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

Business Day - Home Front - - HOMEFRONT -

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

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