GH Couple Dog Walking

Retirement villages save governments $2-billion

Gary Wellard and Susanne Waesch are enjoying an active, independent lifestyle at Living Choice Glenhaven where they have easy access to a range of fitness and health services.

Retirement living communities save government health and aged care budgets over $2-billion a year through reduced medical, hospital and residential aged care costs, according to the Retirement Living Council (RLC), of which Living Choice is a member.

The RLC is the national leadership group of the retirement living sector, championing policies that deliver more senior Australians age-friendly homes and services in retirement communities. The Council is the most powerful voice of the sector, harnessing the expertise of both not for profit and commercial village owners and developers.

Executive Director of the RLC, Ben Myers, says with the 2020 Federal Budget finally in place, the government has signalled its plan to get the Australian economy back on its feet and people back into work. “It goes without saying that operators across the country are highly dependent on how this plan underpins the housing market and the retirement incomes of residents and potential customers. Another key element of the budget is a commitment from the Government to make a significant additional investment in aged care as part of its response to the aged care Royal Commission, which is now due to report in February next year. This commitment is on top of the 23,000 additional home care places and over $2-billion in additional funding already included in the budget.

“In light of this demand for money to fix the aged care system, the RLC continues to make the point that retirement living is already saving government health and aged care budgets over $2-billion a year. What’s more, we make sure governments are aware that they can increase these savings by $12,600 every year for each person who moves into a retirement community. These are big savings, but they can only be achieved if government recognises the value of retirement living and the importance of ensuring a future where older Australians have the freedom to be and do what they value.”

Mr Myer says the RLC is working hard to ensure that governments around the country understand these choices. “We’re also focused on legislative reviews in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, noting that operators need to have investment certainty and viable businesses if governments want more, not less, purpose-built seniors’ communities in their states.”

Living Choice’s Group GM, Jason Sack, is a member of the RLC Board and senior staff members also represent Living Choice on the NSW, SA and QLD Committees.