Retirement villages – whether landed property or apartments – offer many benefits as a living option. Just a few of these benefits are added security, access to excellent lifestyle facilities, technology to assist you, maintenance of your home and the ability to live in a community of like-minded people.
However, deciding to live in a retirement village is only the first of several decisions – another important decision is whether you should join a community that is run by one of the large corporations, or perhaps a church group or should you join a community run by a smaller organisation, perhaps even a family run community. Each has its own set of pros and cons.
In day-to-day living, it is often the quality of the individual community manager and his or her team that most impacts the culture of the community and therefore how comfortable and ‘at home’ you are going to feel in the new community.
The larger corporates provide the most diversity of experience to their managers, especially if they are rotated between properties. Back up is also never a problem as it can be in smaller organsations. Larger village operators also tend to be quicker in terms of capital improvements to the facilities and renovations. They have the resources to have the best of facilities and technology.
On the other hand, family owned villages have tremendous advantages as well. According to Paré Tocker, Sales Manager of family-managed Bougainvillea Retirement Village, “Family managed retirement villages offer the most personal environment for residents and staff; especially if the family members are involved in the day to day running of the village and are frequently onsite.”
Continuity of staff and the quality service is also very important and this tends to be more secured in a family run community because families tend to be much closer to their own staff than head office personnel in a multi-level hierarchy.
According to Pare, “One advantage of family run villages that is not often enough publicised is the speed with which things can get fixed if there are problems.” If you are unhappy about something in a family run village, you will usually be able to get access to the owners directly and get things sorted out. This would be well-nigh impossible in a large corporate or even church operated village.
Although most retirement villages are affiliated with a larger group, there still are family run villages. They have the advantage of not only getting to know the residents well, they also get to know the residents’ families over this time, adding an individual and special quality.
Where a retirement village has been managed by the same family for decades, they even have residents from two different generations choosing to live there. That’s a fantastic testament to the family run business.
One advantage of family run villages that is not often enough publicised is the speed with which things can get fixed if there are problems.