Retirement Living Part 3 – Transitioning to an aged care residential facility

Moving to an Aged Care Facility

The time will come when a moving to an aged care residential facility (ACRF) will be necessary. This event may occur when a retirement village resident’s care needs increase to a degree that the retirement village environment and the home supports are not adequate to ensure safety for the individual or maintain a quality of life.

Aged Care Residential Facility Considerations

1.  When moving to an aged care residential facility or ACRF, admission requires an Aged Care Assessment to be done.  The Aged Care Assessment Service (ACAS) will visit you at home to complete the assessment.

To find your local ACAS service visit myagedcare website, at the bottom of the page you will find a selection Find your local Aged Care Assessment Team.  This page will also explain the role of the ACAS.

2. You then need to organise tours of facilities in the location you would like to live. Refer to our blog post – What to look for when choosing an Aged Care Residential Facility.  When moving to an aged care residential facility, once you decide on a facility you would like to live you need to complete the application paperwork and if there are no vacancies then place your name on a waiting list.

3.  You will need to complete a Permanent Residential Aged Care Request for a Combined Assets and Income Assessment which determines part of the fees and charges, the form can be found through this Human Services link.

4. Fees and charges for Aged Care need to be understood when moving to an aged care residential facility.I f you are required to pay an accommodation payment there are options for funding this and the total amount of the accommodation payment can often be negotiated.

5.  You will need to downsize when moving to an aged care residential facility, usually the ACRF supplies a bed, chest of drawers and chair but this will vary.  You are welcome to take in furniture, pictures etc for your room. Some ACRF offer suites with a sitting room and bedroom with or without a kitchenette so more furniture can be taken in.

6.  You will be asked to sign a legal document a Resident Agreement and it is advisable to have this reviewed by a lawyer.

7.  On the day of moving, have a relative or friend with you to assist with settling in and helping with paperwork.

* Remember to give notice in writing to your Retirement Village, refer to our last blog “Retirement Living Part 2 – financial matters when moving to aged care.”

It is a complex process to navigate so if you require assistance Signpost can organise the placement from beginning to end.

Until next time.

Sara and Margaret

Signpost Aged Care Services Wins The Australian Women’s Weekly / CPA Award

The Inaugural Australian Women’s Weekly

Women in Business Award

Highly Commended


Signpost Aged Care Services Wins Award

Signpost is thrilled to receive this award recognising women in business.  Signpost Aged Care Services was described by the judges as a business of the future with social context.

We were one of 6 finalists and to read more about the other women pick up the July issue of Australian Women’s Weekly to read about them.

Signpost would like to thank the Australian Women’s Weekly for sponsoring the event in partnership with the CPA.

Please read the entire Australian Women’s Weekly article here: BusinessAwards

Living in a Retirement Village part 2 – financial matters when moving to aged care

Financial Matters | Moving Out Of a Retirement Village

Financial matters to consider when moving out of a retirement village. If and when the time comes for a resident of a retirement village to move into aged care, the financial aspects of the move need to be considered.

In our experience, the biggest concern when moving into aged care is paying the accommodation payment, formerly called the bond, for the aged care facility. Financing the bond payment can be a little more difficult if your only asset is a retirement village unit and you have been living alone*.

Finance matters the deferred management fee

Most agreements for retirement village entitle the owner of the village to a portion of the sale proceeds when the unit is sold. This portion is mainly comprised of the deferred management fee (DMF). The DMF is often calculated as a percentage for each year you have lived in the unit up to a maximum number of years.

For example 3% of the sale price for each year capped at 10 years or 30%.

The retirement village owner may also be entitled to other costs on sale, such as the cost of refurbishing and selling the unit.

For people who have been in the village for a long time, this may mean that the retirement village owner retains around 40% of the sale price. So there is not a lot left to pay the accommodation payment, formerly known as a bond, for the aged care facility.

Federal Government Funding and Aged Care Affordability

The good news is that the federal government system of funding and paying for aged care ensures that everyone is able to afford aged care, although it is expensive.

It is often just a matter of how the funding is structured to ensure that you have sufficient assets and income left to last. If you are concerned about how you would afford to pay the costs, you should speak to a financial adviser who specialises in aged care or contact us for help.

Marketability of Retirement Village Units

The other matter to consider is that many retirement village units are not that easy to sell and remain on the market for a considerable period of time.

If that is the case, there is legislation in many states of Australia. The legislation enables certain residents of retirement villages to require the retirement village owner to fund the accommodation payment; if the unit is not sold in a certain period of time.

For example, in Victoria, the Retirement Villages (Contractual Arrangements) Regulations enables a non-owner resident to require the retirement village owner to fund part or all of the accommodation payment if the unit is not sold within 6 months**.

Ongoing Management Fees After You Move Out

One final matter to consider is that the management fee and/or other ongoing payments made to the retirement village are likely to continue to be payable even when you have moved into care.

This depends on what the agreement says so you should check the agreement so that you know what you will still be paying and for how long after you move.
If you have any questions or need help, contact us at
Until next time
Sara and Margaret
* If your only asset is your home and your partner will be remaining in that home, you may be entitled to a supported bed which is subsidised by the federal government. You should contact us if that is the case.
** There are certain preconditions and rules in this Regulation which need to be considered and which are too lengthy for this article. You are encouraged to call us or seek independent legal advice if you wish to rely on this Regulation.

Let’s get sorted

Signpost was contacted by a niece who lived in Sydney but was down in Melbourne helping out her uncle. Her uncle was a 82 year old bachelor who had lived on a farm with his brother for the last 60 years. His brother had died recently and the uncle realised as he aged he could not stay living on the farm on his own. He decided to relocate back to Melbourne where he was born.

He moved in to his mother’s home which had not been lived in for over 30 years but had had regular maintenance. The uncle had reduced mobility as was hoping to receive a hip replacement.

The uncle’s wish was to stay living independently in the home with support. After sitting down with the uncle and niece we identified what needed to be done to ensure the uncle was safe, comfortable and socially connected.

The niece had already organised for the front path and entrance to be repaved for easy access for a 4 wheel frame and the downstairs bathroom to be renovated

In the course of one consultation we:

  • Confirmed appropriate furniture was purchased to allow safe mobility;
  • Made a referral to an Occupational Therapist to come and access the home for safety;
  • Linked in a home visiting physiotherapist to ensure muscle strength and tone was maintained and improved so the uncle could be safely get around the house;
  • Organised cleaners;
  • Organised a home visiting hairdresser;
  • Organised a carer to assist with general care, food preparation and other domestic tasks
  • Organised transport to medical appointments
  • Arranged for an Aged Care Assessment to be done for community care, respite and permanent care if required.

The niece has now returned home and her uncle is living independently in his home with support.

Respite for people receiving peritoneal dialysis

Signpost was contacted by an 81 year old gentleman whose wife had been receiving peritoneal dialysis since 2007. Every night he would set up his 81 year old wife for dialysis and every morning he would disconnect her and clean the machine in the role as her primary carer. Often he is woken at night when the machine stops working or his wife rolled onto and blocked the dialysis line.

He was exhausted. He had not had a break since his wife started dialysis and had been looking for respite for 4 years without success. His daughter contacted us to see if we could find a solution and Signpost took on the challenge.

Early in our enquiries two things became obvious. First, this was not an unusual problem and secondly, there was no established solution. Ordinarily, another family member would be trained in peritoneal dialysis and relieve the usual carer. Although Signpost’s client had three grown children, one lived interstate, one lived overseas and the only child in Melbourne had a career and a growing family to care for. Signpost contacted a large number of aged care facilities and discovered that none of those facilities contacted had experience with peritoneal dialysis. Most were unwilling to take the resident as it required policies and procedures to be written and staff to be trained in peritoneal dialysis.

After numerous enquiries and with the help of the peritoneal dialysis unit, the renal physician and relevant Commonwealth departments, respite was arranged at an aged care residential facility. The facility committed to training its staff and creating policies and procedures with the support and assistance of the treating peritoneal dialysis unit.

Signpost’s client is now able to plan a visit to see his son overseas and spend some time with his grandchildren who he rarely sees. He is planning to accompany his son’s family on an island holiday. He is now able to book future breaks and holidays safe in the knowledge that his wife will be properly cared for during these absences.

Signpost is an organisation which assists ageing individuals and families with ageing parents to plan and prepare in the areas of financial, legal, care and lifestyle options. In summary Signpost assists with navigating the aged care maze to ensure choice and quality outcomes for individuals.