Oct 15, 2019

Making the right choices for your retirement living

With the right considerations, Positive Ageing Advocate, Marcus Riley suggests that it can be a positive and rewarding experience for individuals

Positive Ageing Advocate, Marcus Riley is well aware that everyone has a different idea of what they want from retirement living and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Whilst retirement living communities may provide great benefits for individuals, he acknowledges that community living is not for everyone and highlights that considerations must be made to ensure options can positively contribute to your health, well- being and happiness.

Riley says, “Retirement living communities can have a really positive impact for people’s social connections, with an active calendar to help build friendships and support around you. But it is important to invest time in considering your options and what is right for you and/or their loved ones.”

Here, Riley shares five key considerations to help individuals determine the right retirement living option.

#1 – Plan

“As with successful ageing more generally, the best way to ensure that you access the best care for your needs is by maximizing your available choices which is achieved through planning what you may require, what you want and where you want it to be,” says Riley. “This will involve considering some what-if scenarios which isn’t exactly a joy to ponder but by word it is well worth doing. It is about contemplating what is important to you, so that your personal priorities govern future decisions. Planning will help you maintain control, at a time where you are at greatest risk of having no control,” added Riley.

#2 – Preferences

Riley says “Individuals need to establish a criteria along with their personal preferences, that need to be met. For instance, consider location and ask yourself, Do I want to be somewhere I live now? Somewhere closer to my family? Do I want to live in the hustle and bustle of an urban area or by the seaside?”

Additionally, the range of services and amenities need to be considered to ensure that they are suited to individual needs and preferred lifestyle. “Ask yourself if there is a good physical therapy program to help me maintain my mobility? Does the physical environment appeal to me? Is green space important to me? Do I need a place with a view? Which village will keep me connected with community and support network?” urges Riley.

#3 – Research

Riley encourages individuals to spend time researching which providers are reputable and most aligned with their personal needs and wants, as it will pay rich dividends. “In researching your options, it’s important to obtain information about the provider organisation and ascertain what their values and reputation are, as well we who is leading them,” says Riley.

“I’d strongly urge individuals to speak with people who possess direct experience of a village which ideally would be residents and families, but could also be staff, GP or other service providers associated with the village. It is vital to obtain full details regarding fees and charges as they may vary from place to place and identify those ‘hidden costs’ as well,” advises Riley.

#4 – Ask

Riley suggests that you ask the owner and the operator questions. “Asking questions is a great way to get some insight into the reputation of the village owner and their structure. Do your own research and speak with people that live there and key staff members – This will allow you to check that the organisation is aligned to your own values,” said Riley.

#5 – Understand

Riley says “It’s imperative to properly understand all of the details of the financial and contractual arrangements. Be proactive and seek your own legal advice so that you are completely clear and confident with the terms and conditions of your purchase and ongoing arrangements. This is something you want to be clear-cut from the start.”


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