First Steps

What you need to know to get started.

What time is the best time of life for us (me) to make such a move?

Only you can decide when the time is right for a move to a Catholic Healthcare retirement community, but don’t wait too long! The most frequent remark we hear from residents is, “I wish I moved years ago!” The best moves happen when residents have taken the time to do their research.

Often you may start out thinking you want one thing but end up realising it was something else you were actually looking for. This process takes time – so don’t rush your decision.

Village life balances a happy medium of a vibrant, community atmosphere with an equally private option to relax and recline when you choose to do so. With our supportive maintenance staff, onsite facilities and social programs, our village lifestyle allow you to enjoy the comfort of having your own home without the constant stress of upkeep that comes with owning a property.

It’s important to remember that retirement living is focussed on your life, your choice. Our residents choose to enjoy retirement living instead of living at home alone, giving time and priority to the more important things like family and friends. 

How do I choose the right village?

Visit frequently, ask lots of questions and ask to be invited to a village gathering or resident meeting.

Don’t just stop at one retirement village and fall in love; we encourage you to visit many and compare. Make an appointment to meet with the Village Manager and have them show you around the village. Their attitude and rapport with residents you meet on your inspection will give you a good indication of both the health and the happiness of the village. Make sure you visit the village both in good weather and rainy weather and at the height of summer and during the coolest of the winter, to get a full experience of what life would be like there all year round.

On your tour, take note of:

  • The state of the gardens
  • Condition of the buildings (gutters, cobwebs, paths etc.)
  • Any notices advertising outings or events
  • Any stairs, steep inclines or other environmental issues that could cause a problem for you or your guests
  • How well used the community facilities appear to be
  • The local community newsletter and the various activities listed

Ask questions about:

  • The staffing, including maintenance and the gardener or contractor
  • The recurrent charges and what they include
  • Emergency call and support systems
  • The resident committee
  • Security within the village

On your visit, you should receive:

  • A disclosure statement
  • General information about the village
  • The Department of Fair Trading’s “Retirement Village Living” Booklet (which includes a prospective resident checklist)
  • Application package

Should you seek advice?

You should always seek independent advice before making any decision to move into a retirement village. Your solicitor can assist you with understanding the nuances of a village contract and disclosure statement. We do recommend you seek legal advice from an established legal firm with experience in retirement village law.

The Department of Fair Trading also provides information about retirement villages and they can be contacted on 133 220 or via their website.

Are Catholic Healthcare villages accredited?

Catholic Healthcare is proud to be a member of the New South Wales Property Council. Our villages work within the framework of the Lifemark’s accreditation system and are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the services offered to our residents to ensure they are enjoying the best life possible.

Catholic Healthcare also holds membership of the Aged and Community Services Association (ACSA).

How does Government legislation protect the rights of village residents?

The Retirement Villages Act and regulations sets clear standards for operation of retirement villages and seeks to put in place strong protection for residents. A copy of the retirement village legislation is available on the Fair Trading website,or from a Catholic Healthcare Village Manager.

The Office of Fair Trading also provides a series of very useful factsheets which can be downloaded from their website. Their general enquiry number is 133 220 if you would prefer a hard copy to be mailed to you.

For more information, please call us on 1800 551 834.

For more information