Different people will have a multitude of ideas about what a retirement village is (hint: it’s definitely not a care home!), while others may not have a clue. So we’ve devised a handy list of things about retirement villages that might surprise you and debunk some myths along the way.
1. Secure, but not gated
There is often a misconception that retirement villages are secluded areas, where the residents never leave. There are lots of facilities and services that ensure the village is secure, such as 24-hour emergency call, but they are not gated development.
2. Pets are welcome!
There have been some scare stories in the media where owners have had to give up their pets before moving into a retirement property. While we can’t comment on the validity of those stories, it does mean all retirement properties (whatever their form) get tarred with the same brush.
We can say pets ARE allowed in our villages and we actively encourage pet ownership because of the many benefits they bring to our residents. You can read more about these benefits and how pet ownership can be encouraged in retirement here.
3. Residents have complete choice, freedom and independence
It’s the residents who are ultimately in charge of the social aspect of the villages. Without them, we don’t exist anyway – as the operator we provide the infrastructure (buildings, facilities, staff) but residents make up the community village. For example, it’s the residents who set up film clubs, organize trips out, run the bar etc – just like any other village up and down the country.
4. You can rent too
It’s true many people buy their retirement properties, particularly as it’s something we prefer to do in this country generally. But it’s not the only option – renting is perfect for some of our residents. There’s a relatively small portfolio of rental properties at the moment, but it means your commitment to the property does not have to be long term, and you also avoid stamp duty.
5. Garden maintenance is taken care of
There is plenty of outdoor space in our retirement villages – some have up to 26 acres! Plus, everyone has their own space outside their property or on a balcony (apartments) for pots. Some villages even have allotments too.
The best part is that the maintenance of these beautifully manicured lawns and gardens is already taken care of, so there is worry about weeding or consternation about cutting the grass.
6. Nothing to do… and lots to do at the same time
It’s entirely up to the residents, really. Yes, some of the chores are done for you, as the service charges cover laundry, cleaning, and more*, but many residents want to retain as much independence as possible. Some will continue to actively take care of their own chores, others prefer to keep active more socially. And despite the garden maintenance being taken care of, many residents still like to be actively involved with the allotments for example.
It comes down to choice.
7. “It’s not a real village”
We’ll stop you there, because our retirement villages are the “real deal”.
Our villages have all the things you’d expect in any other village, such as a central meeting point (we have clubhouses, rather than pubs, although on the some of the Villages the residents still run the bar) and they generally have some form of local shop and a village green.
Besides, what makes a village a “village” is having the community at its centre with a great social calendar – that’s exactly how it works at our villages. There’s just the added bonus that your neighbours and fellow villagers tend to be like-minded people.
8. We have jazz clubs and Pimms and Strings and computers clubs and…
There’s a common misconception that retirement villages are for those who want a sedate lifestyle. We can do sedate, for sure, but it doesn’t mean our communities don’t know how to have a good time.
In fact, the residents make sure the social calendar is packed – different villages do different things, ranging from music clubs, dances, keep fit classes and much more. You can read more about village life in the village diaries.
9. Guests are welcome
Of course, guests are able to visit friends and family at any time, but they can also stay over. Visitors can stay with residents, while some of our villages have guest rooms as well if they need a little more space.** Handy for birthdays, Christmas, or other family occasions.
*Services will differ from village to village. Please visit ‘Our Villages’ for more information or telephone us on 01372 383950
**Guest room availability and charges vary from village to village. Please check the FAQ section for each village for more information, or telephone us on 01372 383950.