‘Care apartments’, also sometimes known as care suites, residential care suites, care in a village, serviced apartments and other similar sounding terms are a relatively new type of service. Care apartments allow people who reside in them to live independently with the knowledge that if or when they need to access a higher level of care (i.e. rest home or hospital) that they will not have to move out of their room/unit. Despite being known my many different names, care apartments can be defined by the following:
- An Occupational Right Agreement (ORA) is held by the occupant. An ORA is a legally binding agreement that must be given to intending residents who are ‘buying’ into a retirement village. (Read more about this here) AND
- The room/unit is certified by the Ministry of Health (MoH) for Residential Care (i.e. rest home or hospital) AND
- The facility has a contract with the DHB for the relevant level of care.
Traditionally care apartments were offered by a provider who had both retirement village units as well as levels of care within a care centre, however there are also some independent retirement villages offering 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 levels of subsidised care can be provided to your room/unit?
- 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? These are likely to be addition to your weekly fees (as covered in your ORA). The costs, and options, will vary from village to village so make sure you ask about this.
As with all village contracts 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.
Click here to find a Care Apartments on Eldernet