ACCPA to place stronger focus on retirement living

Many are unaware the provider peak works in the space, says its CEO.

The Aged & Community Care Providers Association will be placing more emphasis on retirement living and seniors’ housing in the future, delegates have been told at the peak body’s Queensland conference this week.

“You will hear us talking much more about retirement living and seniors’ housing than we have in the past,” ACCPA’s chief executive officer Tom Symondson announced from the Gold Coast on Tuesday. “Not because it’s new to us, but because I hadn’t realised that people didn’t know we did it.”

Mr Symondson told the 400-or-so delegates listening to his CEO address that people were often unaware that ACCPA worked in the retirement living and seniors’ housing space as the organisation’s name features the word ‘care’.

Tom Symondson

“And many people who provide retirement living and seniors’ housing have a problem with that word because they don’t provide care, they provide housing – it’s completely different.”

This has led to a feeling that ACCPA is not focused enough on where older people live prior to entering residential care, said Mr Symondson. “We do not talk about the fact that to us – all of the services that older people need and rely on – are in our mandate, and that includes where they live.”

Three hundred ACCPA members deliver some form of accommodation specific to older people, delegates heard.

“We provide services into their homes – we know that from our home care providers. We provide housing through residential care,” said Mr Symondson. “But we also provide housing through retirement living – and not just retirement villages – but all of the other types of housing specific to older people. For example, affordable housing, rental and land lease – all of those types of settings are in our membership.”

Delegates at ACCPA’s Queensland conference this week

Mr Symondson told delegates ACCPA’s 1,100 membership covers 65 per cent of all retirement villages in Australia. For that reason, the peak has a team of people specifically concentrating on retirement living. “We’re very, very significant in this space. We are, in fact, the biggest peak body in the country for retirement living and seniors’ housing – and it’s something we’re very proud of,” said Mr Symondson.

“So we are going to start talking about that much more. Not because we want to deprioritise care – because it is in our DNA, of course it is. But because we want to start talking about all of the services that older people rely on. And without a safe, secure and appropriate place to live, it is very hard to be well and to be healthy and to be happy.”  

Comment on the story below. Follow Australian Ageing Agenda on LinkedInX (Twitter) and Facebook, sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter and subscribe to our premium content or AAA magazine for the complete aged care picture.  

Tags: ACCPA, ACCPA conference, queensland, retirement-living, seniors housing, Tom Symondson,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *