Moving can be a daunting process at the best of times and relocating to a retirement community can bring its own concerns. However, with our guide you can be fully prepared for your move and put any worries to rest.
Find a community that suits you
There are various types of retirement communities and it’s important to find the one that’s right for you. If you are just looking for a place to socialise with people in your age-group then a traditional retirement community is what you’ll need. These will sometimes have facilities on site for you to use, such as a hair salon or mini-bus service, and are ideal for those looking to live fully independently. If you need a little more support, assisted living communities can provide that. In these communities, you will still have the freedom to do what you want, but with the knowledge that staff members will be on hand to help with daily activities if required. A residential home will offer even more support with your personal care, as well as cooking meals and taking medication. A nursing home has the highest level of qualified care from medical staff, with health professionals available round the clock to offer support.
All retirement communities encourage independent living where it is wanted and will support residents to live freely. Most communities offer events and opportunities for residents to socialise, but with the option to just sit and enjoy the grounds or your own pursuits, if preferred.
Thinking about what sort of support you’ll need in five years’ time may affect what sort of accommodation you choose now. It may be possible to find an independent living community that offers extra services around healthcare, so you can stay in one place for as long as possible.
Decide on the type of accommodation
Depending on the type of community you choose, there may be various types of accommodation you can rent or buy. You might want to live in a house, bungalow, or apartment, depending on your current and future needs. Some communities will have a choice, but others may be limited to rooms or apartments, so you’ll need to weigh up the type of community you want against the type of accommodation you’d like.
Find out about the location
Location is just as important as the type of community you are moving to. You may want to move or stay near your family and will want to explore retirement communities in these areas. You might want to stay in an area you are already familiar with, or you could take this as an opportunity to live somewhere brand new.
Whilst you may want to spend a lot of time in the retirement accommodation and enjoy the facilities, it can be rewarding to get out and explore the local area too. Make sure to find out what amenities are available locally, like sporting activities, healthcare, entertainment and restaurants. It’s also worth looking at the transport links, whether for yourself to take trips elsewhere, or for visitors to come to you.
Speak to your neighbours
The best way to find out about the community is to speak to the residents. They’ll know all the ins and outs of daily life and will be able to answer your questions. You may want to ask them why they chose that community, what they enjoy about it and what the local area is like. It could be an idea to find out what they wish they’d done or known before they moved, so you can learn from their mistakes.
Many residents of retirement accommodation find lots of new friends and hugely enjoy the social aspect that living in a group of their contemporaries brings. By speaking to your prospective new neighbours before you commit, you can get a feel for whether or not it is the right place for you.
Find out about the fees
Whether you’re renting or buying in a retirement community, there are likely to be monthly or annual fees to pay. These will include maintenance fees and service charges and will be in addition to your usual council tax and utility bills, so make sure to include everything in your budget. A reputable retirement community should be able to clearly lay out all the fees that will be expected, so you won’t have any surprises.
Downsizing can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with a lifetime of possessions. By taking the right steps to downsize, you can welcome the extra space that comes with decluttering. Your new home should be an appropriate size for your needs, but if you have extra possessions that you won’t have room for but don’t want to lose, putting them in storage can be a great solution. Britannia is partnered with downsizing experts The Senior Move Partnership who offer extensive support and assistance for people moving in later life, so if you are struggling with the decisions and upheaval that moving home can bring, you may benefit from their service. You can call them on 0800 044 3904.
Britannia are specialists in retirement and downsizing moves, and we work in partnership with a number of retirement living companies. We can offer a full removal service to help make the transition easy and stress-free. Call us on 0845 600 6661 to book your free survey.