For­get drab build­ings, retirement liv­ing is get­ting se­ri­ously glam­orous

EDP Norfolk - - HEALTH AND FITNESS - WORDS: Fay Wat­son

Chan­de­liers in the gym, stained glass win­dows and a pri­vate mem­ber’s bar. This isn’t the list of fa­cil­i­ties at a lux­ury ho­tel, but of the new wave of high-end retirement homes tak­ing over the UK. Ban­ish away ideas of dreary halls and small rooms, it seems that retirement liv­ing is go­ing through a lux­ury rev­o­lu­tion.

Fol­low­ing in the steps of Amer­ica, where this model has been de­vel­op­ing for many years with large retirement vil­lages, the mar­ket has seen an in­jec­tion of more homes aimed at af­flu­ent own­ers over the past few years. Part of the growth comes from the fact that retirement liv­ing is a fast-grow­ing area, and within this in­creased de­mand are a lot of peo­ple hop­ing for a more lux­u­ri­ous kind of retirement.

“There is a strong de­mand from those down­siz­ing from large fam­ily homes to have access to the premium fa­cil­i­ties they are ac­cus­tomed to,” Craig Wool­lam, head of Sav­ills Health­care, ex­plains. “This means that these types of res­i­dents are be­ing catered for as they are pre­pared to pay a premium to live with like-minded peo­ple and to have access to gyms, well­be­ing suites and so on.”

In Nor­folk, Mc­Carthy and Stone have a new devel­op­ment at East­lands Grange, Hunstanton. Sa­man­tha Watkins, re­gional sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Mc­Carthy and Stone

East Mid­lands, says: “Our new Retirement Liv­ing Plus devel­op­ment in Hunstanton of­fers re­tirees the op­por­tu­nity

to maintain an in­de­pen­dent lifestyle, while also hav­ing access to tai­lored do­mes­tic and per­sonal as­sis­tance pack­ages to help them man­age their day-to-day lives – and with an on-site bistro pro­vid­ing freshly cooked meals.

“The stun­ning show com­plex per­fectly high­lights the mod­ern de­signs and lux­u­ri­ous sur­round­ings that will be en­joyed when we welcome our first home­own­ers to this highly ex­clu­sive devel­op­ment.”

The retirement vil­lage com­pany Aud­ley Group has 19 vil­lages around the coun­try promis­ing lav­ish liv­ing. “En­ter­ing retirement does not mean giv­ing up on the lux­u­ries in life, your own home or the things you en­joy do­ing,” Nick San­der­son, CEO of Aud­ley, says. “We are liv­ing longer and health­ier lives than ever be­fore, and as such the con­cept of ‘retirement’ is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly outdated.”

Along­side high-end liv­ing choices of one, two or three bed­room prop­er­ties, the vil­lages also have state of the art health clubs, spas and restau­rants as part of the Aud­ley Club, which is it­self of­ten lo­cated in a grand stately home or listed build­ing. Nick says that many of their res­i­dents are down­siz­ing from large fam­ily homes, but do not want to lose the lux­ury of their ev­ery­day lives. This lets res­i­dents live in­de­pen­dently while also hav­ing access to flex­i­ble care as and when they need it.

And they’re not the only ones, with other com­pa­nies like Pe­ga­susLife and An­chor Hanover build­ing their own lux­ury al­ter­na­tives to the tra­di­tional model.

What­ever you’re af­ter, de­cid­ing on the right kind of retirement vil­lage or home for you is a dif­fi­cult de­ci­sion to make, so Craig ad­vises plenty of plan­ning. “Def­i­nitely do your re­search,” he says. “You should look into the wider vil­lage it­self. Po­ten­tial res­i­dents should con­sider care and sup­port pack­ages that retirement vil­lages of­fer, if any, in ad­di­tion to the cost and levels of com­mu­nal fa­cil­i­ties and not just fo­cus on the unit it­self.”

“Retirement does not mean giv­ing up on the lux­u­ries in life”

Lux­ury retirement homes of­fer fa­cil­i­ties akin to five star ho­tels

In­side one of East­land Grange’s lux­u­ri­ous two-bed­roomed apart­ments

The bistro/lounge at East­lands Grange, Hunstanton

The bar at Aud­ley Red­wood

Out­side Red­wood

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