Alan's Story

The journey to Kairos…

I come from a generation where you worked hard and you didn’t take anything for granted.  I have worked my way up from humble beginnings, stumbled at hurdles that life has thrown at me and gotten back up again. I believe that you make your own destiny and knowledge is power.  Some may call it ‘the school of hard knocks’ but it really is just the way it was.

Kairos Property Group was born out of a passion for property, an understanding of real estate and a belief that I could make a change to the way people looked at ‘retirement’/over 50s living.  It makes perfect sense to me to match my knowledge and experience with the fast growing and evolving industry and to be able to educate people about their choices based on lifestyle and financial constraints.  

When I was just fourteen years old, my family life was, let’s just say, less than ideal and a situation arose where the best possible solution was putting my Mother in a car and driving as far away as we could. I guess from then on I assumed the role of caretaker for my Mum, a sense of needing to look after her. 

Over the years, I worked to provide her with a home and to make sure she was cared for even after she found a new partner.  One of the more difficult things for me towards the end was not being on the same page as other family members.  I had been given Power of Attorney for both Mum and her partner, which I had invoked after concerns were raised by people coming to visit to help with home care. Her partner had dementia but interpreted some of my actions as ‘aggressive’ and ‘hostile’. It came to my attention that Mum’s partner was having issues with driving the car, which I had bought for them, and after further investigation we found out that he wasn’t even licensed! For their own safety, I had the car taken away, to which his reaction was to seek legal advice and have my Power of Attorney revoked, allowing him full access to Mum’s money.

This was an emotionally hard and difficult time for me as I watched another family member step in and ‘take over’ for their own benefit, changing Wills and Power of Attorneys and spending what little money was remaining.  It really felt like I was letting Mum down, that I was unable to look after her when she needed me most.

During this whole process, it became apparent that Mum required a care facility, to which she strongly objected.  Mum had been the carer for her own elderly Mother years previous and when her Mum had been moved into a ‘home’, Mum had experienced when she visited, essentially, an old school aged care facility – or in her words, somewhere for her to die.  So needless to say, reasoning with her about moving into a care facility, even though they are now very different, did not go well for me.  Combine this with her financial status, her options were very limited and after 2 years of looking for a placement she was finally allocated a bed, but only because of the intervention of a family member knowing someone who knew how the system worked.

Mum was as sharp as a tack until the day she passed, well into her 90’s, it was her body that let her down.  The moment that sticks with me the most, is when she recognised that she was stone broke, that she literally had nothing left.  That broke my heart.   It was the last time I saw her alive.

The whole journey for me, led me to Kairos.  It has led me to expanding my own ideas on lifestyle villages and it has influenced the designs of my future developments and those that I am a part of.  Being over 50 should not be viewed as negative, it should be viewed as an opportunity to regain some of the time that was spent working hard and to start doing things you want to do.  We should be arming people with options that fit what they want to do not the other way around.

Education and understanding legislation, and things such as exit fees and deferred management fees, bonds and government vs private facilities and funding are just one part of the puzzle, having someone in your corner with your best interest at heart is the other. Kairos offers that.

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