Welcome back to an exciting 2021 for the retirement living sector. I can’t remember when the opportunities have been so great.
I am talking about the Royal Commission into Aged Care, which is writing the strategy for retirement villages and even land lease communities.
The Counsel Assisting recommendations from last November call in both the federal and state governments – at Cabinet level – to support what is the retirement village model.
Let me read from paragraphs 165 to 170 at the beginning of their 450-page report:
Does this sound like retirement villages to you? It says:
A key element of the strategy should be about encouraging older Australians to take active steps to preserve and maintain their own health and wellbeing in later life, with the Government supporting people to take the first step.
There should be an integrated system for long term support and care of older people and their ongoing engagement with the rest of the community.
This requires the involvement of all levels of government and establishing linkages between aged care and other relevant domains, such as:
- the broader health sector and welfare and community services
- affordable and age-appropriate housing
Such a system should be the focus of a National Cabinet Reform Committee on Ageing and Older Australians.
It adds: The State and Territory governments have a critical role to play.
Imagine if the states open up zoning for villages and endorse them as the solution for ageing well.
This can be done. The Final Report is released on 26 February – in five weeks’ time.
And the call is to start working on the strategy immediately.
The opportunity is now, so let’s start building the case. The world can be very different by December if we do – for the village sector, and for older Australians.