Odyssey: Here’s What You Have Wrong About Aged Care

Odyssey: Here’s What You Have Wrong About Aged Care

Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities are here to myth-bust some common misconceptions about lifestyle care communities! 

There are a lot of assumptions made about aged care and what entering an aged care community will look like. This often leads to many having questions or adopting a wary attitude.

Odyssey is fairly young, having been open just over a year, and there is still a lot of misconception around what Odyssey is, how it’s different from other aged care alternatives, and what the lifestyle within the community looks like.

To some, aged care can mean no longer being able to schedule their own life, missing out on family events, or feeling separated from the wider community. This is precisely why Odyssey was founded – to differ from the traditional aged care model and provide care in a nurturing and supportive community.

Created on the premise of being the best alternative to traditional aged care, Odyssey offers a lifestyle-orientated community. Couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly, the comfort, dignity, and independence of residents is the first priority.

Odyssey Bright Futures

Odyssey is all about creating a bright future for elderly Australians, led by a consumer-centric ethos that ensures residents are listened to and heard. As Odyssey continues to inspire the industry, it’s time to address the positive aspects of ageing. Let’s myth-bust some common assumptions about what a lifestyle care community offers and how it benefits seniors, the community and the wider industry.

Myth 1: Deferred Managed Fees (DMF) are a rip-off At Odyssey, we believe the years you spend with us should be enjoyed. Our DMF option is designed with you in mind. You can defer some of the cost until you leave, so you have access to more funds now, to enjoy your retirement.

Myth 2: My partner needs care, but as I don’t, we’ll be separated Couples stay together at Odyssey. Our range of first-class care and services are fully customisable and provided to residents in their own apartment. This is according to their individual needs.

These can be adapted for each person and adjusted over time as those needs change. This is similar for people fearing they will be separated from their partner who has dementia. In most cases, couples can live together in their own apartment at Odyssey, regardless of their individual and unique care needs. And as it’s provided at cost, you’ll only ever pay for what you need.

Myth 3: I’ll need to move again if my care needs change Not true! In most cases, a move to Odyssey is the only move you’ll need to make. With our range of care options, you can increase or decrease care if and when required. As previously mentioned, it’s provided at cost, so you’ll only ever pay for what you need.

Myth 4: I’ll have to leave my pets behind We not only accommodate for small and medium pets at Odyssey, we encourage residents to bring them along! At Odyssey, your comfort and quality of life is our first priority. It’s your home, so your pets are welcome as you please. What’s more, our staff can help you give your pets a walk or bath if needed.

Myth 5: A one-bedroom apartment will be too small for me Odyssey’s apartments are spacious and far exceed the industry standards, offering between 75-90sqm. Not only is your bedroom separate from your living space, but you’ll enjoy a full-size kitchen, internal laundry, balcony, and lots of storage. And you can make your home your own, maintaining your individuality by furnishing it to your taste.

Myth 6: You have to be a millionaire to live at Odyssey False! Odyssey is upmarket, but we have financial options that will most likely allow you to live with us. In general, if you own your own home on the Gold Coast, we believe you will be able to afford the move to our community.

Myth 7: I must have an ACAT assessment to move to Odyssey Not at all! We are not a government-funded residential aged care facility, so we don’t require you to undergo an ACAT assessment. We are a retirement lifestyle community with our own 24/7 care staff.

Myth 8: I will lose my home care team At Odyssey. You can bring your care team with you, regardless of who that is, or not. It is completely up to you. It’s just a simple address change for your care team!

Odyssey

Putting People First

The Odyssey model has set an excellent precedent in the industry by demonstrating the power of putting people first. Transitioning into aged care, should be an exciting time where seniors meet like-minded people. They can continue their independence, receive on-site care if needed and interact with family, friends and the wider community. ■ 

If you would like to experience the alternative to traditional aged care, arrange a time to visit and book a tour via 07 5551 6720. Odyssey is a three-tower luxury aged care community, located at the high-profile site on the corner of Christine Avenue and The Crestway at Robina. It has set a new benchmark for the sector with an extensive offering of five-star accommodation, care services and amenities for residents.    

Here’s more food for thought: Retirement Community: Top Ten Things to Consider When Choosing One

Retirement Community: Top Ten Things to Consider When Choosing One

Retirement Community: Top Ten Things to Consider When Choosing One

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher of Odyssey Lifestyle Communities tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

We all want to love where we live, at the end of the day, it is the place we will call home. When you start looking into a retirement community, whether this is for yourself or a senior loved one, it’s important to understand there are many factors to consider.

Think about when you moved into your first home. There were many aspects you weighed up, thought about and sought advice for that brought you to the decision of whether to purchase or keep looking. Relocating into a retirement or aged care community is similar, but the questions and considerations are a little different.

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

Retirement Community – WHAT TO CONSIDER

1. LOCATION

It doesn’t matter how old you are, location is still an incredibly important aspect when moving from one place to another. Most people want to remain in an area that offers familiar surroundings, places and faces. And of course, being near popular shopping hubs is a major draw card! It’s a misconception to think retiring in the outer suburbs is cheaper. And while this can be a factor, if affordable, most people want to be in the thick of it. Living near family and friends is another aspect as we all want to see our kids and grandchildren as we age.

2. LIFESTYLE

When looking at a retirement community, it’s important to see what kind of environment and social setting is offered. We all need real social interaction, especially as we age. Find out if the location has a varied calendar of events and outings to participate in or, if you or your parent are not social butterflies, check and see if there is a good library or areas to simply sit and enjoy watching the world while engrossed in a good book. Select a community that suits your needs and profile.

3. LONGEVITY

A great question to consider: can you stay at your chosen community for life or will you need to move again if you or your partner’s care needs change? This point needs special consideration, as many operators claim to have a true ageing in place model, where you can live life your way without moving again, but few actually deliver this.

Ask what level of care is available on-site and not coordinated via an outsourced group or person that sets it up. Also ask if there is real 24/7 care at the community that, if needed, can be ramped up until life’s end without having to move again. 

4. KNOW THE COMMUNITY RULES

Even in your senior years, you’ve got to pay attention to the rules. Common rules to look out for are, can the grandchildren stay over? Can you entertain in your new home and utilise common areas? And, can friends join you for a meal? Can you bring your pets? Can you call the shots, always? All these things really add up to ensuring you retain your independence and that you can and should have the final say.

5. IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD

Food is such an important part of our day as we age, so it needs to be delicious and nutritious! Check to see whether the community has a chef (Odyssey has three!). And, check what their qualifications are. Peruse the menu and enquire how often it changes and whether it is à la carte. The days where you are expected to accept what you are given are over. Mealtimes are great for socialising, so the atmosphere needs to be ‘restaurant’ rather than ‘dining room.’

Retirement community choices: Aged-care expert Phil Usher tells us what to look out for when choosing to right-size into a new home.

6. CHAT WITH STAFF

Conversing with the staff is the perfect way to find out what a place is really like. Ask questions about all the above points and be certain they are genuine answers and not just lip service. Be confident and inquire about the employees, their training and their requirements for working there. Look into whether the care staff are qualified or whether they work for the community or for a subcontracting entity. Ask about how the community is run and what services are on offer or at hand. These are all fair questions to ask, especially when it comes to nursing qualifications.

7. WHAT ABOUT SECURITY

It doesn’t need to be Fort Knox, but you want to know the place you live offers a secure community. Check to see whether there are physical security gates that close at night, 24/7 staff in case of an emergency or if care is required, CCTV to monitor common areas and whether the community offers technology aids to assist with your security. Technology is becoming commonplace, even in the aged care sector. There could be an Artificial Intelligence system designed to assist in monitoring all manner of things. Check the communication system, particularly given the pandemic, and make sure you have access to video calls and telehealth. You want to know that all these things are in place and there for you in order to feel safe and secure.

8. RETIREMENT COMMUNITY: SPEND TIME THERE

To get a real sense of the place, you need to experience it beforehand. Make some enquiries to see if you can come along for morning tea and chat with the residents. This way, you’ll get the scoop on what life is really like in the community firsthand. Take a stroll around the grounds and make sure they are in good condition, that way you know your community is well kept by people who care.

9. RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CULTURE

This is a really important point – the community needs to ‘feel’ right for you. Does it give you a sense of home and can you see yourself there? Listen to your heart and make sure you tick this box, because it will make all the difference. Chatting with staff and residents will help you with this point and you can also jump online and read reviews.

10. ASK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL OPTIONS

Another important aspect of retirement is understanding how the financials work. It’s best to compare apples with apples. Make sure you take into account what quality of life you want, as it has a value that should not be ignored. Make sure you compare what you want across all prospects and then determine what you are prepared to pay.

PHIL USHER – RETIREMENT COMMUNITY CARE EXPERT

Phil Usher has been part of the aged care sector for almost 20 years. He has a keen understanding of what seniors want when it comes to living out their twilight years on their own terms.

Phil’s Mum, who passed away from dementia-related complications, was the driving force behind why he’s created an alternative to traditional aged care. When considering aged care for her, Phil couldn’t find a place that offered her the kind of life she wanted. So he made improving aged care his odyssey. If it’s not good enough for the people Phil loves, it’s simply not good enough.

Phil’s determination to create the best alternative to aged-care led to a fresh, heart-centred approach known as a Lifestyle Care Community. At Odyssey the power is given back to residents. People are put first, they have their own home in a lifestyle-orientated community, couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly – comfort, dignity and independence are the first priorities.

Got a to-do list? Get it done! Here’s why!

DON’T DOUBT DOWNSIZING: A WHOLE NEW CHAPTER AWAITS

DON’T DOUBT DOWNSIZING: A WHOLE NEW CHAPTER AWAITS

Phil Usher has been part of the aged-care sector for almost 20 years. Here, he gives us an insight into this opportunity to simplify your life and free yourself in your later years.

A Brand New Adventure: Don’t Doubt Downsizing

So, you’re downsizing. You’ve reached that inevitable next phase in life to simplify, de-clutter and take stock of what’s really important to you. But don’t fret, downsizing can also mean that a whole new adventure is on the cards!

To some, the prospect of downsizing can evoke uncertainty or fear. This big change in life can be more akin to pulling teeth, or getting cornered into a gruelling timeshare presentation. But downsizing doesn’t have to dampen your spirits or create unnecessary worries – in fact, it should be the exact opposite!

First and foremost, you need to change your mindset and see downsizing as an opportunity for a new beginning, because that is exactly what it is. It should be viewed as a new era; one we should encourage ourselves and our loved ones to approach with zest and excitement.

Odyssey Residents: Don’t Doubt Downsizing

The people we see at Odyssey often feel a little daunted and overwhelmed with the idea of moving from a large home into a smaller setting. And of course, it is difficult when you or a loved one has been in the same house for many years and then it’s time for the next stage. But it’s also important to feel comfortable with the process.

dont doubt downsizing for your retired life
Downsize and lead a comfortable retired life

Life is full of stuff and most of us spend a significant amount of time accumulating bits and bobs over the years to remind us where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and who we love. But as we age, clutter can become an issue, creating trip hazards, and making it difficult to find things.

Enjoy downsizing for a beautiful retired life
Downsizing can be beautiful if done correctly

When you start to declutter, don’t view this as a painful departing process, but instead see it as a way to empower either ourselves or our loved ones with choice and control. It’s often thought that our children or grandchildren will want to hold onto various items, but sadly and unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Don’t Doubt Downsizing, Pick Out Items Close to Your Heart

Hold onto the things that have meaning, whether it’s family pictures, a favourite reading chair or a few items that hold special memories. Everything else is mostly just ‘things’. A general rule to follow is, if it hasn’t been used in six months, it’s probably not needed.

One of the best things about downsizing is the ease of living in a low-maintenance environment. While it can be challenging to adjust to a new schedule and a whole new lifestyle, it’s always a pleasant surprise to have more freedom and time to do the things you love.

Whether it be spending more quality time with family and friends or engaging in new social activities, downsizing is a chapter of life that should not cause angst. It truly is a time for you to live your best life, and perhaps take up a new hobby that you didn’t have the time for before. Downsizing can bring out a whole new era of self-discovery for you that maximises the most essential elements of life – having fun and being happy and healthy.

When considering your new space, identify the things that are important to you. Things like access to quality care, remaining independent, maintaining a sense of control, living in a pet[1]friendly setting, and being able to bond with those you love.

Choosing the Correct Location

Choose somewhere that aligns with your values, what you want, and what kind of lifestyle you want to maintain. You want to be able to focus on continuing life as normal as possible in a great atmosphere – while feeling safe and secure about where you live. My whole goal is to ensure that Odyssey Lifestyle Care Communities combine the best of retirement resort community living with first-class care built in.

Remember, the moral to the story is to change the way we see downsizing. Don’t doubt downsizing. It’s a new beginning and something you can take on with a smile and excitement. It’s about decluttering, but also about experiencing something new – a space where you’re comfortable, safe and happy. ■

For more of Phil’s insights, and the opportunity to ask questions, check out odysseycommunities.com.au.

Phil's picture
Picture of Phil

Phil Usher

PHIL USHER has been part of the aged care sector for almost 20 years. He has a keen understanding of what seniors want when it comes to living out their twilight years on their own terms.

Phil’s Mum, who passed away from dementia-related complications, was the driving force behind why he’s created an alternative to traditional aged care. When considering aged care for her, Phil couldn’t find a place that offered her the kind of life she wanted. So he made improving aged care his odyssey. If it’s not good enough for the people Phil loves, it’s simply not good enough.

Phil’s determination to create the best alternative to aged-care led to a fresh, heart-centred approach known as a Lifestyle Care Community. At Odyssey the power is given back to residents. People are put first, they have their own home in a lifestyle-orientated community, couples stay together, pets are welcome, grandkids have sleepovers and most importantly – comfort, dignity and independence are the first priorities.

Click here, to know more about the lifestyle of silver citizens.

Looking to Downsize? Check Out The Event

Looking to Downsize? Check Out The Event

Thinking about downsizing? Then check out this upcoming event – it has free tips for seniors preparing for retirement.

SENIORS CAN DISCOVER valuable insights into preparing for retirement living when one of the country’s foremost experts, Rachel Lane, shares her tips at a free event. The gathering will be hosted by RetireAustralia’s The Verge at Burleigh G.C. retirement community.

Rachel is the Principal of Aged Care Gurus, and has authored several books on age-related issues.

RetireAustralia: Seniors Looking to Downsize

RetireAustralia’s CEO, Dr Brett Robinson said the free session was designed to demystify the process of buying into a retirement community. “Getting ready for retirement can seem overwhelming at first. That is why RetireAustralia is committed to providing seniors with free access to leading industry experts, to help them find the right home to suit their needs. Seniors can discover what they need to know about the ingoing, ongoing and outgoing costs of retirement living at this session, gain a basic understanding of the way different contracts work and how to approach the task of downsizing.’’

Rachel said that while there were many factors to weigh up before moving into retirement village living, there were many benefits. “Initially for many it may seem easier to stay in your own home, but there’s usually a turning point such as the loss of a spouse or health concerns that exacerbate social isolation and prompt a reconsideration. Once people move into a village, they commonly ask themselves why they didn’t do it sooner.’’

TOP TIPS FOR TRANSITIONING INTO RETIREMENT VILLAGE LIVING

■ Get a feel for the community: Many retirement communities host Friday night happy hours. Or in the case of The Verge, regular Meet Your Future Neighbours events. Join in these activities for a sense of how you will fit in.

■ Understand your contract: Your contract may have consequences for your pension. Your ability to afford the lifestyle you want as well as aged care into the future. Unfortunately, contracts are rarely looked at after they are signed, and the unexpected happens. Break the contract into three time zones. Before you move in, while you live there and when you leave to help identify what happens when.

■ Crunch the numbers: A lot of people look at just the upfront costs. But for a true comparison you should factor in ingoing, ongoing and outgoing costs such as exit fees.

■ Seek advice: As with any major purchase, it is important to seek independent advice from reputable legal and financial experts, as well as understand how downsizing may affect your investments. pension and how you structure your superannuation.

The exclusive Rightsize your Retirement information session will be held from 10am to 12noon. March 30 2021, at the Ocean View Room at North Burleigh Surf Club, 293 The Esplanade, Miami.

Places for the Rightsize your Retirement session are limited. RSVP is essential by visiting the website at thevergeburleigh.com.au/events or call 1800 955 070. A light morning tea will be served before the presentation.

Click here to get more info about Burleigh.

Translate »