11 Elder L. Rev. [i] (2017)

handle is hein.journals/elr11 and id is 1 raw text is: 




EDITORIAL


At  all stages of life, access to appropriate housing and accommodation is of paramount
importance, and a basic human right. For older Australians, individual housing requirements
may  vary as lifestyle, social interactions, health and care needs shift throughout the ageing
trajectory.

Retirement villages, the theme of this edition of the Elder Law Review, are a rapidly growing
housing  option of specific relevance to older Australians. Though retirement villages are
typically promoted as settings of freedom, choice and flexibility of accommodation and support
for people in the advanced stages of their lives, scholarship, media and other reports have also
exposed  a variety of challenges faced by residents of retirement villages, often providing
suggestions for improvement.

In 'Retirement Villages in Australia: The Case for Commonwealth   Intervention', Brittany
Smeed  calls attention to various financial, practical and other complexities faced by older
Australians seeking to move into retirement villages, and highlights the limitations of State and
Territory regulation of this form of accommodation. Smeed propounds the characterisation of
retirement villages as financial products as a basis for robust regulation of retirement villages
at Commonwealth level,   and  offers valuable recommendations  as to potential legislative
changes and a regulatory scheme to appropriately deal with current concerns.

Focusing on a more  specific matter related to the practicalities of retirement village living, in
'My  Animal,  My   Support,  and  My  New   Home in a Retirement Village: Disability
Discrimination, Assistance Animals and Old  Age', Dr Paul Harpur and Professor Nancy  A
Pachana  consider the use of companion animals  and disability assistance animals by older
persons and the extent of barriers faced in continuing this use upon moving into a retirement
village. The authors review the status of relevant legislation and argue that a broad reading of
anti-discrimination laws would support the ability of persons to continue the use of their
assistance animals in the retirement village context.

Transgender  Victoria have also contributed a piece on the potential hardships faced by trans
and  gender diverse individuals in the retirement village and aged care context, and the
approaches that can be adopted by retirement village staff and the general community to remain
sensitive to such persons.

This edition of the Elder Law  Review  continues the conversation on a range  of matters
pertaining to retirement villages, drawing attention to areas of need and suggesting various
means  of improvement.

Esterina Azzi
Associate, de Groots wills and estate lawyers

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