According to the Housing Decision of Older Australians report, released by the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission, more than 60 per cent of older Australians would prefer to ‘age in place’ by staying in their own homes.
However, with many older Australians waiting more than 12 months for a home care package at their assessed care level, coupled with research showing the negative health impact of loneliness on seniors, growing old at home is often not the utopia it is thought to be.
This can leave many seniors and their families feeling like they have limited options unless they find out about alternative aged care options. This is where Seasons comes in, offering a medium between the autonomy of home and the safety, social opportunities and care offered in a community setting.
One such couple is Bert and Gloria who made the decision to move to Seasons five years ago when they were approaching their late-80s.
“Gloria said to me one morning, ‘look if anything were to happen to you, I’d have a few problems trying to look after the house myself’,” said Bert.
The Seasons’ model offers more autonomy and privacy than a nursing home and significantly more care than in a retirement village or private residence.
Each resident buys their own apartment on a 99-year ‘right to reside’ lease in their chosen community. Apartments come complete with a self-contained kitchen and laundry, with white goods included, and some communities have two and three-bedroom options, providing more space for those who want to have family over to stay.
On the financial side of things, there is no income and asset testing and the pricing structure is designed to be affordable for those receiving an aged pension, with weekly fees covering general services, maintenance, three meals a day prepared fresh onsite and any surplus funds being allocated towards your personal care.
When it comes to care, if residents choose Seasons’ care partner Envigor, they get the peace of mind of a personalised care plan funded through any Government funding they’re granted, including home care package or DVA Nursing, any care funds from their weekly payments and the option to defer extra care costs interest free against the equity in their apartment. In the unlikely event a resident uses the value of their equity, Seasons will cover the resident’s care cost for the rest of their stay.
With the couple in good health, choosing to move to Seasons allowed them to maintain their independence, enjoy social activities and have access to quality care when they need it, without the worry of maintaining a house.
“We’re fit and well enough now, but who knows what we’d be like next year. Here we don’t have to move into a nursing home, we can have the best of palliative care, we can have it in our own apartment here. And that’s a pretty big thing.”