Age Exclusive Developments
Age exclusive developments are a great way for people of a certain age to enjoy independent living along with economic, health and social benefits. And when we say ‘of a certain age’ we’re not being obscure – each such development sets its own lower age limit. Typically, the limit is 50 or 55 years of age.
Age exclusive developments are not ‘old people’s homes’ and many of their residents have not yet retired from work. By providing homes exclusively for a more mature group of people, though, the developments tend to be quieter than an average community – and often more friendly, engaging and supportive.
Let’s be frank, though. These developments are for people who have an eye to the future and the possible problems that getting older can bring. And though they may be in their 50s (but are often older) when they move in, they don’t get any younger. So many residents tend to be in their 60s, 70s, 80s or more.
Why should I live in an age exclusive development?
Research by organisations such as The Joseph Rowntree Foundation demonstrates that age exclusive developments can reduce social isolation, with consequent benefits to health, well-being and quality of life.
Living in purpose-built and efficiently heated housing removes many of the difficulties and dangers of living in inappropriate accommodation, in particular problems using the stairs and the risk of falls anywhere in the house.
Research has shown that age exclusive communities can provide a range of different resident-led interest groups and the benefits of a wider pool of people from which to draw friends and companions.
Studies have also found real community support for residents. For example, neighbours will often collectively provide assistance with activities such as shopping and meal preparation for people coming out of hospital. The community as a whole will provide support for its members through formal or informal ‘neighbourhood watch schemes’ and similar arrangements.
Most age exclusive homes are designed for minimal upkeep. External maintenance is provided and there are services such as handyman and cleaning available if residents need them, usually in addition to the services of a full-time estate manager. The usually spacious grounds and gardens are tended by staff to keep the whole development immaculate.
Some age exclusive properties have gardens for residents who wish to have their own and even allotments which provide an option for taking on a horticultural challenge that can later be handed back if looking after it becomes too much hassle.
Many age exclusive developments have a community facility which provides a comfortable lounge, rooms for clubs and societies to undertake activities and space to simply meet friends and relax.
Some larger developments may have on-site facilities such as a restaurant, bar or hairdresser and guest accommodation for visiting family and friends.
Most age exclusive developments are located close to local facilities such as shops and health centres and are situated on bus routes to assist those residents who are not able to drive or who do not have a car.
Many residents at age exclusive developments have banked substantial amounts of money to fund their new lifestyle by selling a family home which is much larger than their current requirements.
However, there is usually a monthly 'management charge' to pay for the staff, facilities and upkeep of the development.