Australia, opposite to India, has an aging population. In mainstream Australia, my parent’s generation born in the 1940s/50s – they are the post war baby boomers, now going into retirement. This has seen the growth and boom of age-care and retirement properties across Australia. This now has started to generate interest with the Indian and Subcontinent community too. As there is now second and third generations of the Indian and Subcontinent community in Australia. The first generation are going into retirement, a growing number approaching age-care and now they are becoming involved in such properties.
Most of these retirement and age-care properties for the over 55s come in the following forms –
Strata retirement units, in a complex scheme with common facilities such as a club house. They are approved by council, in which the approval forms part the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) for seniors housing and recorded on Section 149 Certificates from the local council.
Age-care buildings, which are a cross between a retirement place and a hospital, with specialised age-care management and staff.
Retirement scheme resorts, which are a cross between a strata retirement unit’s scheme complex and a hotel complex, for the wealthier retirees.
Seniors community title housing schemes – Housing schemes like at Glenhaven, north of Castle Hill, which is a housing scheme for seniors for seniors housing and recorded on Section 149 Certificates from the local council), which common scheme facilities, like a club house.
Hostel retirement building complexes, whereby senior have their own rooms, but the building has a common area for meals, senior group’s meets and events.
Many people ask me, how do you apply for a senior love one to go into one? What are the costs and any money back to the beneficiaries in the event of death?
It depend on the level of care – self-care, hostel care or aged-care. It also depend property title structure – strata title, leasehold, licensed occupation arrangement or company title units. All have a similar theme, you have a premium to go into one (depends on the type, structure, contract and title arrangements), there is regular management/scheme levies to pay and some cases, not all (depending on the arrangements), whereby there is a residual to pay back to the beneficiaries on the event of death. This all depends how long the senior loved one lives in the complex. For example, the Anglican Retirement Villages (ARV) at Castle Hill, north west of Sydney, one of the largest retirement and age-care campuses in Australia. ARV Castle Hill has many different types of complexes, buildings and sub-schemes for retirees and the over 55s, depends if they are self-care, hostel care or aged-care. All three tiers have different application processes, different wait periods, different structures in contractual, regular management levies, structure, premium payment at the start and residual provisions, if any.
For age-care, there has to be age-care assessment, in line with government guidelines and means provisions, as part of the application process. For the Indian and Subcontinent community, there is now a group set up, AASHA Australia Foundation, which facilities age care for seniors and the elderly in the Indian and South Asian community across Sydney, working in with NSW Health.
Looking into retirement and age-care properties for senior loved ones, families need to seek professional advice, from doctors (for age-care), financial planners and lawyers, to look at and consider options, both short term few years and long term over several years. Do we need to sell their home to cover the premium cost, for them to go into the retirement or age-care place? This is where your family professional advisers can advise what decisions are best, financial, health and other considerations, to give best care and assurances for your senior loved one.