Author: Editor

New laws for retirement village operators in the ACT

New legislation impacting retirement village operators in the ACT has come into effect that will allow marketing of new developments prior to approval and more binding holding deposit arrangements. The Property Council has summarised the main changes to the the Retirement Villages Amendment Act 2016, which were enacted from 16 December, as being: Operators are now required to expressly include in the Disclosure Statement that a former occupant of a unit is not liable to refurbish the unit; Operators can enter into more binding holding deposit arrangements with prospective residents, and may retain the reasonable costs incurred from leaving the unit empty if a prospective resident decides not to move; A requirement to give at least 60 days notice to a resident of any proposed change to recurrent charges, and removal of CPI as a measure for increases; Introduction of an internal dispute resolution process for residents, including responsibility for setting up a disputes committee for operator-resident disputes (with one member appointed by the residents, one member appointed by the operator and a mutually agreed chair); Ability for an operator to market a new village which development approval has not yet been obtained (although no contract can be entered into until approval has been obtained); An update to the general enquiry document to include a statement explaining the difference between a retirement village and a residential aged care facility; The full details...

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Funding confirmed for dementia care units but not how it will be allocated

Specialist Dementia Care Units will be established in each of the 31 Primary Health Network regions across Australia over the next four years, though it is not yet clear how funding from the Department of Health for the units will be allocated. The Government confirmed its $7.5m election commitment to establish the units in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) last week. HammondCare Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd said the commitment to establish specialist dementia care units have been “the missing link in dementia care in Australia” and will enable better targeted care. “While the Severe Behaviour Response Teams (SBRTs) and the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) provide on-the-ground, expert clinical support and case management, special care units are needed to provide additional specialist residential support,” he said Dr Judd said he understood 372 places in specialist dementia care units will be made available over the next four years, indicating that Dementia Support Australia, a partnership led by HammondCare, is already involved in planning of the units. In September it was announced that HammondCare would lead a consortium to deliver the new Dementia Support Australia service, replacing the existing state-based Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) while the Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Care Essentials program would be consolidated under Dementia Training Australia and led by dementia educators and trainers from five universities and Alzheimer’s Australia WA.     Dr Judd said a key priority...

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Aura announces its next retirement village in Queensland

A new a 116-unit retirement village will open on the Sunshine Coast in 2019, directly opposite a brand new not-for-profit aged care facility. According to a report by the Australian Financial Review, Aura, a joint venture between former RetireAustralia executives and Blue Sky Alternative Investments, will manage the Maroochydore village but it will be developed by Blue Sky’s Private Real Estate arm. Across the road from the site, St Vincent’s Care Services is about to open the doors of its new residential care facility next month. The land on which the $67 million retirement village will be built is just under one hectare in size and was purchased for $6 million. It is the second of six sites that Aura has earmarked for retirement living units that will give the company an 800-unit portfolio. In September, Aura made its first purchase – the PresCare Kingsford Terrace retirement village in southwest Brisbane and announced it would expand the project from 34 to 250 independent living units. It is expected to be finished in 2021. Blue Sky Private Real Estate director, Stuart Lockhart, told The Financial Review that investment in retirement villages was not keeping up with the ageing population, and Queensland will need four times the current supply of independent living units to meet demand by...

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Recruitment drive for physios in aged care underway

Recruitment companies specialising in aged care are preparing for an anticipated increase in demand for physiotherapists over the next few months due to the new ACFI rules that come into effect on 1 January. Already, there has been a spike in advertisements for physios by aged care providers and recruitment agencies across Australia, with 192 jobs posted on Seek alone over the last fortnight. The stipulation of one to one care for the complex pain management claims and a minimum requirement of 80 minutes per week, delivered over at least four days, were announced in the changes to ACFI earlier this month. While the new rules will only apply to residents who enter care from 1 January and people whose ACFI status is reassessed per the current rules, the impact of the changes on the workforce is expected to be evident by mid 2017. Rachel Sharp, allied health consultant for recruitment firm Sugarman International, said she is expecting an influx of both candidates and requests for staff from aged care providers over the next month. “Things do pick up for allied health in December with new graduates seeking work and positions needing to be filled both during the holiday period. By the first week of January I am expecting to see an increased demand for physios by our aged care clients, and we’re preparing for that now.” Ms Sharp said the ACFI...

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