What Is Retirement Living?

Retirement living or retirement communities are housing developments designed specifically to meet the needs of older, retired or semi-retired adults

These homes are for people who are generally capable of independent living and looking after themselves. Most often these developments will have a minimum age restriction of approximately 55 to 60 years old and stipulate residents must be either semi or fully retired to be eligible for a home.

Sometimes the term ‘private retirement housing’ is used to help distinguish these developments from the retirement housing offered by housing associations and councils, which is usually available for rent only. ​Most often private retirement housing developments are built for sale, typically on a leasehold basis in England and on a freehold basis in Scotland. However in recent years there has been in a rise in the availability of private retirement housing available for rent as well.

Different kinds of retirement living

Not all retirement communities are the same and there are several different kinds to choose from dependent on your personal needs. One key difference is often whether a development offers independent living or assisted living. Independent living may also be referred to as “active living”.

These two broad categories for retirement living differ in three key ways: care and services available, the type of accommodation available and the associated finance options.
Independent Living 

The accommodation is usually in the form of houses or apartments and residents live in their own, separate homes with communal areas on site should they wish to gather with other community members. It is common for residents in this kind of community to keep small pets and have family and friends over to stay when it suits them, as well as handling their own cooking, cleaning, shopping and so on.

You can also move your own furniture into these properties just as you would with a normal property move.
Care and Services
This type of retirement living offers no personal care services and promotes an active and independent lifestyle. The main aim here is to make residents day to day lives a little easier by offering landscaping and maintenance services as well as added security, while leaving the rest to the residents. There is no hands on care here and often any staff on site are part time.
As independent living facilities do not offer medical care services, government run healthcare schemes, grants and benefits cannot be used to cover the costs of this kind of accommodation. 
Assisted Living

In an assisted living community, residents tend to live in apartment style homes which provide them with their own, private space. In some cases these apartments may not have full kitchens particularly in assisted living communities that offer dedicated memory care units.

You can also expect increased security and surveillance in these retirement communities to ensure residents with special care requirements can be safely looked after.
Care and Services
Unlike independent living facilities, assisted living communities provide all the necessary daily services older adults may need such as housekeeping, dining, and social activities and in some cases nursing. Staff members in assisted living communities tend to include some who are members of the medical profession and are on-call 24 hours a day.
Despite offering a greater range of care and services than independent living communities, assisted living does not offer the hands on intensive care required for serious mental of physical ailments.
Assisted living can be funded by some long-term care insurance policies as well as some benefit schemes.
Other kinds of retirement living
  • Congregate housing, which offers at least one shared meal per day with other residents.
  • Subsidised housing for older adults with lower incomes.
  • Leisure or lifestyle oriented retirement communities often abbreviated as LORCS which are designed to include various amenities.
  • Holiday retirement community living.
  • Retirement villages.
A retirement village is a newer form of retirement living which offers independent living in a self-contained and supportive community setting. Typically properties in these villages will be houses or apartments, set in a village style complex often composed of various amenities and facilities for residents to enjoy.

Shared spaces and gardens in these villages are usually maintained by management companies and extra care or domestic support can be made available to residents who need it. Security, safety and comfort are all carefully considered as well to enable residents to fully exploit the benefits of an active social life and an independent lifestyle. 

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Publish date: 28/08/2018

Publisher: New Home Finder

Url: https://www.newhomefinder.co.uk/new-home-info/retirement-homes/what-is-retirement-living