Here at Richmond Villages, we don't try and hide anything as we are really confident that moving to one of our seven retirement villages will be that "Home for Life" that you are looking for. We have been described as 5 star living, so why not come and visit us and see for yourself.
Is living in a Retirement Village the right choice for you?
It’s essential that you consider the facilities and amenities that are important to you now as well as those that could become important to you in the future.
Moving is regarded in many surveys as one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. This is because it involves having to cope with change. It's a challenging life event involving a transitional period, which will lead to unfamiliarity that can result in anxiety and stress.
This really emphasises that moving is something that should happen as infrequently as possible. As you will learn from our “Top Tips For Moving To A Retirement Village” you can help ensure that your move to a retirement village is the last stress of this type you’ll have to deal with. Our top tips will help you to ensure you consider all the features you should, such as location, the different types of retirement properties, whether assisted living and care facilities are provided, (should your health deteriorate or you have less mobility in the future), if they provide for independent living and that they encourage it for as long as you can enjoy it.
So let’s get started:
There is a popular television programme that emphasises this word 3 times and this is where you start. Buying into a Retirement Village isn't quite like buying any other property as you are naturally restricted to where the village is, but there are two key factors you should consider.
Are you looking for your new Retirement Village community to be in the peace and tranquillity of a rural environment or do you want to be close to the hustle and bustle of a town? Do you want to stay near to family and friends?
Consider these things in their true form. If you would prefer peace and are looking at a more country setting, ensure the retirement village has its own transport service.
Look online and read the brochures
This is the next step. Once you have decided on your location (type or exact), the approach is really no different to buying any other property. Take the opportunity to mull over the details of a number of properties online or via their brochures and then narrow it down to those that fit your criteria and are genuine contenders to be your next home.
And be sure to have a list of your criteria; are you looking for independent living, assisted living (for later), what community care services are provided, what is the community like, is it a retirement village with transport to local places for shopping and the such like, do they provide entertainment and days out, do they have health spa facilities and a swimming pool to encourage you to stay fit and well and help you relax?
There is a wealth of information available on the internet and in glossy sales brochures about retirement living, so why not use it? Once you have a short list that seems to be “ticking the boxes”, check out the nearby towns and see if they offer the amenities, shops and activities that you are looking for?
Go and visit
It’s important to visit different retirement villages. Many people feel they know a house is going to be their home from the moment they walk through the door and it may be the same for you as you look around the retirement properties on your list. Is there one particular Retirement Village where you get the right vibes immediately?
First impressions really count and being made to feel welcome will go a long way. Talk to the staff and check out how genuine you feel they are about you coming to stay. Ask yourself a few questions and don’t entertain compromises.
• Are the grounds and gardens well kept?
• Are the facilities spotlessly clean?
• Are the staff helpful and professional?
• Do the restaurants and bars offer the ambience you are looking for?
• Are the leisure activities what you were expecting and what you want?
• Are the reception and community areas inviting and welcoming?
• Would you feel safe and secure and looked after?
Speak to the residents
The people living in the village are going to form your new ‘retirement community’ and become your friends. Are they the type of people you are looking forward to being with? They are also the experts on describing what life is really like and are bound to give you an honest opinion. Ask them about life in the village and the things that work for them and don’t. Don't be afraid to ask if there are any negatives or downsides. Let's face it, perfection is hard to find, just make sure you get as close to it as possible!
You may have a car at the moment but thinking ahead to times when you might not - is it a retirement village offering transport and trips? Even if you have your own vehicle, wouldn’t it be best to at least have the option of using the retirement village transport to go to the shops, meaning you don't have to park and you are dropped off close to the shops? Organised trips to places of interest or to the theatre or cinema can be interesting and enjoyable events as well as sociable. It’s worth checking out whether these trips and visits to the doctor or the dentist are included or you have to pay extra.
It's decision time and the bottom line is, how much does it all cost? Transparency is key. You need to know the cost of your apartment as well as any monthly fees such as maintenance and service. Fluctuating costs are probably best avoided. Know exactly where you stand and that you can afford it. Choose a village that you buy into so that your assets are protected.
Does the retirement village have facilities that could be helpful and perhaps vital if your health and mobility declines? Are their options to transfer from a retirement apartment that is away from the main hub to within it? When you move to a retirement village, an apartment away from the main complex may suit your wants and needs, but if mobility issues arise, consider if there are assisted living apartments in the main village centre and also what care facilities there are.
There is a lot to consider, so make sure you make the right choice!