Swim sessions in the morning, a brisk walk and talk after lunch and a natter with friends over a glass of wine after dinner. Retirement should be done like this… bliss.
After working hard for so long, it’s nice to be at the stage where you’re ready to step back from the hustle and bustle of the 9-5 and into the activities you never had the time to enjoy. That’s why choosing the right place for your retirement is so important – you want the right facilities as well as the right community.
Bookmark this blog because it’s here that you’ll find exactly what to look for, what actually makes a retirement village good and what questions to ask to make sure it’s right for you. First? Let’s unpack the basics.
The difference between a retirement village and an aged care facility
Choosing the right place for your retirement is about right sizing, not down-sizing. It’s choosing somewhere with the amenities, space and care that’s just right for you. Curious about what that looks like for you? Here are the main features of retirement villages compared to typical aged care facilities and retirement homes to help you choose the best fit.
Retirement homes and aged care facilities
A retirement home is one of the first options that may spring to mind. They offer great levels of constant care support and can be really useful for those in the later stages of retirement. That being said, many retirees don’t love the idea of shared accommodation and may worry that a retirement home will limit their freedom. The benefits of a traditional retirement home are:
- Constant care support
- No fuss living arrangements
- Easy to maintain – you won’t need to do any cleaning or maintenance.
Retirement villages differ from traditional retirement homes in that they’re designed with able-bodied retirees in mind, who are able to live independently. While many retirement villages offer care support services to residents, at their core they are largely focussed on independent living. Retirement villages are ideal for people who want to live in a private residence, with the option of daily personal care, and the ability to increase their level of support if ever needed.
A lifestyle oriented, independent living retirement village can come with some amazing benefits. These villages allow you to have more independence and offer more day-to-day opportunities than your typical retirement home, which can include:
- Access to recreational facilities and activities like fitness and wellness classes, swimming pools and water aerobics, woodshops/workshops and more
- A greater sense of community with regular social outings, get togethers and activities
- More freedom than a typical retirement home or aged care facility
- Customised care support where required
- More independence with your own private residence nestled amongst a vibrant environment.
What to look for and questions to ask
When choosing the right place to retire, it’s important to make sure that your chosen residence will align with your values, provide you access to the things you love doing and support your wellbeing in ways outside of just your physical health. Here are the important factors that you should consider when choosing a retirement village, and the questions to ask to make sure it’s right for you. Consider:
The care support you need
A good retirement community will customise your care specifically to your needs. For you, it could look like the occasional helping hand with an odd job around the house or it could look like regular in-home nursing and personal support. A tailored-to-you care approach means that you’ll get the help you want, while maintaining your personal autonomy and staying in control. Here’s some services to look out for when choosing the right place to retire:
- House cleaning and laundry services
- High quality, healthy and delicious meal preparation and delivery
- Personal care support if needed eg. showering and grooming services
- On-site nursing, medical management, podiatry and access to allied health
- Respite care
- Equipment hire, like wheelchairs, walkers and shower chairs.
A sense of community
A good community comes from more than just living in close proximity to others. What sets a great retirement village apart is the sense of true connection and community felt by the residents. When you live somewhere where you feel truly connected to those around you, you’ll feel more comfortable, safe, happy and like you truly belong. Questions to ask:
- How does the village facilitate social connection?
- Are there social events and opportunities?
- Are there group classes and activities?
- Are there recreational areas to host BBQS, get-togethers or celebrations?
- Are there common eating areas or restaurants available?
Connection to your loved ones
Your connection to your friends and family doesn’t stop when you retire, and staying connected is actually one of the most important keys to your best retirement. It’s important that you choose a retirement village that helps you stay close to your loved ones and also allows you to meet like minded people to form meaningful friendships with. Questions to ask:
- Does the village allow guests to stay over?
- Are there guest villas available for long term stays?
Your physical wellbeing
It’s essential to maintain your physical wellbeing as you enter retirement. Good physical health means looking after your body so that you will minimise any future health risks and protect your independence.
It’s important that you consider your physical wellness when choosing the right retirement village. Questions to ask:
- Are there fitness classes on offer?
- Is the location nice? Will you want to spend time outdoors there? Is there easy access to the outside community?
- Are there any walking trails or beaches nearby?
Is there a swimming pool, gym or other recreational centre?
Support your mental wellness
Just as it’s important to look after your physical wellbeing, your mental wellness is just as important. From your emotions to your memory and cognitive abilities, looking after your mind is essential for a happy retirement. Questions to ask:
- Is there access to a library on site or nearby?
- Are there education opportunities provided by the village?
- Does the village bring in guest speakers or host special events that will keep you mentally engaged?
How much do retirement villages cost and what’s available in your price range
The cost of living in a retirement village or independent living village will vary depending on your needs and preferences and can be surprisingly affordable! You should be able to choose a space that’s right for you and your budget with a variety of options from cozy apartments, roomy villas and luxury residences.
The cost will also depend on what kinds of services and support you need. While you get access to all areas of your residence and recreational areas, you should also be able to add on extra levels of care, have hot, healthy meals prepared for you, organise cleaning services and much more. Where possible, your costs and experience should be tailored specifically to the kind of living that you like.
Find the right retirement accommodation option for you at Ocean Gardens
Cozy, affordable and ideal for anyone with extra care support needs. Apartments are designed to simplify life and provide all the support you could need. Everything should be conveniently located in once place so family members can rest assured with the confidence that their loved ones are being well looked after, respected and nurtured, with easy access to security close by for total peace of mind. Apartments are right for you if:
- You want somewhere easy to clean and maintain
- You want somewhere that is easily accessible in case you have mobility issues
- You want extra safety and security
- You want easy access to support.
Villas are great for anyone who enjoys an active lifestyle, often with one, two or three bedroom options to give you the space you need. Villas also bring more independence, often with room for your own garden, space to host family get-togethers and even accommodate visiting grandchildren and loved ones. Villas are right for you if:
- You like more freedom and independence
- You want your own garden
- You want space for guests to visit and stay.
Also check out our awesome range of retirement villas for sale in Perth.
For those who like the finer things in life, premium apartments are definitely on the cards for you. Generally newer than other home options (and often with the best views), plus the freedom to up and leave for holidays and expeditions whenever you please. Premium accommodation is right for you if:
- You want the very best and most beautiful
- You want to be able to travel at a moments notice
- You place high value on waking up to gorgeous views every morning.
It’s time to embrace the amazing retirement life you crave. If you’re ready to right-size and start living the retirement you deserve, with the freedom and independence you crave, book a tour or get in touch to learn more. You can even virtually wander through some of the villas and apartments on offer at Ocean Gardens here.