Macarthur retirement villages have welcomed new state government reforms which aim to protect elderly residents.
The new reforms include an overhaul of the Retirement Villages Regulation 2009, an online calculator to help prospective residents and their families better understand the estimated costs of living in a retirement village, and a NSW Fair Trading compliance blitz.
Carrington chief executive Raad Richards said the new reforms were “timely”.
“Five per cent of the Australian population aged over 65 reside in retirement villages,” he said.
“Given future population projections the regulations should be reviewed to protect people of that age.”
Mr Richards said Carrington’s services would not be affected by the new regulations.
“What we offer is clearly stated in the contract,” he said.
“We also offer our residents a lot more than that.”
Mr Richards said it was important that people did their research before choosing a retirement village.
“They really need to examine the contracts,” he said.
“Take them away and read them very clearly – especially the parts about fees and services.
“We always advise people to consult with a solicitor and have them read over the contracts as well.
“It’s just doing your own due diligence.”
Wivenhoe Retirement Village representative John Leo said they were accepting of the new reforms.
"Given we deal with vulnerable people it is essential we are always looking at better ways to protect and inform them,” he said.
“Our industry is highly regulated and a constant review and reform of legislation is a feature we are very used to."
Mr Leo said they kept up to date with current legislation through the Department of Fair Trading, the Retirement Living Council and their residents.
”Compliance with legislation really sets the minimum you should do to inform and protect residents,” he said.
"People need to be clear on why they are considering a move to a retirement village and also anticipate what their future needs might be.
“We would especially encourage them to speak to existing residents freely and frankly and note that any good retirement village will give you the opportunity and encouragement to do so.”
Camden MP Chris Patterson said the four-point plan will ensure residents have the protections they deserve, while ensuring retirement village operators are complying with the law.
“This inquiry will safeguard the rights of residents in Camden retirement villages and be tough on those who take advantage of our seniors,” he said.
“Our retirees have made so many valuable contributions to our community. They deserve to live fulfilling, independent lives in the village of their choosing.
“And these measures will work to bolster transparency and give current and future retirement village residents the details they need to make the most informed choice.”
Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean said the government’s plan will protect residents from potentially dodgy practices.
“Retirees have worked hard their whole life so I’ll be coming down on any operators who have not complied with the law,” he said.
“This plan will put consumers first by making contracts more transparent, giving residents the tools to compare costs and cracking down on providers through a compliance blitz.”
Macarthur retirement care providers include:
- Just Better Care
- IRT Macarthur Lifestyle Community
- Macarthur Gardens Retirement Village
- Macarthur Heights
- Carrington Care
- Aveo Camden Downs
- Durham Green
- Wivenhoe Retirement Village
- RSL Life Care
- Queen Victoria Park