Report shows retirement village communication lacking
Some retirement village operators need to improve the way they communicate with their residents, as well as ensure that potential residents understand exactly what they are signing up for, according to a report released by Retirement Commissioner Diana Crossan.
This year the Commissioners Retirement Villages Act 2003 Monitoring Project examined the Act from the perspective of retirement village residents. Residents were asked about how well they understood the Act and its implementation.
Ms Crossan said the report found that often residents moved to villages primarily for the security they offered, yet they could become anxious about the future of their villages and how future changes may affect them.
‘‘ Most retirement village operators communicate really well and implement the Act properly. Their residents are very happy and do feel secure. But in villages where the Act isn’t implemented well, the opposite can be true.’’
Ms Crossan said among the concerns for some residents were fee increases, reductions in services, failure to provide planned amenities and a lack of consultation over changes in the operation or ownership of the villages.
‘‘While there is a requirement for intending residents to get legal advice before they sign up, the report found that some residents were unclear about the meaning and implication of their contract. Clear communication is vital .’’