How we Protect our Residents in our Villages – Sue Reid

The NSW Parliament passed the Retirement Villages Amendment Bill last year with reforms designed to better protect residents and prospective residents of retirement villages.

The reforms coming into effect from 1 July are based around improving: emergency and safety procedures; an understanding of residents’ contracts; and the appointment of auditors. Emergency plans must be developed and maintained, and residents and staff must be familiar with them.

Emergency evacuation exercises must be conducted annually and safety information, such as emergency assembly areas, exits and fire extinguishers, must be
displayed in communal areas. Residents have the right to arrange annual contract meetings with the village operator where they will be provided with a summary of costs if the resident was to leave the village.

Family, friends or advisors of the residents are able to attend these meetings. Operators will also have to obtain residents consent each year before appointing an auditor for the accounts. In addition, the reforms establish new powers to develop mandatory rules of conduct for operators of retirement villages, pertaining to professionalism, training, skills and behaviour.

You can read more information about these reforms at the NSW Department of Fair Trading website at: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au. While other providers may have different ways of doing things, at CCA we welcome these reforms which will ensure that all NSW retirement village operators are putting their residents first. An important way CCA put residents’ needs first is by investing in a locally-based team that you can talk to before and after the move.

You can see for yourself the difference this makes by coming for a chat and seeing how we take the time to understand your needs. Call me to arrange a meeting on 0407 843 515.

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