Questions to ask care homes

Retirement choices – a one way street!


Today there are a growing number of private, unregistered residential care homes that do not comply with legal requirements; such as for example, registering with the Department of Social Development. As they are not playing on a level playing field, they are consequently often able to offer far cheaper prices than traditional retirement estates and care homes. But there are no free lunches, and lower fees are often accompanied by cheaper services, and even sometimes by an increased risk of abuse. The choice of which Village to retire to, is a one way street, from which, if they get it wrong, few return unscathed. So what can be done to make sure that we make the right decision? Investigate thoroughly and ask the right questions; some being as follows:

The homes pedigree
What is the history of the Home? Can you have a copy of the audited financial statements, the agreement and the conduct rules? Ascertain what the prices / fees are (and importantly in the event of death what refund is due to your estate.

Waiting lists
Do they have a waiting list? How long is it? And how long does it normally take to receive an offer? How exactly does the waiting list work? And if you are offered a unit, but are not yet ready to move in… what happens?

How much is the current levy… and what does it cover? By how much have the levies increased over the last 5 years? Is there a levy stabilisation fund? How much is in it? Has the facility ever had to raise a special levy? … Why? What for? (Special levies are often an indication of mismanagement).

Legal compliance
Is the Home registered with the Department of Social Development? Is the Home a NPO? (Ask to be shown a copy of the registration certificate). When was the facility last inspected? Is the facility registered with CSOS?

“Perhaps the most important indicators of reliability relate to provenance and pedigree. The Hills Retirement Community is just such a organisation; established in 1904, and under the responsible leadership of Rotary – they are indeed the Go-to people for retirement matters.”

Henry Spencer