As most people reading this will already be aware (or soon be aware of), making the decision to move a family member or even to move yourself into a retirement facility is a difficult time in anyone’s life.
If chosen correctly, it can be a great decision that benefits everyone involved but that doesn’t make it any less emotional as it simply marks the end of an era in a similar way to when a child moves out of the family home. A retirement community in whatever capacity it comes is a great place for the elderly to live an active and enjoyable life with similar individuals in a safe and well looked after environment.
There are many different types of accommodation available, for example, a retirement home or exclusive apartments within a retirement complex. Whilst there are obviously exceptions, a significant amount of retirement villages and properties are usually located in the countryside or by the sea with a growing number of developments in the latter.
There are varying levels of retirement communities starting from “affordable” retirement housing which are frequently run by not-for-profit agencies and charities, such as the local council. This offers a reasonable standard of living to the poorer local residents who qualify for these assisted living facilities. Whilst these homes are required to charge rent to support their upkeep, the fees are often very low, often as low as £40 a week. These kinds of properties are very basic but still comfortable for the residents with 24-hour emergency call available to them in the case of any health issues as well as carers who will visit regularly to ensure everything is ok. For more information about this low-cost retirement housing, you can visit the government page at www.direct.gov.uk/en/CaringForSomeone/CareHomes.
On the opposite end of the scale is the resort-style retirement communities such as those offered by Richmond Villages (www.richmondvillages.co.uk) and St Georges Park (www.stgeorgespark.co.uk), which have a wide-range of modern facilities for the residents to use. As well as nice living accommodation, the resorts will have a variety of activities available such as swimming pools, tennis courts, spas, gyms as well as restaurants, hairdressers, shops. These are very much based on the holiday resort feel, attempting to offer anything that the residents may need or want. This may make you want to retire now but unfortunately as you’d expect the fees can be quite high, although with massive variations based on the quality of and facilities in the resort.
For most people in the UK, they will be looking for somewhere in the middle such as care homes offered by Pegasus (www.pegasus-homes.co.uk). These retirement communities will usually be privately funded (i.e. by the residents) and in most cases, be profit-making companies. These are usually pleasant retirement homes or villages designed to give residents support and assistance where necessary but can also feature many modern facilities such as swimming pools as well as dedicated rooms to enjoy activities such as dancing, arts and crafts, libraries etc. As with the resort style retirement communities, the quality and number of these modern features will obviously effect the cost for the resident.