Bill To Stop Retirement Village Abuse Of Elders
New Zealand's elderly are being ripped off by developers and operators of retirement villages because there are no legal protections in place for them, National's Senior Citizens spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.
"I have letters from 80 and 90 year-olds detailing the trauma and stress they have suffered at the hands of these few irresponsible operators. It is time we had legislation to bring such people into line.
"Today I have submitted the Retirement Villages Bill which is designed to ensure that all retirement villages are set up under one Act and that a supervisor appointed to each one is responsible for ensuring operators meet their obligations, including facilitating a disputes resolution process.
"While many residents' villages do an extremely good job in providing quality care others are putting residents at risk, both financially and emotionally. Additional to residents' stress is that some operators are leaving disputes between residents unresolved, affecting the entire character of the villages which are supposed to be peaceful homes for our elderly.
"It is time to ensure older New Zealanders have some protections. Helen Clark pledged when her administration was elected that it would work to cut out the serious problem of elder abuse but the Government has done nothing.
"This Member's Bill is the first of a series of moves I want to see to ensure that older New Zealanders get a fair deal and elder abuse is exposed and stamped out.
"I have submitted this bill, recommended by the Law Commission, appropriately in Retirement Villages Week," Dr Scott said.