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Retirement villages are becoming a popular option for people aged over 55 who want the convenience of having support on hand for their later years combined with the independence of living in a home of their own. However they are not everyone’s ideal way of life. There are many points to consider before you make a lifestyle decision as big as this.

Retirees enjoying the benefits of a retirement village
A retirement village can widen your social circle.

 

Advantages

You retain your independence while benefiting from the reassurance of having support on hand in case you need it. Assistance is available 24 hours a day.

You no longer have the burden of maintaining your property or the upkeep of a garden. Property maintenance is done for you, with costs usually included in the regular service charge.

Retirement villages are usually purpose-built so the layout and features are all designed with older people in mind. Expect to see high level easy reach sockets and walk in showers as standard.

Villages offer a range of facilities, which will vary by location, but may include restaurants, a delicatessen and other shops, a library, health club and hairdresser.

Unlike some accommodation options for older people, many retirement villages are pet-friendly. Having to say goodbye to a pet can be heartbreaking, so being able to take a much loved animal with you is a big benefit for many pet owners.

Many retirement villages also have nursing staff and a nursing home within the complex, which means that should your health deteriorate in later years you know you can get extra care either in your retirement property or at the nursing home.

Disadvantages

You may feel as though you will be cut off from people who are not in your age bracket. Children are allowed to visit retirement villages, but this will usually be during set hours only.

Private gardens are not usually provided, which can be a loss for those who have enjoyed tending their own garden for years.

Service charges can be high. Look carefully at what is included in the charges - some may be better value for money than others.

Service charges can be high. Look carefully at what is included in the charges - some may be better value for money than others.

You may have already invested a lot of money in making your existing home as convenient as possible, perhaps with a stairlift, walk in shower or ramps. This might make you feel reluctant to leave a home which you feel you are still able to live in comfortably at present.

Some of the issues which some people perceive to be disadvantages may be seen by others as advantages, and vice versa. Making a decision about moving to a retirement village is a very personal matter. Do as much research as possible and take plenty of time to think it through. Retirement villages have a lot to offer, but they may or may not be your ideal home.

 

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