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Retirement Village vs Aged Care: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to navigating elder law, a common issue we see again and again is the confusion between the different types of retirement establishments. This is an important distinction – one that powerfully impacts your plans. Whether you are planning your own retirement or planning for a loved one, you want your arrangements to be conducive to a wide range of important factors. These could include better security, social activity, promotion of physical activities, or meeting of medical needs.

Two of your options on this front are retirement villages and aged care homes (sometimes called nursing homes). Each of these options is intended to fulfil different requirements, so it’s important to select the right one for you or your loved one.

Today, we’re going over the differences between the services provided by a retirement village and aged care.

  1. Increasingly retirement villages in New Zealand offer various levels of care, from a care package associated with a serviced apartment, or rest home care or hospital level care.
  2. There are different criteria for entry to a retirement village compared to aged care. There is a minimum age requirement for a retirement village, often 70 years and over. To enter a care facility, a needs assessment must be done by an assessor from the District health board to determine whether rest home care or hospital level care is required.
  3. Some aged care facilities are not associated with retirement villages and only provide rest home care and not hospital level care.
  4. Retirement villages are regulated by The Retirement Villages Act 2003 and regulations which give rights and create obligations for both the operators and residents. Care facilities are regulated by the Ministry of Health as distinct from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment which monitors retirement villages.
  5. Occupation right agreements are the commonly used document to govern obligations between retirement village operators and residents. Admission agreements are the commonly used document between the care operator and the resident.
  6. There is no government subsidy for purchasing a villa, apartment or unit in a retirement village. A government subsidy may be available to pay for rest home or hospital fees depending on the financial eligibility of the person entering a care facility.

Want help with the future?

Here at Gillespie Young Watson, we have an expert team of Elder Law specialists who know all of these details inside and out. If you need help figuring out the best plan for your future, or the future of a loved one, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to make the process a breeze. Don’t get caught out by obscure legal differences – talk to Gillespie Young Watson for the best specialist lawyers Wellington-wide today!