When considering how you want to live in retirement, you may look into options for retirement homes or retirement living. From luxury retirement villages and sheltered housing to assisted living and nursing homes, there’s a whole range of choices depending on your particular needs and budget. To help you decide, we’ve outlined the main ones below.    

Retirement Villages

Who is it for?

Retirement villages offer independence and flexibility whether you're completely self-sufficient or in need of some support, often with a variety of rental and leasehold properties. Often set within a village community, the wide-ranging facilities and various care options mean you can choose the lifestyle, involvement and level of help you want.

What is it like?

Retirement villages can feel like local communities. Lots are built around a central building which houses facilities such as restaurants, bistros, bars, spa's, swimming pools and more, creating a hub of activity. Many have care options available through on site staff or through a third party provider.

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Home Care

Who is it for?

If you have no need or wish to downsize, one or more care workers or nurses can provide at-home care. This can include help with preparing meals, bathing and dressing. 

What is it like?

Home care can vary enormously according to individual needs, as will the cost. It might be anything from a few hours a day to live-in, 24-hour assistance and may be offered on a temporary, intermittent or long-term basis.

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Sheltered Housing

Who is it for?

If you’re mostly self-sufficient and would enjoy the chance to socialise with other residents, sheltered housing may be a good option. Sheltered housing schemes are supervised, self-contained homes with some facilities and 24-hour emergency help on demand.

Extra-care sheltered housing also provides meals and personal care, combining the independence of sheltered housing with some of the support a care home or nursing home would provide. 

What is it like?

Buildings are often functional in style with some communal facilities such as laundry rooms, social lounges, guest suites and shared gardens. You can rent or buy sheltered housing on a leasehold basis. Homes are let by local councils and housing associations, so allocation criteria and waiting lists usually apply. 

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Assisted Living

Who is it for?

Assisted living is designed for anyone who needs assistance with everyday tasks (e.g. medications) with staff on hand 24 hours a day. 

What is it like?

Living spaces can be individual rooms, apartments, shared quarters or even shared rooms, depending on budget. Assisted living offers a home-like setting with mini kitchens and communal spaces for dining, social and recreational activities. Costs vary according to how much assistance is given. 

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Care Homes

Care homes offer two levels of support – residential care (without nursing assistance) and nursing care (with assistance).

Who is it for?

Residential care homes are designed for people who need help with everyday tasks and are unable or may not wish to maintain their current home. 

What is it like?

Care Homes typically offer you your own bedroom, some with en-suites and shared communual areas. Residential care includes meals, help with personal care like bathing and dressing, 24-hour staff, physical and emotional care and care through short illnesses. 

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Nursing Homes

Who is it for?

Nursing homes are for those who require everyday medical care, but don’t need to be in hospital full-time, however are unable or do not wish to maintain their current home. 

What is it like?

In a Nursing Home you are typically offered bedroom, sometimes with en-suite bathroom. Nursing home staff provide medical care and support, 24 hours a day. Specialist care such as occupational or physical therapy is also available. Some feel much like hospitals while others aim for a more homely, relaxed atmosphere. 

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