Cam Holland, CEO of one of Australia’s largest retirement village operators Ryman Healthcare, is leading a push to deliver more care into retirement villages – one that could help you to age in place for longer.

The Retirement Living Council (RLC) has put forward a formal proposal to the Federal Department of Health and Aged Care aimed at delivering ‘Shared Care’ in retirement villages.

The concept of Shared Care is to take a small portion of a large number of village residents’ Community and Home Support packages and apply those funds to the full village, which would deliver economies of scale and investments in wellness supports for all residents.

This would benefit anyone entering a retirement village who needs more support as more time would be spent on delivering care.

For example, instead of say 10 residents each utilising their individual home support packages to be individually taken to the shops to buy their groceries, part of those funds would be used to fund a village bus trip where one bus and one driver takes 10 people to the shops.

Another example would be for the collective funds to pay for a village nurse, who would not only look after people on Government-funded packages but also the other village residents.

The plan proposes a pilot to trial the model, with the idea that it would not only save Government money in the long run, it would also help to keep village residents healthier and living independently for longer.

There is a long way to go before Shared Care may be fully embraced by Government, but elements could be announced as early as the May Federal Budget.

All of us want to stay in our own home as we age – this could be one of the options that helps people to achieve that goal.