13 November 2019

New care standards for australian retirement villages

Vic Lorusso
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Retirement villages have always been loosely regulated under state law. This lack of minimum standards has allowed some facilities to slip through the cracks and provide substandard care to their residents.

Thankfully the Property Council of Australia and Leading Age Services Australia have collaborated over the last two years to create the Australian Retirement Village Accreditation Scheme (ARVAS). This scheme sets care standards for all retirement villages, so that you can be confident of the quality of any facility as long as it’s accredited.

THE AUSTRALIAN RETIREMENT VILLAGE ACCREDITATION SCHEME

The ARVAS scheme has seven core standards that retirement villages must meet in order to be accredited, including:

  1. Effective community management and strong customer service orientation.
  2. Human resource management ensures the quality and quantity of staff are sufficient to provide a high standard of care.
  3. Resident entry and exit are managed to ensure a positive resident experience.
  4. Resident engagement and feedback are encouraged effectively.
  5. Environment, services and facilities are managed effectively in accordance with all resident contracts.
  6. Safety and security of residents and the facility are managed effectively.
  7. Residents receive safe, high quality care consistent with their needs and preferences.

Each standard comprises several criteria, which are assessed using indicators (indicators are essentially real-time evidence that criteria are being met).

CHOOSING A RETIREMENT VILLAGE

If you’ve been thinking about retirement, you’ve probably had a look at a couple retirement villages. Choosing the right one can be incredibly challenging both for you and family, and it can be difficult to be sure of the facility’s quality before you commit.

The ARVAS standards aim to make your decision easier by verifying the quality and professionalism of retirement villages for you. According to Downsizing you can be sure that any facility with an ARVAS accreditation also tick the following boxes:

  • Offers residents the right to make individual choices and have preferences in relation to their care.
  • Clearly communicates and documents the scope of care services available.
  • Establishes a plan of care based on a resident’s needs.
  • Offers a point of contact with senior management to ensure safe, high quality services.
  • Executive management regularly receive reports about the standards of care.

Ben Myers, Executive Director, Retirement Living at the Property Council says the new standards give retirees peace of mind when it matters:

“…Residents told us they would value a scheme that evaluated their community on their ability to provide safety and security, the quality of their village manager and staff, and the clarity of the community entry and exit procedures. ARVAS contains updated, modern standards relating to each of these, and residents can be confident that an ARVAS-accredited community delivers on its promise.”

It is hoped these changes will help make the transition to retirement living much easier on both retirees and their families, and will also help ensure quality facilities rise to the fore while those not meeting standards are policed.

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