Retirement communities (sometimes called retirement villages or retirement housing) has always been a very popular option for seniors in the USA. In the UK they have traditionally been less popular than staying in your own home but this is changing fast and here is why.
Retirement Communities Explained
Retirement homes have had a bad reputation over the years. They’re the places your family sends you to when you are no longer wanted. They’re cold, unfriendly places where you lose your independence and social life. In 2016 nothing could be further from the truth. Over the past decade hundreds of specialist retirement communities have been established around the UK that are designed to offer retiree’s all the benefits of living in your own home with none of the downsides.
Benefits of Retirement Communities
The idea behind Retirement Communities is very simple. To give retiree’s a flexible lifestyle surrounded by other people of a same age. Such communities aim to offer residents comfortable, secure places to live with the option to socialise with other residents as much or as little as they wish.
Retirement Communities remove the cost and hassle associated with maintaining a large family home. Most communities provide complete maintenance services to look after everything from the gardening to plumbing work.
Modern Retirement Communities offer common areas including lounges, games rooms, coffee shops and restaurants that allow residents to socialise with each other and family and friends. Most communities will arrange regular activities to keep their residents body and minds active and healthy. You will be able continue to enjoy an active, independent lifestyle and do all the things you used to do. The difference is Retirement Communities are designed to ensure everything residents could need is within easy reach. Communities should be close to local shops, near the town centre and in easy reach of all the essential amenities including train and bus stations.
Security and safety are taken very seriously in Retirement Communities and the best usually include 24-hour emergency help, smoke detection systems, gated communities, CCTV and video entry systems as standard.
Independent and Assisted Living
Retirement Communities are designed for those who want to enjoy their retirement while still leading an active and independent lifestyle. Guests are invited to stay, pets are welcome and residents continue to do their own shopping and cooking.
If however you find that more assistance is required retirement villages will be able to assist you to arrange such support – everything from cooked meals or occasional domestic support in your own home, through to residential, nursing and dementia care at specially designed facilities.
The reality is that the bad old days of Retirement Homes are long gone and nowadays Retirement Communities can offer retirees flexible living options which will adapt as their circumstances change.
Costs and Financial Support
Retirement Communities run by the public sector are generally known as “Sheltered Housing Schemes” and in these properties are available for rent with financial support being provided by the local council on a “means tested” basis.
Private Retirement Communities are built and paid for by private companies or property developers. Residents generally sell their family home and use this money to buy a property in the Retirement Community. When all of the properties have been sold the Community be managed on an ongoing basis by the chosen property manager.
Before buying any retirement housing make sure you find out about running costs, such as service charge, ground rent, Council Tax and utility bills.
Are Retirement Communities For You?
Retirement Communities should be an easy decision to make for most, finances allowing. If you already lead an independent, busy lifestyle but are starting to find the work and cost associated with maintaining your home a bit much, Retirement Communities offer an ideal option.