respite care through a residential facility you won’t have to pay an accommodation payment or any means tested care fees. You will however pay a daily fee, and perhaps a booking fee.

Some facilities charge extra service fees. These extra services provide a significantly higher standard for those in respite.

At OAS we can help you obtain an ACAT assessment and provide you with a list of available respite beds in your area.

If a home care package attracts too high a means tested fee in your circumstances but you still want in-home help you can access services privately using a case manager.

Your case manager can help you organise a range of care both in and out of the house.

Services offered around the home include:

  • Showering
  • Dressing
  • Meal times
  • Cleaning
  • Toileting
  • Gardening

Services offered outside the home include:

  • Shopping
  • Escort to appointments
  • Daycare
  • Companionship

Your case manager may assist you in appointments, including attending the appointment with you, as well as referring you to a specialised allied health professional such as a continence clinic, memory clinic or a driving assessment team.