Retirement Living: Dreaming of Home

Finding the right place to live if you have retired and want to move house or downsize can be daunting, but there are plenty of options, says Jo Knowsley Choosing a property where you want to spend your retirement can be a worrying prospect. Where do you want to live? How much support do you currently need, and would you be in favour of increasing that support as you grow older?
Perhaps you want the possibility of having friends and relatives to stay at your new home, or simply to ensure that no beloved pets are left behind. It’s always a wrench to sell a property you have lived in for a long time. But it can also be a relief not to have the responsibility of ongoing maintenance and repairs.
The fact that we now live longer and remain healthier into old age throws a new light, too, on the choices we make about where spend our later years. And although we still lag behind the US in the number of retirement villages available, there are a growing range of options.
Today’s apartments have all mod-cons, and are often sited on leafy, appealing estates. They are also likely to be within walking distance of a GP, shops, cafés and even hospitals. And as Britain’s population ages - the number of over-65s is currently 11.8 million and is predicted to rise to around 15 million by 2030 - we will be seeing many more of them.
A recent report by the estate agent Savills showed that 42 per cent of owneroccupied homes in the UK are now owned by over-65s. But in the past decade ‘integrated retirement communities’ (IRCs) have grown to become the UK’s predominant form of senior living provision.
Yet according to the Associated Retirement Community Operators (Arco) - the main body representing the IRC sector in the UK - only 0.6% of over-65s currently have the opportunity to live in an IRC, compared with at least 5-6% in New Zealand, Australia and the US.
So why should you move into a retirement community? The facts outlined by Arco are persuasive.
‘Physical health increases, with owners and residents experiencing a 75% increase in their exercise regimes,’ says an Arco spokesman. ‘There is a 24% decrease in anxiety symptoms, and only 1% express feelings of isolation. Hospital and GP visits reduce by 38%, with average unplanned hospital stays going down from 8-14 days to 1-2 days.’
Downsizing, or moving to an IRC, doesn’t mean you have to buy. You can also rent. By embracing a rental lifestyle you can enjoy financial comfort, with extra cash, while avoiding the responsibilities of home maintenance, which are all covered by the rental agreement.

Above: An outdoor dining area at Riverstone, Donald Chemney at his My Future Living home
Seeing the future The search for a safe and welcoming environment is another driving force behind the decision to downsize and rent during retirement, which is what Robin and Val Greenfield, who are 64 and 67, found when they moved to the Waverley Court retirement development in New Milton, near Lymington in Hampshire. They wanted a home to grow old in, free from stairs, and settled on a ground-floor apartment provided by My Future Living. ‘We now have a real sense of security - and have discovered a thriving community with many social opportunities,’ says Robin. ‘It’s wonderful.’
Donald Chemney, an 89-year-old retiree, also found his perfect fit with My Future Living when he moved in to Brook Court, a retirement development in Salford, Greater Manchester. Donald was seeking greater care for his wife, who has dementia, after a fall left him unable to care for her.
‘I fell in love with Brook Court,’ he says. ‘It’s a really friendly community and I enjoy being able to continue my passion for gardening by tending the communal outdoor spaces.’
Renting a retirement property has also proved a sound financial choice for Donald, with the proceeds from the sale of his previous home supporting his wife’s care. ‘The new-found financial freedom has enabled me to enjoy life, travel, and visit my family, including a trip to meet my grandchild in Sydney next year,’ he says.
My Future Living offers rental apartments in retirement developments throughout the UK, each featuring an assured lifetime tenancy, which gives residents the flexibility to stay for as long as they want. With communal lounges for socialising, a 24-hour emergency alarm system and on-site managers, residents can enjoy peace of mind and a fulfilling retirement experience. Visit or call 01823 793420 for further information.

London luxury A recent report from Age UK showed that more than 850,000 hospital admissions a year among the over-65s could have been avoided with better community care. In a retirement village you will have all the support you need.
At Riverstone, which has two exceptional retirement developments in London designed to provide exceptional city living for the over- 65s (with two more to follow), a unique and new facility has been added: the recovery suite.
This specially equipped space is designed to help residents recover in style following a hospital stay, operation, illness or injury in the calm and relaxing setting of Riverstone Kensington. Made up of two thoughtfully adapted apartments, it is also being made available to the public for stays of five days or more.
The apartments are complemented by a fully equipped physiotherapy suite, boasting two consultation rooms, a rehabilitation gym and hydrotherapy pool.
Guests at the recovery suite are welcome to have loved ones - including pets - accompany them, and they have the use of a second bedroom to provide invaluable support during their recovery journey. The apartments feature adjustable beds and excellent soundproofing, with handrails and seats with supportive arms and backs to help make movement as easy as possible.
Guests at Riverstone will experience the hospitality provided by the dedicated 24/7 concierge team. They will also have exclusive access to a range of exceptional amenities and services, such as the luxurious cinema, restaurant, bar, club room, library and gardens.
The health, wellbeing and care innovations have been designed by Riverstone’s wellbeing director Dr Zoe Wyrko, an experienced geriatrician who is an expert in setting up complex systems to support older people. ‘Many people in their later years believe they will never be able to get back on track after surgery or an illness and regain their previous level of ability,’ says Dr Wyrko. ‘But by recovering at Riverstone we can help you to become fitter, stronger and more active than you ever thought you could be.’
Riverstone’s wellbeing team are the primary point of contact for guests staying in the recovery suite. With their healthcare expertise, working together with Riverstone’s specialist partners, they are uniquely placed to provide guidance and support. They can also assist with arranging bespoke packages if needed, ensuring a tailored experience.
Guests can also receive medical support, personal care or nursing, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, as well as support from other professionals that may aid recovery. Visit or call 020 7352 8714 for details.

McCarthy Stone community
Get the look Whether you’re familiar with a McCarthy Stone community or haven’t yet discovered the benefits of living in one of its stunning properties, now is the perfect time to find out more.
The company is holding open weeks throughout August, so you can see how it could help you live your retirement to the full in a beautiful apartment, packed with reassuring touches to make life easier.
There’s no need to worry about maintenance or gardening in any McCarthy Stone community, as that is all taken care of. At its open weeks you can meet the homeowners who live there and see the landscaped gardens. Visit or call 0800 201 4811 to find the nearest one to you.
Above: Tingdene Parks homes at Kirkstead Bridge, Lincolnshire
Park life For simple but high-quality living you might want to consider Tingdene Parks, which has sites across the country. All of its homes are single-storey and set in a secure and safe community of like-minded people, all of whom are 45 or over. You will have your own private garden and a parking space too. You can choose from a range of settings, from coastal areas and towns to country parks. A big plus is that there is no stamp duty!
Tingdene Parks also offers buyers part-exchange and assisted-move options to make the transition even easier. ‘We understand that moving can be a daunting task, especially if you’re retiring or winding down your work,’ a spokesman says. ‘That’s why we’re here to help every step of the way. We want to make sure you have the opportunity to make the most of every day without any unnecessary stress or hassle.’
Prices for a new two-bedroom, two-bathroom home start from £184,500. For more information please visit or call 01933 837190.

Fly with Pegasus Pegasus Cobham Bowers is a luxury development in Surrey owned and managed by the Lifestory Group. Its one and two-bedroom homes are moments from Cobham’s high street and neighbouring parks.
Bright and spacious open-plan apartments feature floor-to-ceiling windows. Just a 10-minute walk away, Cobham village offers an excellent selection of local shops, bars, cafés and restaurants.
Pegasus Cobham Bowers is close to Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon train station and the A3, allowing easy access to London and the surrounding area. Ample green spaces and parks are just a stone’s throw away.
With options to buy, rent or rent-to-buy, you can choose a home that fits your needs. Rent-to-buy provides an easy and affordable transition into purchasing if you are waiting for the sale of a previous home. The choice is completely up to you.
For more information email or call 01932 321027