What to consider when looking for a retirement home

Heath House is a retirement home in Norwich offering boutique hotel-style accommodation to downsizer

Heath House is a retirement home in Norwich offering boutique hotel-style accommodation to downsizers over the age of 55. Picture: White & Sterling - Credit: Archant

Moving into retirement accommodation can offer so much more than simply a place to live, explains Ben James Smith, director of White & Sterling Retirement Living.

Picture: White & Sterling

Picture: White & Sterling - Credit: Archant

The company, which has just launched its flagship retirement home, Heath House, in Norwich, has a firm emphasis on providing its residents with an entire lifestyle.

Offering 17 one-bedroom apartments to buy or rent, Heath House has been designed to appeal to downsizers over the age of 55, those who are eager to make the most of on-site amenities, while also benefitting from elegant, boutique hotel-style accommodation.

Picture: White & Sterling

Picture: White & Sterling - Credit: Archant

Ben considers how to choose a retirement home and highlights why he believes the older generations of today are seeking convenience and flexibility, as well as exceptional comfort and quality:

Q: Why is it important for retirement living to focus on lifestyle?

Picture: White & Sterling

Picture: White & Sterling - Credit: Archant

Traditionally, providers of retirement homes and villages have concentrated on offering an apartment or a bungalow. These might be fantastic, but they often don’t come with amenities on site, which is something we believe to be very important. Heath House, for example, has an on-site barber’s and a hair salon, as well as a gym, a craft room, sun room, cinema room and beautiful landscaped gardens. There is also a family suite for family members to stay in.

Q: What are the benefits of having these facilities on site?

Most humans love convenience! If you have a gym on site or one five miles away, which are you more likely to use? The same goes for making an appointment to get your hair cut or going out to watch a film: the closer the barber’s shop, salon or cinema, the more likely you are to use it frequently. At Heath House, there is also a concierge who can book taxis for residents to make it easy for them to get out and about to pursue other interests. At the same time, having all these facilities on site helps to create a community. There are only 17 apartments at Heath House, making it very close knit and giving people the chance to get to know each other if they want to.

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Q: What should people look for in a retirement home?

In addition to accommodation and facilities, security is very important. At Heath House we have CCTV, an audio visual system intercom system and a warden alarm linked up to Kare Plus Norwich, who provide the on-site care. People might also be interested in considering the levels of care that might be available to them in a retirement home or retirement village as their requirements change.

Q: How much does it cost to live in a retirement community?

It varies. Our properties are for sale or rent and then we have three different living care packages at Heath House. If you are mobile and able, you are likely to choose our Retirement Living Package for people who wish to live completely independently. Then we have our Assisted Living Package, for those who might be interested in having some help, a little cooking or cleaning perhaps. Then, in the future, you might move on to the Personal Care Package, which is provided by Kare Plus Norwich. This is where residents can access personal care as and when they need it. What is important is that all the options are completely transparent, so everyone knows what is included.

Q: How important is flexibility?

It is vital that there is a concept that can adapt for you as your needs change. Residents who are keen to live completely independently can do so at Heath House safe in the knowledge that should they require more supportive elderly care or assisted living later on in life, then it is there. This can be anything from a little help to full domiciliary care. We want our residents to feel safe and reassured, as well as comfortable.

For further information visit www.whiteandsterling.co.uk or call 01603 552046.