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How A Retirement Village Differs To Retirement Housing

Posted on 25th May 2017 by Adam Curtis

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It can be confusing looking at the different types of retirement home options. Here we take an in depth look at independent living accommodation and how a Retirement Village differs from Retirement Housing. Many people think they are the same but there are a myriad of differences and it’s vital to understand what each form offers in terms of retirement home facilities before making an investment and it’s essential to consider not only what you need now but also what you are likely to need in the future.


Questions To Consider


  • What happens if you can’t drive anymore?

  • Is transport available to take you shopping or to events?

  • What facilities do you need?

  • Do you require a convenient restaurant or bar?

  • Would you like social events to be organised for you?

  • Would access to a cleaner be of benefit?

  • Would you like a hairdresser and beauty spa on-site?

  • Would you like a communal lounge?


Would having carers on-site be a reassurance?


  • Do you want to live near to a town or in a rural community?

  • How would you like a pool or a gym?

  • Would you like an events and activities team to ensure a social lifestyle?


Retirement Housing


Retirement Housing is generally for older people over the ages of 55 or 60 and it is normally sold on a leasehold basis of 99 or 125 years. Facilities and amenities found at this type of retirement home are quite limited and may have just a communal lounge and possibly a manager who will be available only on weekdays from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.  There is usually an emergency call system, which will go through to a call centre where the level of assistance required will be assessed such as whether an ambulance should be called or a family member notified. Retirement housing is quite often in a block of flats and is designed to suit the elderly but facilities and amenities are definitely limited.


Retirement Villages


Retirement Villages are becoming more and more popular as a purchasing option and as the term “village” implies, it is a retirement community, which is suited to people who enjoy social activities and enjoy being part of a community. There is a whole host of facilities including lounges, restaurants and bars and there may also be a Wellness Spa and activity room.  Again, there will be an emergency call system but here the calls will go to staff who are on-site 24 hours a day and who have access to your retirement apartment if needed.


These are quite often referred to as active living retirement communities and there is an events and activities team, which generates a great social life centred on the interests of the people living there.


Typical Facilities At A Retirement Village and Retirement Housing


The following table gives a comparison of the typical facilities you would expect at a retirement village and traditional retirement housing. There are not only more facilities at a retirement village but also a much higher number of staff.


Retirement Village

Traditional Retirement Housing

Resident Lounge









Transport service



Reception service



On-site care



Organised activities



Hair salon



Activity room



Spa with pool, gym, treatment rooms

Better quality retirement villages


Care Home on-site

Some have this facility





The Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) is the main body representing the retirement community sector the UK. If you need more information regarding retirement communities which may also be referred to as retirement villages, extra care housing, housing with care, assisted living, close care apartments or independent living, this organisation will give a fair and unbiased opinion. Their aim is to ensure that all assisted living retirement homes provide a high quality service to all residents.


Transportation Is a Key Consideration


At the *ARCO conference this week, a survey with ARCO member residents had been carried out by the research company **ProMatura and one of the questions asked was to give, “Your thoughts on when you were making your decision to move, what was important to you.”  It might be surprising to hear that, “Using transport provided by the retirement community” was one of the main reasons.


Over 20,000 people in the UK currently live in independent and assisted living communities and are part of active living retirement communities. This number is expected to rise dramatically over coming years.


If you feel a Retirement Village would provide the lifestyle that you are looking for, then a Richmond Retirement Village could be the answer. Typically there can be up to 150 full and part time staff in various roles including care, hospitality, house keeping, administration, activity organisers, fitness instructors, beauticians, drivers and maintenance. In fact, think of a hotel plus extra staff!

For more information, call 0808 2783 844 and speak to a member of our friendly team Today!