How Does One Choose a Retirement Home?
Moving out of the family home into a retirement estate is a life-changing decision, and one which needs to take an array of factors into consideration. Here are tips on how to choose the best option for you or a loved one.
When, Why, Where?
When do you want to move into a retirement home or village? People are living and working far longer than ever before, meaning fewer choose to grow old in their family home moving into a retirement estate instead, often even while they are still working.
The most common reason cited by those moving into a retirement village is usually to reduce the burden of worrisome admin such as home maintenance.
Look for facilities within which you can downsize in stages, so you only need to make the big move once – first into a house and later an apartment. If you’re planning to continue working, you’ll also need to ensure there is good internet connectivity and other workfrom-home solutions.
The term “life rights” may be unfamiliar to those outside of the retirement community. Far from climbing the property ladder, it could be considered the equivalent of finding a steady balance on the top rung.
What is a life right? It’s an investment in a retirement development which guarantees the holder a safe and secure home for the rest of their life. Purchasing a life right rivals a traditional “bricks-and-mortar” sectional title investment in that its primary objective is to offer a stress-free retirement lifestyle, without burdensome admin. Sectional title offers financial growth, but brings with it concerns such as special levies, body corporates, and managing agents.
Arthur Case, CEO of Evergreen Lifestyle, a leading provider of retirement living in South Africa and a subsidiary of the Amdec Group, explains: “When a person makes the decision to move from the family home into a home for their retirement years, they face choices regarding what form of ownership to purchase. The purchase of a life right grants you and your partner the security of guaranteed lifetime occupation.”
Safety and Security
Serious health issues or concerns about home safety are often major factors in the decision to make the move to a retirement home. An optimum security system is undoubtedly the most important feature of a retirement facility. It is essential that you end up somewhere that you feel safe – especially if you are on your own.
If you are moving into a retirement village after dealing with the loss of a spouse or partner, it’s vital to be somewhere where you have a support network – whether from family, friends or counsellors. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) says that grief is a very personal experience, which could take weeks, months or even years to deal with. Many retirement homes around the world have measures in place to assist their residents with coping with loss.
The generation that’s thinking of retirement comprises of confident, optimistic and independent individuals who value innovation, self-reliance, accomplishment and change. They are living active lives and showing no signs of slowing down any time soon. Retirement facilities are responding to this demand by installing community centres to host clubs and offering a range of facilities, gyms, heated swimming pools and other amenities. Moving into a retirement home doesn’t need to resemble the sad, grey image that films and TV shows make us think of. It can be a liberating way to maintain independence while reducing the stress rate of everyday living.
Whether you love to read and discuss the latest novels with fellow bibliophiles, discover a range of delicious new wines, go for long walks, or take up a new sport or crafting class, you should be based somewhere with a variety of options to keep you engaged and entertained. Whatever your interests, your retirement option should offer a range of facilities to accommodate your hobbies – to ensure you are able to continue to live a meaningful, happy and engaged life.
Your health is important at any age, but even more so when you get a little older. Many retirement villages offer a range of health-care facilities, including access to support such as personalised, home-based and discrete primary healthcare, and fully equipped care centres with 24-hour nursing, recuperative and palliative care, as well as frail and dementia care. Choose a retirement home that will afford you peace of mind when it comes to your health-care.