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Village residents seek constructive solutions

Posted to Retirement Section on 29-08-2017

Retirement village residents have raised a range of issues at a forum run by the Commission for Financial Capability.

The event provided an opportunity for them to air their views about the industry and was held in Hamilton, attracting nearly 35 residents from nine Waikato retirement villages.

Troy Churton, the Commission’s national manager for retirement villages, said: “We’re always keen to get a conversation going and hear about the things that are on residents’ minds.

“It can be a good way to help nip problems in the bud and address issues before they escalate. There was a lively discussion about how to deal with operators constructively to reach solutions.”

The top issues raised were:

  • Higher entry ages and the changing nature of villages integrating care
  • Confusion about what can happen if one partner needs care, with the unavailability of standard rooms distinct from premium rooms
  • Staff diverted to care areas to support caregivers, with not enough personnel running the business
  • Operators struggling with growth, with units being added without corresponding improvements to the common areas
  • Operators and managers “over-governing”
  • Environmental concerns such as garden spraying
  • Delays in accessing funds on termination of an occupation agreement, and whether residents ought to receive interest on capital that is held pending re-licensing.

The meeting heard that the changing nature of villages integrating care means it may soon become necessary to redefine what a retirement village is and can be.

The forum was run by Troy and Simon Peel, the Commission’s research and strategy manager, at the Anandale Retirement Village. Participants were from Hamilton, Te Awamutu and Rotorua, and welcomed the opportunity to visit a neighbouring village.

The Commission holds at least two resident-only forums in different parts of the country each year, as well as attending a number of villages to address residents and operators. Staying in touch and listening to the views of residents is part of the Commission’s broader monitoring function.

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