The retirement living model combining home, hotel and hospital

When many of us think of retirement living or aged care, we think of “old people”, walking frames and wheelchairs.
Aged Care
The Jade building at the Jeta Gardens retirement living facility in Queensland. It's an example of the 4H model. Source: Jeta Care

When many of us think of retirement living or aged care, we think of “old people”, walking frames and wheelchairs.

But as it has already been shown here on SAS, the times of clinical and ageing aged care facilities and retirement villages is coming to an end.

A lot of us as we get older want to enjoy our later years in comfort, good health, independence and luxury, and that has led to some dramatic changes in the models of retirement living and aged care options in the market.

One of the models that has emerged in Australia is the 4H model – which takes elements of Hotels, Hospitals, Holiday resorts and Homes and incorporates them into aged care and retirement living.

Developed by Jeta Garden founder Choe Lam Tan, the 4H model aims to turn retirement living facilities into a “one stop shop” for people aged 55 and above.

So, how does it work?

Well, Mr Tan explains it this way:

Home – the facility needs to looks and feel like home

Hotel – focusing on hospitality rather than a clinical concept

Holiday resort – the facility needs amble space and amenities

Hospital – the facility needs to have a hospital embedded and serviced by doctors, nurses, carers and allied health professionals

Independent living villas at Jeta Gardens.
Independent living villas at Jeta Gardens.

Mr Tan imagines Jeta Gardens developments that incorporate the 4H model as the future of retirement living.

Another one of his concepts is Ageing in Place, the idea that your “entire ageing process from 50 years old to 100 years can be catered” on one site – no moving from a retirement village in one suburb to an aged care facility in another.

“My vision for the future of retirement living is a fully integrated community consisting of products that will include childcare, intergenerational apartments, independent living units, aged care facilities, a seniors-friendly shopping precinct, a hotel for visitors, large spaces for recreation and outdoor and connectivity with public transport,” he said.

“It’ll be operated like a “One Happy Family” culture, underpinned by multiculturalism.”

To help him develop the model, Mr Tan took the step of joining the Queensland Seniors Council to help him understand what older Australians want from retirement living.

“It allowed  me to understand the ageing issues from macro level as well as micro level and understand the disadvantaged community in accessing services,” he said.

“I gained knowledge in the mechanism of related government agencies in the seniors space, built networks and learnt from others many innovative ways in serving the needs of seniors.”

While the concept of retirement models such as the 4H model has been widely welcomed by many seniors, there are always concerns about the cost of retirement living.

Choe Lam Tan has a laugh with one of the residents at Jeta Gardens.
Choe Lam Tan has a laugh with one of the residents at Jeta Gardens.

Mr Tan explained that the economy of scale from building large scale developments would allow developers such as himself to build more affordable retirement living options for seniors.

“A holistic approach with an agenda on social responsibility will ensure the best outcome to the residents,” he explained.

“I would not want to see any sons and daughters to sacrifice their career and marriage to be a filial child. Also, acknowledging life is not too long for our ageing seniors, a day earlier in providing the best option to care for them is an extra day of happiness and joy.”

The 4H model exists in one Jeta Gardens facility in Australia, located in Bethania in Queensland – the next stage of which is under construction.

It’s a sign that perhaps the retirement living and aged care providers are listening to their current and prospective residents about how they want to live the later years of their life.

You can bet there will be more developments using integrated models into the future.

What do you think of the 4H model of retirement living? Does it sound like something you’d enjoy?








  1. Penny  

    I’d like to know what the cost would be and how it operates. Are there fees for upkeep? And most importantly, is it affordable for those who are already aged pensioners without copious funds, or is it geared to the more affluent over 55s who probably have superannuation nest eggs?

  2. Cost a big factor for those who are already pension age. And there will always be a great need for Good Aged Care for Dementia and Pallaitive care facilities. A statement that clinical Aged Care facilities are coming to an end is just plain silly. Aged Care will become more and more needed not Less with our growing population of baby boomers. I have just been through what was needed with my 90 year old parents and the enormous nursing care required. There is no way I could have coped without a wonderful Aged Care Home. My parents lived in a retirement village for over 7 years prior to their age and poor health. At the end of the day full time nursing is required for many people and I can’t see how this 4H Model Retirement would cope. Most retirement villages look wonderful when you are in good health and happy, but when poor health kicks in nearing the end of one’s life, it is imperative that proper good care is available. I am a skeptic but happy to be hear more ‘fine’ details on this 4H Model.

    • Deborah Mansfield  

      What are the costs and do you have different apartments to choose and are cable,internet,phone included?

  3. Kate Mary Mitchell  

    What a wonderful idea, i would put my name down to live there….

  4. I wish i could be really positive about this approach but my experience has been that nothing is as it seems. The person I became responsible for, bought into a facility just like this. It looked like a four star resort and her unit was lovely but the care she needed was not there and any care she did get was very expensive. They had told me that they would be able to cater for her needs until the day she died but it wasn’t so and I eventually had to find her another facility which was a closed care unit. This was even more expensive and although they promised so much, it was even more disappointing. I finally found what I thought would be perfect for her in a facility, not nearly as glamorous, but with much more care – also closer to me. Sadly as I was on my way with her belongings to set up her room and put up her pictures, I received a phone call to say that she had been taken to hospital and was in a coma. She passed away three days later. I guess what I am saying is that we have to be careful not to be taken in by a facade. Often the least impressive may offer up more warmth and real care.

  5. Helen thomas  

    I’d like to work there!

  6. Jim Niemann  

    The brochure says that there are three levels of accommodation. All of which are for one person only. The Platinum Suite is $550,000 refundable deposit or $99.90 per day. Gold Suite is $450,000 or $81.73 per day and the Silver Suite is $350,000 or $63.57 per day. all of these details from the company’s own web site.

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