Villages are increasingly popular options for those looking for ‘age friendly homes and lifestyles”. There are a number of things you should consider when deciding to move into a retirement village.
Your initial investigations should include checking if the village is registered (you can check this on www.retirementvillages.govt.nz)? Does it belong to the Retirement Villages Association (check on www.retirementvillages.org.nz)? When is the accreditation renewal date? What is the village ownership structure? Who manages the village? Is there an entry age? And ask if the village is completely finished or if there are plans for expansion.
Make sure your visit a village more than once before you make a decision, and, if possible, visit more than one village to get a feel for how each has its own ‘culture’. Meet the people you will have contact with in the village – this may include the village owner, the village manager and other residents. At some villages staff have quite an active role in the life of the village, while at others they have less.
Consider the location, is it close to family and friends? What about services that are important to you? What are the amenities on-site? Find out if there are regular social events or meetings and ask if you can come along and see if the village community feels like a place you would want to be a part of. Village residents say that the benefits of a village are numerous, and will be different depending on your personal needs; these may include giving you peace of mind, new and varied activities and interests, new friendships and a feeling of being free to do the tings you enjoy and not having to worry about home maintenance and other ‘chores’.
What about the unit itself. Is it the right size and layout for you, if not can you modify the unit in any way? Will you be able to fit your furniture in? Can you accommodate guests, and for how long? Is there enough storage space? What about parking options for cars or mobility scooters? Who is responsible for maintaining the outside of your home?
What about if you need care in the future – is there options on site? Is there an option to stay in your unit? What home support options are available to you and how do you access them?
Before you get your heart set on any particular village or unit, spend plenty of time studying your options. Examine all the legal and financial arrangements of each of the village you consider, as they all vary.
Click here to download a full retirement village checklist.