Public comment is being sought on the draft version of a new national Retirement Living Code of Conduct which all retirement community owners and operators will be encouraged to sign up to as part of their commitment to delivering great experiences for senior Australians.
More than 3,000 Australian retirement communities are providing accommodation and services to almost 300,000 people aged 65 and over, helping to extend their independence, facilitating access to health and wellbeing solutions, and providing new and vital social support networks.
The Retirement Living Code of Conduct intends to set standards above and beyond statutory obligations. The Code recognises that retirement communities are governed by a complex and diverse set of Commonwealth, state and territory legislation and regulations, and it seeks to establish a commonly accepted standard to help operators provide a trusted and high-quality service to those living in, or considering moving to, a retirement community.
The Code is supported by the three peak bodies representing retirement living owners and operators; the Property Council of Australia, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) and Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA).
Ben Myers, Executive Director – Retirement Living at the Property Council, said the release of the draft was the final step in developing and implementing the new Code.
“The Retirement Living Code of Conduct covers all aspects of a resident’s experience in a retirement community: from signing the contract to move in, right through until the resident’s unit or apartment is re-sold,” Mr Myers said.
“Before we implement the Code, we wanted to ensure everyone had a chance to see the standards the industry is setting and provide feedback to us, so we can ensure it is as strong a document as possible.”
CEO of Leading Age Services Australia Sean Rooney said the Code is vital for the industry to set a high level of standards for the marketing, selling and operation of retirement communities, to promote and protect the interests of residents, and provide a clear framework for resolving disputes within a community.
“Once the Code is finalised, our three organisations will promote it to the more than 3000 retirement communities across the country and be strongly encouraging them to sign up and commit to the standards, to demonstrate their commitment to their residents,” Mr Rooney said.
ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said, “A set of standards agreed upon by providers and consumers alike is an important resource and will be key to building and maintaining the trust and transparency that we in the industry and the community rely on.”
If anyone wants to read the draft Retirement Living Code of Conduct and provide their comments, they can do so at www.retirementliving.org.au/codeofconduct.
Consultation closes on Friday 20 July.