Retirement and Mature Lifestyle Estates

South Africa’s’ elderly population is expected to double by 2050 according to the World Health Organisation.  Its “World Report on Aging and Health” states: the portion of South Africa’s’ population aged 69 years or older will double from 7.7% to 15.4% of the country’s total population over the next 31 years – taking it from a current approx. 4.3million people to approx. 10million elderly people in 2050.

The challenge of housing the more affluent sector of the growing elderly population has been taken up by property developers focusing on retirement and mature lifestyle estates.  Marina Constas – director of BBM Attorneys and specialist Sectional Title attorney says: “Accommodation for the elderly is increasingly moving away from nursing home type facilities towards independent living and preventative care.  Sectional title retirement villages are becoming the way to go for senior housing; but the involvement of attorneys with extensive Sectional Title experience is necessary, right from inception of a new development, to ensure that that there is the necessary balance between the developers’ objectives and the interests of the residents.

Constas is also the author of Demystifying Sectional Title, and states that: “It is critical in retirement schemes that the sectional title development is correctly structured at the outset and that the rules are written in such a way that they are clear and enforceable.”

“In a retirement development, buyers are often investing their hard-earned life savings in the property. Developers may find themselves dealing with difficult homeowners who, having put all of their investments into the Estate, may be inclined to scrutinise and challenge any potential issues and will have the time on hand to devote to this.   In additions to falling under the Sectional Title Act, retirement schemes are also regulated by the Housing Development Schemes for Retired Persons Act”

“Under this Act, only people who are 50 years or older, or their spouses may occupy a retirement or Mature Lifestyle Estate.  The exception to this is when all other owners in the Estate give their consent in writing. While the occupant must be over 50 – the buyer need not be:  someone younger may buy a unit for an elderly parent.  With the current demand for retirement homes, this would also be a lucrative investment” she says.

Expanding on what buyers should look for in a well set-up retirement scheme, and what developers should aim for – Constas says the rules will stipulate exactly what facilities and services the elderly residents are getting in addition to accommodation.  The advantage to the developer and the buyers of getting input at the start from attorneys experienced in Sectional Title are innumerable as to pointing out where problems may lie.

Constas cites the new Heritage Estate in Modderfontein as an example of a retirement scheme that has been meticulously set up with the necessary care and professionalism.  She and her team were contracted to set out the Rules of the Scheme.

“Today, frail-care facilities are astronomically expensive to run and generally unsustainable.  The move towards preventative care in the Estate with home-based care options is in line with development all over the world.” Constas says.

Heritage House

As residents at the Estate will have seen, we have been renovating the exterior and interior of Heritage House, and its communal areas and residents’ facilities are nearing completion.

The Wellness Hub has been moved to the House and consists of the assessment room – run 5 days a week during office hours by TruCare Age Well Solutions and Matron Devanna Moodley, and a day-care observation room for residents who need further health care attention.  Should residents require more urgent care or a step-down facility – emergency services will be despatched or a carer can be arranged for in-home care.

The Wellness Hub also includes a Doctors room for the various doctors and specialists who come to the Estate by appointment to render their services at Heritage Estate, as well as a Physiotherapy room.

A billiards and darts room as well as a cards room feature in Heritage House for residents to enjoy as well as a library and reading room for Book Clubs.  A Salon offering a hairdresser/barber as well as nail care services is also available.  The home theatre room is also nearing completion – to be used for private screenings or presentations to residents.

The 1910 – Bar/Coffee Bar (named after the date Heritage House was built), is in process of being completed and under the guidance f our interior decorator, conveys the grandeur of the era and we hope to let residents know in the next week or two when the opening and operating hours will be.  Reef Caterers will be responsible for the running of 1910, and the Pavilion will continue operations as a concert / entertainment venue that will run by Reef Caterers and the Body Corporate.

The Linton – Dining Hall (named after the last superintendent in office at Springkell), is also currently being renovated and refurbished and will also be operated by Reef Caterers for lunch and dinner service.  A private dining room can also be booked for a maximum of 8 people.

A Function Hall that can also be used as a Pilates/yoga room is also provided for in Heritage House to ensure residents remain active and focus on wellness.  Various classes can also be arranged according to residents wishes.  The Hall is also available for functions, that can be organised by Reef Caterers.

The Linton and the Function Hall should be operational in the 2nd quarter of 2019.