Options available for downsizing your property for your retirement

Over55s is here to help you create healthier, happier and longer lives, removing many of the worries of old age.

For those looking to downsize in their later years, it provides a balance between maintaining independence in a home that they own or rent while having access to the necessary level of support and care. It also addresses loneliness by increasing companionship and improving safety and security.

We seek to raise the profile of later life housing so older people are aware of the benefits it provides. We also calls on national and local government to do more to encourage building in this sector.

The term ‘later life housing’ is used to refer to a range of housing options which are built to meet the needs of people in later life.

Key features include individual apartments or dwellings with their own front door, communal areas such as lounges and restaurants, a scheme manager (or other types of support service) and varying levels of personal care and support.

Later life housing is often confused with registered care homes, but there are a number of key differences. The care and support needs of residents’ in later life housing vary greatly, but they are generally less than those found in a residential care or nursing home. Importantly, residents in later life housing have their own individual apartments (with their own front door).

There are a variety of different types of later life housing, and there are constantly new models being created.

Sheltered or Retirement Housing

This is the most widely known form of housing for older people and typically includes a basic range of shared facilities, often including a lounge and laundry facilities.

Support for residents is typically provided by a scheme manager who may be resident at the scheme or provide a ‘floating’ service.

Extra Care or Assisted Living Housing
This is the term used for a complex of housing for older people which provides care in a style that can respond flexibly to increasing need while helping the individual to retain their place within their existing community.

Extra Care can provide a range of ‘lifestyle’ facilities for social, cultural, educational and recreational activities.

Retirement Villages / Continuing Care Retirement Communities
These are large scale developments which provide a range of accommodation and tenure options on site including Extra Care units and often include a care home on site. They provide on-site services and domiciliary care beyond the care home.

They can often be as large as 7 to 12 acres (3 to 5 hectares) in size.

Rented later life housing
Although the majority of older people own their own home, almost 26% of over 65s do not.

For these people, there are a wide range of later life housing options available to rent privately or in the social housing sector.

This offers people in later life the flexibility and choice to easily move to accommodation that suits their changing needs.

Life Longevity