Invest in your golden years
The latest technology and state-of-the art-facilities all feature in the changing face of retirement living. Lea Jacobs investigates a new retirement village in Mossel Bay
THE demand for retirement properties in SA far outstrips the supply and most retirement schemes have extensive waiting lists of people trying to buy into a secure environment that has been specifically designed with the elderly in mind. Trends have changed and due to the shortage, many are investing in schemes of this nature years before they receive a golden handshake.
Offerings have been improved over the years and buying into the right scheme with the right amenities has become a priority. Developers, realising the demands of this segment of the market, have had to rethink their strategy and the days of merely providing a roof over the heads of the elderly are long gone. The modern day retirement development offers state-of-the-art facilities. Club houses, nursing facilities, restaurants and transportation, to name a few have become common features offered to residents.
Mark Teuchert from Lazercor, who has developed properties in every sector of the market, says there is a desperate need for retirement villages in the country. “When we researched this area of the market we were shocked to discover that some schemes have waiting lists stretching between seven and 10 years.
He says the research into the retirement property industry also indicated that many developers involved in this area of the market design the schemes in such a way that the developers themselves receive some annuity financial reward at the expense of retired people.
“We adopted a different approach when developing the Monte Christo Retirement Village. It doesn’t make sense to take away from the elderly and we wanted to give people rights to their property.”
The state-of-the-art complex, designed to provide a dignified and secure lifestyle for those who have retired, is set in the picturesque Garden Route town of Mossel Bay, which, according to the Guinness Book of Records, boasts the second-best temperate climate in the world, after Hawaii.
The development will consist of three phases. The first phase will comprise 43 residential houses. The second phase will feature 56 apartments located close to medical-care facilities and other amenities, including a clubhouse. The third phase will be made up of 49 apartments. At this stage three houses have been constructed and all roads and other services have been completed. Construction on the development is set for completion in April 2012.
The Lazecor Group invested in the site, which measures around 4 hectares, with the specific purpose of building one of the most technological-advanced retirement villages in the country.
Teuchert says special attention has gone into each phase of the project to ensure that security was covered on all fronts. The project will be attached to a levy-stabilisation fund. In terms of healthcare, the village will offer a fulltime nurse as well as an ambulance service. The medical staffs are on hand to look after patients with varying needs, including those who need 24-hour frail care, and those who only require the services of a caregiver for a few hours daily.
“The physical security features of the village are, in my opinion, the most impressive, placing access to emergency care at the residents’ fingertips.”
The site will be fitted with a state-of-the-art web-based security-camera system, with cameras in most areas of the development. In addition to the electrified parameter, visitors entering or leaving the premises will be monitored via camera. Access for residents will work with fingertip and facialrecognition technology.
“One very important aspect for us was access to emergency services. Unfortunately, people in retirement homes do have accidents. Trying to access emergency services is not always easy, particularly if the phone is out of reach. With this in mind, we have developed a Personal Emergency Management System. The device, which is about half the size of a cell phone, is kept on the homeowner at all times. If the person should fall, the device picks up the in- cident and sends a message to one of the nurses on duty or to any other email address or cell phone number the person wants the device linked to,” says Teuchert.
The device also has a panic button and is linked to a GPS system. When the panic button is activated, a screen in the control room will show where the resident is in the village, as well as immediately bringing up the residents personal medical history.
He says all the telephones in the homes will be linked to an advanced intercom system, allowing residents to make calls to each other and to care staff free of charge. Each apartment will have a video phone and an internet connection so that residents can keep in touch with their children and other family members
Prices for a one-bedroom single residence start at R1,240m. Bedsitter units in the second phase, which include a bathroom en suite and a kitchenette, start at R400 000. Prices for the third stage will be released in November when officially launched. Contact: Monte Christo Retirement Village Stephen Kreuger 072 336 5337