The Meeting Place

The Future of Retirement Homes.

Last year a letter came from council to let me know a 4 storey retirement complex was being built close to me. I live in a country town of less than 2000 people.

At the moment the retirement village is made up of little single level cottages each with a small garden, some with garages and for the less capable a two storey building of small apartlettes (a bedroom and ensuite) that overlook their green space on one side and a view of the mountains on the other.

The oldies feed the birds and meander along the treed pathways around their complex.

I didn’t like the idea of a 4 storey complex however it was on the low side of the road and so thought it wouldn’t have too much impact.

Then floor by floor the monster rose 1 2 3 4 then 5 then 6. It was time to telephone council. I was informed they have lost control of these large developments because the State government has given the go ahead. No doubt they don’t start counting until the building is at street level even though normal homes aren’t given that same allowances.

This building would be the size of a hospital. No gardens, minimal parking – just concrete. Then I get letters in the mail saying the single storey dementia unit is also going to be pulled down and replaced with a monster as well. It feels like a threat rather than information as I live opposite.

Is this the baby boomers future? Concrete coffins? Are we really this short of land 200 km from Sydney? This isn’t the first one this company has built. It is being duplicated around the countryside. I used to think I would move into this retirement village when I could no longer cope. Not anymore.

Recently YLC asked what we thought would be categorised as abuse of the elderly. Start here.

When did our nation become so greedy that we could just dispose of the elderly like this?

These apartments are not for the poor or pensioners. Retirees are going to have to pay for the privilege of living in a prison.

I’d rather jump if this is our future. Except I am sure that would make any government even happier.

Would you be happy to retire to this? 

Amendment - an email from our State member for Parliament says this is soley a council decision and nothing to do with the NSW Government.

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Shaggy -  Frangipanis are beautiful flowers. I have a small Pink one which has struggled to flower this year.  I think those 40c days were not the best. Your right about a lot of patients rarely seeing visitors. My Father was in a nursing home and the man in the bed opposite him never had a visitor. I used to talk with him and he showed me drawings he did, as he was a stained glass window maker. They were beautiful. When his health became worse and he eventually passed away, the son came wanting to know what had happened to his belongings. They make me sick these people. Only turn up to see what they can get out of the estate.



Totally agree re greedy relatives Hola.   Know all about that.   I am so pleased that elder abuse is gaining more traction now and steps are in place to protect the vulnerable from greedy children, relatives and those who supposedly befriend an elderly person to get access to their assets.   I mean some so called charitable organisations...have had first hand experience of this.

Solicitors and banks are now on the lookout for this now and I read recently where a mother and daughter turned up at a solicitor's office with the mother there supposedly to change her will and leave one daughter out of it.   Female solicitor became suspicious and managed to get the daughter out of the office for a few minutes and was able to talk to the mother on her own.  It became obvious that the mother had dementia or whatever and the change of will did not go ahead.  

More attention has to be taken by those in power so that if they suspect something is going on re financial abuse of an elderly person that steps are taken to stop it.

Please be aware of this:

Sending flowers to dementia patients in a high care facility is not recommended or encouraged. If a patient is “room bound” the flowers are put in the common room for all to enjoy. Flowering plants can lure people with dementia to them and unfortunately it’s not uncommon for cognitively impaired people to rip off a leaf or bloom and eat it..and the consequences can be lethal. Besides advanced dementia patients have no idea what “Mother’s Day” means. It’s far better if one has the time to actually visit the patient and be with them when they enjoy the flowers..even take part in flower arranging with them if flowers are what you want to offer. Flower arranging is simple and provides cognitive and sensory stimulation and can help preserve motor skills, and provide a feeling of accomplishment.

A good  point is not to leave a dementia patient alone with flowers once they have been “arranged”..and also sensible to check with the nursery which flowers are poisonous..

Music has been known to get through to dementia patients and provide a lot of joy..a gift of a musical CD or video is a great idea

Source: National Dementia Australia

            My own personal experience in planning activities for dementia patients.

That is interesting KIAH. So just edible flowers then?

Gosh, I hope they find a way to delay dementia in patients soon.

Of course, we must note, their are a lot of people in Aged Care Facilities who do not suffer from dementia.  Many are there because they can not cope with running a house and fending for themselves and just need physical help.

Anything that is to be left in a clients room should be cleared by the profesionals that are there to help them.  

Hi Kiah, When I had my heart surgery one of my friends came to visit me with a beautiful bunch of pink and white carnations. The nurses told her they were not allowed in my room and she would have to take them home. I felt so sorry for her as they would have cost a pretty packet. She was so annoyed and said to them, there should have been a sign to say, "No flowers to be Left with Patients". Maybe it would be better to leave artifical flowers with the dementia patients, and as you say music would be good for them. I saw a piece about a old dementia man. He hadn't spoken for ages, but when he heard the music to one of his favourite songs, he immediately started to sing along. The smile on his face was priceless.



Many homes don't bother to tell the flower giver, they accept the flowers and place them in the common room. With hospitals, they should inform people so they don't waste their money since  some wards don't have a general room. I'm glad to see you're doing well after your heart surgery:)



Ohhhhhhh Kiah - I am actually sorry your flowers were misplaced?   Do hope you managed to tell the person who sent them to you?

Thankyou for your advice re flowers.

Have you booked a place for yourself Foxy? You must be way past retirement age by now. I'll bring you flowers, some poison ivy, lolol

Retirement home

Its hard to actually capture the massive of size of this until you stand near it. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Kiama pic

This is what the public and Kiama Council thought was being built.

Looks OK to me. Wait until the building is finished - it might look amazing . ALos I see they have preserved the trees around the building . 

They took down many large trees that were home to all the tame magpies that the tenants fed each day.

Well Rosret, at least the council contacted you about what was happening in your neighbourhood. Where we live, buildings are erected without any contact with those living alongside the block. When we contacted our council about a loss of privacy and sunlight we were told that the zoning allowed for the work. We were also told that the process of dealing with complaints about building works was, in the main, vindictive with no basis in law.

Except we were told it was four storeys.

I made comments about traffic congestion however I was sent the, "It's not a problem" response.

It is really just a shame that developers are allowed to do this at all. I have seen some places where the high rise works well and the apartments central to city and services are just ideal. - But not in a country town.

I note that once again developers cop the brunt of the criticism. Sure, they have an idea and put that idea to the approving authority. It matters little how the approval is given or whether rules have been broken, the fault of any development always rests with the approving authority. Developers are there to make a profit as that's the business they are in but councils and different tiers of government are supposed to be there to protect all affected residents from projects that cause unnecessary problems.



True old man. Developers will build to the constraints allowed. ...and they were allowed carte blanche.

The new trend in Oz today is "Retirement Cities" which is a mixture of skyscrapers and lower level buildings to house a cross section of the community.

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