How Does One Choose a Re­tire­ment Home?

SLOW Magazine - - Contents - Text: Arthur Case, CEO Ev­er­green Life­style Im­ages © Ev­er­green Life­style

Mov­ing out of the fam­ily home into a re­tire­ment es­tate is a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion, and one which needs to take an ar­ray of fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion. Here are tips on how to choose the best op­tion for you or a loved one.

When, Why, Where?

When do you want to move into a re­tire­ment home or vil­lage? Peo­ple are liv­ing and work­ing far longer than ever be­fore, mean­ing fewer choose to grow old in their fam­ily home mov­ing into a re­tire­ment es­tate in­stead, of­ten even while they are still work­ing.

The most com­mon rea­son cited by those mov­ing into a re­tire­ment vil­lage is usu­ally to re­duce the bur­den of wor­ri­some ad­min such as home main­te­nance.

Look for fa­cil­i­ties within which you can down­size in stages, so you only need to make the big move once – first into a house and later an apart­ment. If you’re plan­ning to con­tinue work­ing, you’ll also need to en­sure there is good in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity and other work­from-home so­lu­tions.

Life Rights

The term “life rights” may be un­fa­mil­iar to those out­side of the re­tire­ment community. Far from climb­ing the prop­erty lad­der, it could be con­sid­ered the equiv­a­lent of find­ing a steady balance on the top rung.

What is a life right? It’s an in­vest­ment in a re­tire­ment de­vel­op­ment which guar­an­tees the holder a safe and se­cure home for the rest of their life. Pur­chas­ing a life right ri­vals a tra­di­tional “bricks-and-mor­tar” sec­tional ti­tle in­vest­ment in that its pri­mary ob­jec­tive is to of­fer a stress-free re­tire­ment life­style, with­out bur­den­some ad­min. Sec­tional ti­tle of­fers fi­nan­cial growth, but brings with it con­cerns such as spe­cial levies, body cor­po­rates, and man­ag­ing agents.

Arthur Case, CEO of Ev­er­green Life­style, a lead­ing provider of re­tire­ment liv­ing in South Africa and a sub­sidiary of the Amdec Group, ex­plains: “When a per­son makes the de­ci­sion to move from the fam­ily home into a home for their re­tire­ment years, they face choices re­gard­ing what form of own­er­ship to pur­chase. The pur­chase of a life right grants you and your part­ner the se­cu­rity of guaranteed life­time oc­cu­pa­tion.”

Safety and Se­cu­rity

Se­ri­ous health is­sues or con­cerns about home safety are of­ten ma­jor fac­tors in the de­ci­sion to make the move to a re­tire­ment home. An op­ti­mum se­cu­rity sys­tem is un­doubt­edly the most im­por­tant fea­ture of a re­tire­ment fa­cil­ity. It is es­sen­tial that you end up some­where that you feel safe – es­pe­cially if you are on your own.

Solid Sup­port

If you are mov­ing into a re­tire­ment vil­lage af­ter deal­ing with the loss of a spouse or part­ner, it’s vi­tal to be some­where where you have a sup­port net­work – whether from fam­ily, friends or coun­sel­lors. The South African De­pres­sion and Anx­i­ety Group (SADAG) says that grief is a very per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence, which could take weeks, months or even years to deal with. Many re­tire­ment homes around the world have mea­sures in place to as­sist their res­i­dents with cop­ing with loss.

Life­style

The gen­er­a­tion that’s think­ing of re­tire­ment com­prises of con­fi­dent, op­ti­mistic and in­de­pen­dent in­di­vid­u­als who value in­no­va­tion, self-reliance, ac­com­plish­ment and change. They are liv­ing ac­tive lives and show­ing no signs of slow­ing down any time soon. Re­tire­ment fa­cil­i­ties are re­spond­ing to this de­mand by in­stalling community cen­tres to host clubs and of­fer­ing a range of fa­cil­i­ties, gyms, heated swim­ming pools and other ameni­ties. Mov­ing into a re­tire­ment home doesn’t need to re­sem­ble the sad, grey image that films and TV shows make us think of. It can be a lib­er­at­ing way to main­tain in­de­pen­dence while re­duc­ing the stress rate of every­day liv­ing.

En­joy­able En­ter­tain­ment

Whether you love to read and dis­cuss the lat­est nov­els with fel­low bib­lio­philes, dis­cover a range of de­li­cious new wines, go for long walks, or take up a new sport or craft­ing class, you should be based some­where with a va­ri­ety of op­tions to keep you en­gaged and en­ter­tained. What­ever your in­ter­ests, your re­tire­ment op­tion should of­fer a range of fa­cil­i­ties to ac­com­mo­date your hob­bies – to en­sure you are able to con­tinue to live a mean­ing­ful, happy and en­gaged life.

Qual­ity Care

Your health is im­por­tant at any age, but even more so when you get a lit­tle older. Many re­tire­ment vil­lages of­fer a range of health-care fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing ac­cess to sup­port such as per­son­alised, home-based and dis­crete pri­mary health­care, and fully equipped care cen­tres with 24-hour nurs­ing, re­cu­per­a­tive and pal­lia­tive care, as well as frail and de­men­tia care. Choose a re­tire­ment home that will af­ford you peace of mind when it comes to your health-care.

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