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CatholicCare’s Response to the ABC’s Aged Care Investigation
June 27, 2017

Last night’s joint Fairfax Media and Four Corners investigation into a national aged care provider was quite confronting for many viewers.

As a provider of independent living units in the ACT, CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn is concerned that citizens who have contributed their whole lives to society are spending their final years in such a neglectful manner.

CatholicCare’s Deputy CEO, Ms Lisa Higginson, says that it’s important for anyone considering moving into an independent living unit or aged care facility to go through the contract with the provider, “We always sit down with our prospective residents and systematically work through the contract as well as encourage them to seek independent legal advice.”

Similarly, Ms Pam Graudenz, vice president and village liaison officer from the Retirement Villages Residents Association in the ACT, says people don’t always understand what they are getting into, “Legislation between the Commonwealth and state differs depending on the level of living support you require. Knowing your rights and understanding the contract agreement is imperative before deciding to engage with a provider.”

“The key element of a successful retirement village is professionally trained managers who are willing to negotiate with the residents to achieve good outcomes for all parties.” Ms Graudenz said.

Currently 200,000 Australians are living in retirement villages with this figure expected to double by 2025. It is vital that both state and federal governments work closely with business providers to ensure that the legislation is upheld for the health, safety and happiness of all of residents.

As CatholicCare is a not-for-profit organisation, our two residential villages are managed with the resident’s best interests in mind. This is through an in going contribution and agreement that ensures an equitable and stress free arrangement in the north side suburbs of Campbell and Aranda. The Archdiocese’s newly built independent living units in Manuka also run a similar model and professionally managed system.

If you or someone you love is considering moving into a retirement village then it is worth considering the following advice from Ms Graudenz, “Like any investment, you need to think about how the end looks? If you were to leave your unit tomorrow, how do the finances stack up?”

For media enquiries please contact Aerin Gordon Heinrich on 0419 555 560.