This year’s People’s Choice Awards for Best Retirement Village and Aged Care facilities in Aotearoa, feature a range of operators.
Waihi Lodge Care Centre in Geraldine was the smallest facility to pick up an award this year. Owned by the community, the care home staff and board were absolutely delighted.
Mike van der Heyden, Facility Manager said “The whole team are extremely proud and humbled to have been nominated, and to have their hard work recognised.”
Cooks Street Nursing and Care in Palmerston North picked up Best Small Care Award for the North Island. Anna Blackwell, Clinical Director and Owner says “Our care philosophy is completely resident focused, ensuring staffing hours are higher than the industry norm so we can deliver care in a safe, calm manner. No one is rushed or pressured… there is time to do those ‘little things’ with all staff having time to talk and time to care. This leads to full staffing, low turnover and quality care.”
CHT picked up a Winners and Finalist award for Best Large Care Facility in the North Island. Alice McKay, spokesperson for CHT believes a key reason for their awards is “the quality of the staff and the way they bring to life the values of CHT – care, comfort, compassion, connection and community – through their work every day.”
Best Large Village in the North Island was awarded to Settlers Lifestyle Village in Albany for the second year running. One resident commented, ‘I have resided in Settlers Lifestyle Village for 12 years and can give testament to the fact that I have enjoyed every day of those years, with still more to fulfil and enjoy.’
Multiple villages that offer a share in the capital gain, also received awards. Hopper Living’s Maygrove Village in Orewa has consistently ranked in the top three places for Best North Island Retirement Village since the awards were launched in 2015.
Toni Hatton, Assistant Village Manager at Maygrove said about their point of difference as, “Private ownership – fabulous staff, relaxed family orientated atmosphere, and we are fortunate to have friendly caring residents who make the village a lovely community to live in.”
Karaka Pines Lifestyle Villages, a newer player to the industry that shares the capital gain, has had two of its villages pickup North Island Finalist awards – Roseland and Karaka Lifestyle Estate.
When asked what it meant for the staff when they heard about this year’s award – Rebecca Lloyd, Village Manager commented, ”Proud! It was wonderful for the staff to have confirmation, from residents, that Karaka Pines have fulfilled their promise to make Karaka Lifestyle Estate a wonderful place to call home.”
Two villages that picked up awards are actually still in development. Keith Park, a Ryman Village in Hobsonville, Auckland which won Best Small Village (North Island) is one under construction with early residents residing while further units are being built. Ryman Healthcare spokesman, David King commented that ‘winning the award after such a short time in operation is a highlight for the team’. The other village awarded as a Finalist was Bream Bay in Northland.
Tania Ryan, GM for AgedAdvisor NZ says moving into villages still being built can be a great opportunity, with both weekly fees and the ORA purchase price normally being lower. “Operators also usually work hard to ensure residents are not impacted too much by construction.”
National Group Provider Award has gone to Ryman Healthcare for 3 of the last 4 years, with Summerset, Arvida and Metlifecare picking up Group Finalist awards this year.
Summerset previously won the 2021 Group Provider Award. “This year was much closer between these four players” says Tania. AgedAdvisor uses set algorithms to score facilities based on the number of ratings, the overall rating score and size of the facility. “It’s all down to the reviews and ratings”.
When asked what the awards mean for residents, Louise MacDonald, from Summerset Head Office commented “The residents are always very excited, stopping by reception to admire and feel proud of what they have helped to achieve.”
AgedAdvisor Founder, Nigel Matthews says there’s a number of key questions people should ask when deciding on a facility or even if retirement village living is right for them. “We advise people to consider the implications from a personal, legal and financial point of view.
“Ask the right questions, visit and talk to the people in the villages (or read the reviews) and compare each facility based on your own list of priorities.” He says that some of the implications are covered in the new magazine out in December 2022, along with a checklist of possible questions to ask.
“We try to assist people with the process, by offering independent and easy to follow advice on what to look out for as well as resident reviews on both care facilities and villages.”
Next year, AgedAdvisor expands its offering of information and reviews to legal services, financial services and funeral services. “We started with retirement villages and care seven years ago because there was a gap in the market. But the steps before moving into a village or care, and that final step afterwards can also be fraught with questions and uncertainty. How do you know which are the services that really do care and serve older people well?”
AgedAdvisor now has almost 10,000 reviews and ratings on more than 810 facilities. Tania says they are collecting reviews on these new services and people who have used a legal firm, financial service or funeral director can post a review at www.agedadvisor.nz/reviews