Long popular in New Zealand, the idea of a “continuum of care” is becoming more popular among Australia’s new and existing retirement villages – but what does it mean?

Championed by operators such as Ryman Healthcare, as well as Not For Profits like Ozcare, Uniting and BaptistCare, continuum-of-care villages involve pairing a regular retirement village with aged care facilities.

This could, for example, mean a village with dedicated aged care home nearby or on-site, or in the case of some developments, modular rooms that can be changed and refitted easily as a resident’s care needs change.

Why should you consider a continuum-of-care village when you’re looking to downsize? There are a number of advantages:

  • You’ll only need to move once – when you go to live in the village, you can stay there for the rest of your life if you need to.
  • Even as your care needs change, your way of life won’t have to – you’ll be in the same community, around the same people, and potentially even in the same unit.
  • If you have a partner, and one of you needs care before the other, you won’t have to go far to see them, as they can receive care close to you.
  • Help will be readily available in the case of a surprise health event.

“People downsizing into a retirement community to live independently know that if their or their partner’s health needs change in the future, they can access aged care right where they are,” says Cameron Holland, CEO of Ryman Healthcare Australia.

This approach minimises disruption and change in the most challenging of life stages for both residents and their families.