Almost half of Australia’s retirement living residents now live in a village covered by the Retirement Living Code of Conduct, demonstrating commitment to residents and rigorous self-regulation.
Three key takeaways:
- The Retirement Living Code of Conduct, an initiative of the Property Council and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), came into effect on 1 January 2020
- “In Australia today, more than 46% of retirement village residents are living in a code compliant community,” says chair of the Retirement Living Code of Conduct Review Panel, Dr Elizabeth Lanyon.
- The first annual report for the Code of Conduct reveals no breaches occurred in the seven complaints referred to the Review Panel in 2020.
According to Ben Myers, the Property Council’s executive director of retirement living, the Code is part of a robust quality framework for the operation of retirement communities, along with the Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS).
“With around 2,300 retirement villages across Australia, the Retirement Living Code of Conduct helps our industry to set high standards, promote and protect the interests of residents and deliver exceptional quality of service,” Myers says.
All Code subscribers gain access to a suite of collateral, including certificates to communicate their compliance to residents and promotion on A Wise Move – a one-stop-shop to help retirees assess their options.
Dr Elizabeth Lanyon is the inaugural chair of the Retirement Living Code of Conduct Review Panel, which undertakes independent oversight, monitoring and review of the Code. A lawyer with more than 35 years’ experience, Lanyon was previously a senior Victorian Government executive with policy responsibility for retirement village regulation.
The inaugural report reveals seven complaints were referred to the code administrator, but no breaches occurred. Lanyon does say “the panel expects a greater number of complaints in 2021 as the Code’s existence is more widely promoted among residents”.
Residents have expressed positive feedback about the Code. One resident of Tigcorp’s Applewood Retirement Living, featured in the report, says her operator’s commitment to the Code “gives me great peace of mind that they care about my wellbeing whilst living here; and when it is time for me to leave”.
Myers says the biggest achievement of the Code over the last year has been the “strong take-up by operators, despite the external pressures placed on the industry by COVID-19”.
“This year we will be increasing awareness of the Code to grow the number of subscribers. We have set an ambitious target of 75 per cent take up in the industry. This would seriously demonstrate the industry’s commitment to residents and to robust self-regulation.”
For those still considering their options, Myers has some clear advice. “The Code is a powerful way for potential residents to easily differentiate between villages that are prepared to make a strong commitment to quality and those that are not.”