Blurred lines between aged care and retirement living
TRADITIONALLY there has been a clear distinction between residential aged care and retirement living as one assists with care needs and the other offers independent accommodation.
Over recent years the lines between residential aged care and retirement living have become increasingly blurred with operators offering aged care services within retirement villages.
The entry point into retirement living and residential aged care are vastly different from each other.
Generally speaking retirement living is a lifestyle choice, whereby residents live in a community amongst peers and are not dependent on the operator.
Most villages tend to be made up of low rise villas and have leisure facilities and additional services the resident can pay for.
To purchase a retirement village unit the residents need to pay for the unit and no other kind of assessment is required.
Entry into residential aged care requires both a financial and medical assessment to determine the residents care needs and level of financial contribution.
Residents of residential aged care are assessed as needing ongoing domestic and personal assistance. Carers and nurses live onsite to attend to the residents care needs.
The Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) will assess a person's level of personal and medical needs to determine their eligibility for residential aged care.
Retirement and aged care operators are moving to meet the demand for aged care services in retirement villages either through in-home care services, serviced apartments, residential aged care co-located on the same site or full integration.
Operators are realising that people would like their move into retirement living to be their last.
The challenge is aged care is governed under federal government and retirement villages is governed under the state so the two need to work together to offer fully integrated aged care and retirement living options to the retiree community.
Progressively the distinctions between aged care and retirement living are moving closer together.
Whilst the current pathway into either require different payment structures and for aged care financial and clinical assessments the two are merging closer.