‘Care Apartments’, provide a different sort of accommodation than is usually accessed by those needing residential care. (They are also referred to as care suites, residential care suites, care in a village, serviced apartments and other similar sounding name). Care Apartments may give you more choice about where you live regardless of whether your care needs change. They differ in several ways; the most important is that you ‘buy’ into these in the same way you might ‘buy’ into a retirement village. You can live independently for as long as you’re able but if you ever need care then you may be able to receive it in your apartment, even if requiring a subsidy. This is made possible by the fact that these types of apartments are certified by the Ministry of Health (MoH) as being suitable for Residential Care (e.g. rest home or hospital) AND the facility provider has a contract with the DHB for the relevant level/s of care you may need.
Care Apartments are usually offered along with the traditional sort of retirement village and residential care facility, however a few independent retirement villages offer this level of care with the assistance of neighboring care facilities.
Things to look for before considering this type of room/unit
- Make sure the room/unit is MoH certified for the level of care you might need. It is good to ask what happens if you require a higher/different level of care than those certified for in the unit/room.
- Are there options within the care centre to move if needed? What are the implications of this (especially if the village operator and care centre operator are different)?
- What happens if you are receiving long-term residential care and you require a subsidy?
- What are the costs associated with this type of support? There are likely to be additional property maintenance types of costs etc. over and above your weekly fees. The costs, and options, will vary from village to village so make sure you ask about this.
Because a ‘Care Apartment’ is a retirement village type of ‘purchase’ you must get specialised legal advice before committing yourself as the contracts can be complex. To find a local lawyer who specializes in Elder Law check here on Eldernet. It is also wise to talk this over with those closest to you.
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