The changing face of luxury retirement living

With an ageing population and a shifting understanding of what retired life looks like, we’re seeing changes in what people expect from care homes and retirement villages. Where you may have an image of plain rooms filled with easy chairs and the occasional game of bingo, now the retirement home is a tastefully designed modern complex with activities like on-site pubs, baristas and hairdressers to keep you busy. 

It’s something that hasn’t gone unnoticed, as around the world, luxury living options are becoming more and more commonplace for those who have built up their wealth and are looking to live out their golden years in style.

There are options for how you live your life depending on your needs and wants, which is why we’re seeing not only care homes getting a facelift but the entire concept of senior living. Retirement villages, retirement apartments and partially-assisted living options are also shifting the understanding of what care communities can be and how hands-on your support is.

So as tastes evolve and we see exciting new offerings, here’s what residents can expect.

Stylish building and bedroom design

Where in the past, you may have had a care home located within a stunning historic building, many original features could have been boarded over for uniformity or safety, standardising homes into the tired impression we typically have of senior living. Now the leading design work going into residences is seeing them looking more like a hotel than a care home.

In the US, new players in the retirement community game, like the Elan Collection and Inspir Carnegie Hill, are creating high-end residential apartments in desirable locations like New York City, Napa Valley and Denver. These stylishly designed living spaces are even catching the eye of tastemaker Architectural Digest.

Back in the UK, care homes in historic buildings are increasingly raising their design standards to match the beauty of their facades. OakNorth-backed Springfield Healthcare has grown its luxury care home portfolio over the last few years, including its Chocolate Works site.

Housed in a restored listed building, the interiors match the exterior elegance with art deco design through its common areas and a light and airy atrium to relax in. Their efforts have seen them picked out as a business leading the way in luxury care home provision, with Chocolate Works home being featured in Knight Frank’s ‘Luxury Care Home Guide 2022.’

Bringing better-suited activities to residents

As the type of resident changes in care homes, so do the expectations on how they want to spend their time in their home. 

Lavender Fields Care Village by Parklane Healthcare has designed its new location with these preferences. As well as a collection of bungalows on the site to give residents their own private place to call home, their communal hub has a licensed bar, café, general store, wellness centre, and cinema room, bringing the town centre to them. And if the residents need a change of scenery, the care village also runs a minibus service to the nearby market town to keep them connected to their local area.

Better located homes

It’s a tired cliche of an elderly parent being dropped off at some middle-of-nowhere care facility that their family will never visit and doesn’t offer anything for them in their local area. Increasingly care homes are catching on that all aspects of the retirement experience are going into the decision of choosing a residence, including their location, and are opening new homes with this at the forefront of their mind. 

Many senior living residents are still very mobile and are interested in exploring a new area when moving into their retirement facility. Your home comforts are great, but being and keeping active are what contributes to a healthier, longer life, so if you’ve got a good reason to get out the door even in a retirement village, you’re likely to be enjoying many more years there.

Whether it be rolling fields to walk in, or sweet small town centres to catch up with friends, many senior living residents will be interested in what the local area offers just like any other homebuyer. Springfield Healthcare’s Chapter House in Beverly, East Yorkshire, has nailed the ‘location location location’ crowd and actively promotes independent living for its residents.

This new luxury home is only a 5-minute walk to Beverly Minster and is right in the centre of the market town while still enjoying green field views from its windows. 

Bringing luxury to assisted living

Retirement community providers aren’t standing still, and the luxury care home sector is truly taking off. While there is still some way to go in raising the standard of care homes, we’re here to support the businesses actively changing the senior living sector and building care homes worth investing in.

If you’re funding to boost your next project, find out how we can help you make a real difference in residents’ lives with our simple business loans for care homes


You may also be interested in

Investing in tomorrow: How debt financing can fuel growth in the UK’s education sector

Read more

Navigating the alternative residential market: Insights from our recent webinar

Read more

GRI Club meeting: Capitalising on middle market fund opportunities

Read more