In the right place at the right time: the benefits of life in a retirement development


Shared spaces, such as this on-site café, help create a close-knit community

As we get older, our housing needs change. The family house can suddenly seem too big and expensive to manage, the stairs that bit trickier and the efforts we have to go to maintain it all leave us little time or energy to do the things we want to spend time doing. Downsizing for a better quality of life makes sense but bungalows are scarce and command such premium prices you’re unlikely to free up enough money to enjoy that dream retirement. Then there’s stamp duty, legal fees, the likelihood you’ll have to spend more money on whatever you buy to make it suitable to grow old in – all this means many end-up staying put.

A retirement community, also known as assisted living, is a housing development specifically designed for people in later life. These communities typically offer a range of housing options, including independent living apartments, as well as additional amenities and services that promote an active and social lifestyle for residents.

Retirement communities are designed to provide a supportive and engaging environment while also offering various levels of support and assistance based on the individual’s needs. Many offer a wide array of amenities and services such as a restaurant, bar, landscaped gardens, social and recreational activities, and much more.

The primary goal of a retirement community is to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable living environment for older adults, fostering a sense of community and providing opportunities for socialising, intellectual stimulation, and an active lifestyle.

Why a retirement community?

This is probably a question that crosses many minds when you see an advert about the benefits of a later living development. It’s most certainly a question that causes long hard reflection by those facing the reality that with age comes the need to review where you may want to live. The decision should perhaps be focused on:

Do you want to do all you can to stay healthy, in control and independent for as long as possible. If so, what changes do you need to make to how and where you live, to better achieve this?

We spoke to the team at Birchgrove, an award-winning developer of contemporary retirement properties, for advice on making the decision. Here’s what they said:

“A significant number of people put off the decision of planning for their later years for one reason or another, often saying that it isn’t time yet. Some hesitate, remaining at home in a large family house that is often not adapted to their needs as they age, and so it’s not until a crisis, ill-health or the devasting effects of loneliness and isolation, that they start to think seriously about the decision.

The majority of people in later life have the freedom today to make decisions that can keep them independent for longer, enjoy their lives in the here and now while future-proofing tomorrow. By not making a decision today, you risk leaving much tougher decisions tomorrow.

Our communities are designed to help you stay healthier, happier and stronger, both physically and mentally, for longer. The wellness studio includes a weekly programme of gentle exercise and the on-site restaurant provides healthy and nutritious meals prepared by professional chefs.

The self-contained apartments are designed to support the changing needs we all go through as we naturally age. Featuring waist height appliances in the fully fitted kitchens for easy access, walk-in showers, wide corridors and walkways. Shared spaces, like the club room and bar are designed to encourage a close-knit community amongst residents. Gardens, leisure areas and relaxing spaces all provide opportunities for connection whether planned or by chance.

We make sure that every community is not only future-designed to suit people’s needs as they age but has character to complement the local area.”

Birchgrove is rapidly growing its portfolio of high-quality retirement communities. Its Ayrton House community is under construction in Mill Hill, London and due to complete in autumn. On the site of the iconic former Medical Research Institute, Ayrton House offers 60 self-contained apartments meticulously designed to meet the needs of people in later life.

Positioned on the hilltop with commanding views across the rolling green fields of the Totteridge Valley, Ayrton House stands as the heart of the ‘Ridgeway Views’ estate.

Unlike most other assisted living developments in the UK, Birchgrove works on an inclusive rental model, offering the benefits of independent living, while removing the complications of home-ownership.

For more information on Birchgrove go to or call 020 3929 5599

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive