Retirement village living revealed

Many people believe that their only option for later life is moving to a care home when they need to. However there are many options available that aim to improve a person's overall quality of life whilst maintaining an independent and active lifestyle.

Retirement villages are becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as people search for a more suitable property. Living in a retirement village can offer many solutions or desirable factors that often can’t be addressed when simply moving from one street to another.

The key aspect to retirement village living that really sets it apart from other alternatives is the unique combination of amenities and services it offers, as well as homes designed specifically for the changing needs of residents.

 What is a retirement village?

Retirement villages are purpose-built developments that can vary in size to create a village-style community. They can provide accommodation of different types, sometimes a mix of apartments, bungalows or houses, for residents typically over 55 or 60 years of age (depending on planning requirements).

The homes are self-contained and there are often dining and leisure facilities on-site provided too. The homes in such developments are generally sold as leasehold properties, although some may be available to rent, depending on the village operator.

 Why move to a retirement village?

  • Right-sizing to a more suitable property is empowering and allows you to actively choose the village, home and lifestyle you want to enjoy now and in the future
  • With all buildings and grounds maintained by an on-site team, you'll spend less time cleaning and fixing, and more time doing the things you want to do
  • Retirement villages offer a wide range of facilities and amenities as well as daily activities that you can join in as and when suits you
  • Getting out and about is just as easy as it is now and with someone to keep an eye of things while you're away, you can simply "lock up and leave" without any worries
  • Plus, with 24- hour emergency call systems and tailor made care packages available should your needs ever change, both you and your family can enjoy long-term peace of mind.

You can be as involved with the community as you please, however it's good to know that support, advice, new friends and good neighbours are always there if you need them.

Choosing a retirement village

Moving to a retirement village is a long-term step, so you need to consider how your life and needs might change over the years. Start by writing a list of your needs, whether your priority is location, facilities or the availability of higher level care, and use this when you are researching villages.

Research as many as possible and once you have narrowed your choices down, arrange to visit them. Speak with different members of staff, talk to some of the residents and explore the local area. Every retirement village is different, so it's important to find one that suits your needs, tastes and lifestyle.

For more information, view our guide to retirement village living.