The mass Baby Boomer generation is gearing up for retirement, giving rise to a number of aged care options available.

Aged care services can be both specific and diverse in their offerings, and it’s important to understand the differences. It can also be a complicated area to navigate, and there will almost certainly be opportunities or pitfalls that take people by surprise, so seeking specialist advice is recommended. There are three main types of aged care services or forms of senior living – Retirement Resorts, Independent Living Units and Residential Aged Care.

Residential care is heavily subsidised by the government, so costs are very specific to each individual’s means. As a rule of thumb, the system is designed so that everyone can afford care, however, there are certainly better ways of funding care than simply accepting the status-quo.

In some cases, additional government payments can be accessed to reduce ongoing costs, but it all comes down to asset and income structuring before entering care.

Retirement Resorts

Providing very low or medium care, retirement resorts are typically marketed to people who are over the age of 50. These communities generally offer a specific lifestyle suited to retired individuals, with a focus on social cohesion. Residents will find community activities centred around the resort clubhouses, and some have access to facilities like swimming pools, lawn bowls or tennis courts or they may be adjacent to a golf club.

These communities are generally gated and maintained by site management, where residents pay a rental fee for living within the community. Properties are generally free hold, with some offering leased options, however typically there will be no exit fees.

Retirement Villages

Retirement villages offer a similar arrangement to retirement resorts, with the main distinction being a lease structure. Typically, residents will have access to an independent living unit or a serviced apartment where they can access food, linen and dry- cleaning services as well as care packages.

The level of care can range widely, from low to high care. Nursing care can be arranged through government-funded packages as well as privately, with some villages offering more support services than others. Offerings are varied so it’s important to get information specific to the village under consideration.

Residential Aged Care

Residential care is what was formerly referred to as a nursing home, however they are no longer old and tired buildings with limited amenities. Often architecturally designed, they provide a high level of care and support, including 24-hour nursing care, food, linen and other services.

This article was authored by Luke Robson from HLB Mann Judd Brisbane.