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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

Purpose-built retirement homes are ideal for active older owner-occupiers or renters who wish to remain independent while enjoying the benefits of communal living.

Retirement homes are designed to make life easier for you as you get older and will often have wider doorways, larger bathrooms and open-plan kitchen/living arrangements. Moving into one can be the first step to leading a more active, sociable and independent life.

Facilities typically include a resident manager, emergency alarm service, lift, shared lounge, laundry, landscaped gardens, etc. Many are pet friendly but it’s always best to check.

Residents are not forced to socialise with one another, but there is often a busy social calendar which you can become involved with if you want to.

Retirement properties are usually leasehold and a service charge will be payable on top of utility bills, council tax and ground rent. Check how much this is and exactly what it covers before you commit to buying or renting.

Social care services are not provided as part of the service charge; however, it’s not unusual for someone living in retirement properties to receive home (personal) care within their retirement home, subject to an assessment of their needs by social services.

If you are thinking of buying retirement housing, be certain to buy from a builder who is registered with an accredited body, e.g. the National House-Building Council.

Depending on your circumstances you may prefer to rent; retirement properties frequently become available to rent on the private rental market.

Age UK publishes a useful fact sheet called Buying retirement housing.

Last updated: 28/04/2023