Making the decision to look for a home in a retirement village is, in itself, a big one. Once you’ve made that decision, however, it’s important to choose a retirement village or community that can offer you the perfect mix of location, amenities and services to be able to build and enjoy life to the full.

Asking the right questions will help you to make an informed decision.

1. Onsite facilities

When looking for a retirement village to buy an apartment in, it’s hugely important to look at the onsite facilities. What sort of activities and amenities are available, and whether they’re a good match for your interests and needs.

For example, if you’re keen on keeping fit, it might be important to choose a retirement village with a well-equipped gym. If you enjoy walking or sitting outdoors, you’ll want to find a village with gardens and green spaces. At our Santhem Residences village, for example, in addition to our gym facility and beautiful gardens and terraces, we have our own cinema, a wellness suite, a bar and a private dining room.

2. Food and dining

From both a nutritional and enjoyment point of view, pay close attention to the food and dining options at any retirement village you might be considering. Some villages have restaurants on-site, as we do at Santhem with The Fable, while others offer meal delivery services.

We have an all day cafe offering complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits, as well as our own well-stocked bar, and we also offer our residents the luxury of a private dining room they can reserve, to entertain guests for a special occasion.

You’ll find facilities like these at many retirement villages, though not all of them will be on offer at every retirement village you look at. When you go to visit a village, check the menus and sample the actual food to help you make your decision. Also check, too, whether any special dietary needs you might have could be accommodated by the facilities on-site.

3. Activities and recreation

The social facilities and arrangements of a retirement village are also very important. Does the village have regular events and activities that you can get involved in, or facilities that you would enjoy or that would help you to stay fit? You’ll want to be sure that there’s plenty to keep you busy and engaged, whether you’re a social butterfly or prefer to keep to yourself.

At our Santhem Residences retirement village in Essex, our residents have the use of a range of activities.  These have included Pamper Days, day visits to Frinton-on-Sea and specialist food nights, such as Tapas Night.

4. Safety and security

When researching retirement living options, safety and security may be one of your top priorities. Check whether villages you are considering have a 24-hour Concierge team on duty. Additionally, check when you visit any retirement village that the common areas, both outdoors and in, are well-lit, and that there are no dark or secluded areas, especially between car parking and access to the residences. At Santhem Residences, safety is our priority which is why our in-house team is on-site 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Every apartment comes with a built-in call system, so we are moments away should you need us.

5. Care services

Many villages offer on-site nursing care and assistance with everyday activities, while others have partnerships with local care providers. You’ll want to find a village that offers a level of care you feel comfortable with now, and which you’re happy will be able to support you should your needs change over time.

We provide residents at Santhem with care services managed by our Head of Care. Our Head of Care will develop an individual, personal plan to assist and support any resident. This might include helping them with basic household tasks like changing the bed or preparing meals, providing companionship for walks or to sit and chat over a cup of tea, or assisting with personal care tasks like bathing, getting dressed or getting in and out of bed. Care services are chargeable and you only pay for the services you use.

Take your time and choose carefully

When looking for an apartment in a retirement village, you should research all villages in the area in which you’d like to live, and consider as many features and factors as you can.

If you’d like advice of any kind about choosing a retirement village, whether or not you live close to Santhem Residences, do get in touch.