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Retirement villages advice guide for older people

Selected guidance on retirement villages, retirement communities, care villages and other large developments offering different levels of services for the elderly. We will be updating this section periodically.

Basic information on retirement villages

The name retirement village refers mainly to the size of a development - say 100 units or more. Retirement villages are a relatively new type of housing for elderly people, but are growing in popularity in the UK. At the time of writing (February 2009) there are approximately 80 retirement villages in the UK. They offer a variety of housing types, an extended range of facilities for older people, and attractive settings; more often than not also meals and personal care.

A little more

Retirement villages are generally designed as larger developments, with 100 or more properties. They aim to offer independent flats or bungalows together with a range of social, sport and leisure facilities and retail outlets, sometimes together with high levels of care and support that can be adapted to residents' needs. The larger scale of retirement villages allows for the provision of facilities and care services that would not be viable in smaller developments. Schemes may offer properties to buy, to rent or on a shared ownership basis, or a mixture of all three. The range of facilities and services available vary significantly between providers.

Retirement villages can be seen as way of enhancing the range of housing options available to older people, with a combination of independence and security, together with opportunities for social interaction and an active life all on the one site. As retirement villages are a fairly recent concept the design and layout of the properties tends to meet modern expectations better than some of the elderly people's housing designed in the 1960s.

More information on retirement villages