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Retirement Villages - Services and Levels of Care

General services

In most retirement villages, a range of general services are provided for the benefit of all residents. They vary from village to village, but will invariably include the general management and administration of the village as a retirement village and the maintenance and repair of the grounds, facilities and other common areas.  Additional services could include: arranging activities and excursions; providing, operating and maintaining a village bus for excursions and regular shopping trips; and emergency call system monitoring.  Depending on the size of the village, providing these services to a group of people with similar requirements in one location can produce significant economies of scale.

Service charges

Residents generally pay a service charge, usually on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis, to cover the cost of providing the above general services.  The total recoverable cost is usually allocated to the various units in the village based on their respective sizes, although in some cases some expenses may be allocated based on the number of people occupying each unit if this is thought to be fairer in the circumstances. The nature and components of the service charges can vary from village to village and jurisdiction to jurisdiction depending on the particular legal structure and the applicable legislation.

Personal services

Personal services may also be provided or made available to residents on a user-pays basis, usually at commercial rates. They may include meals, cleaning, laundry and personal care, such as assistance with bathing and dressing.

Levels of Care

A number of terms are used to describe the extent of the personal services, or the level of care, that is provided in a particular village or in relation to particular units. Units that are described as "independent living units" or "self-care units" provide the lowest level of care, although a range of personal services may still be available as required and on request on a user pays basis under an arrangement sometimes known as "flexicare". Units that are described as "assisted living units" or "serviced apartments" provide the highest level of care, usually including the regular provision of a range of personal services on a contractual basis.

Confusion sometimes arises because low level residential care facilities, previously known and often still referred to as “hostels”, sometimes also describe their accommodation as “assisted living units”. Hostels and nursing homes are regulated and partly funded by the Commonwealth Government and different legislation, admission criteria and funding arrangements apply.

More Information?

Please see the following pages of this Retirement Villages Guide for further information:

  1. An Overview

  2. Top Ten Tips

  3. Services and Levels of Care

  4. Financial Considerations & Departure Fees

  5. Departure Fee Calculator

  6. Rental Accommodation

  7. Pets

  8. Legal Structures

  9. Legislation

  10. Publications

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