Deciding whether to move home in older age can be challenging. A move may provide a whole new lease of life, but a wrong choice can be difficult to undo. Our site provides information about every retirement scheme, development or village in the UK, to help you make the right choice.
If you simply want to move to a more suitable non-retirement home, and need help or advice with this, our EAC Advice service is here to help you.
Whether you have decided to move or just want to check what's available, this site contains detailed information on finding:
Finding a more suitable home
Whether you want to move closer to family or friends, or have your heart set on retiring to a house in the country or a bungalow by the sea, but can’t afford to do so, then options to consider include:
A lifetime mortgage
If you have a home to sell, you may be able to use the proceeds to pay the deposit on a new property and take out a ‘lifetime mortgage’ to cover the rest of the cost.
Visit the OneFamily website to read about Lifetime Mortgages
Buying a ‘home for life’ plan
Buying a ‘home for life plan’, or ‘lifetime lease’, gives you the right to live in a property until you (both in the case of couples) die or move to a care home. This might enable you to live somewhere you couldn’t otherwise afford.
Visit the Homewise website to read about Lifetime Leases
Understanding & finding retirement housing
Retirement housing includes a wide spectrum of apartment blocks and bungalow estates that are for people over a certain age (typically 55 or 60), have on-site management, usually include communal spaces (residents’ lounge, garden, parking, buggy store) and often have a vibrant social life.
Most retirement developments offer either properties for sale or for rent, but newer ones may offer both tenure options, and possibly shared ownership too.
Read more about retirement housing.
Search our directory of retirement housing.
Understanding & finding lifestyle living & retirement villages
Recent years have seen the growth of a new type of age exclusive developments whose attraction is that they focus on encouraging and supporting an active, healthy and sociable lifestyle, whilst still providing a range of ‘hospitality’ services, as well as care if or when needed.
Retirement ‘villages’ are the best known and largest examples, typically providing between 100 and 300 homes, often a mix of apartments and bungalows, on a single site, along with restaurants, gyms, landscaped gardens, outdoor seating areas and indoor activity spaces. Generally the whole complex will be designed with attention to accessibility for residents with restricted mobility.
Both ownership and rental options are commonly available, as well as alternative ways of paying for the services on offer – including part deferring payment until a property is sold.
Read more about lifestyle living & retirement villages
Search our directory of retirement villages
Understanding & finding housing-with-care
Housing-with-care is a recent but natural evolution of retirement housing to provide an environment capable of enabling older people to maintain their independence even if they become physically or mentally frail.
Daily help, including personal care, is available on site and one or more meals are available daily in a dining room or restaurant. Additional facilities are also common – for example hairdressing salons, hobby rooms and gyms. Organised activities will focus on helping residents maintain their health and wellbeing.
Housing-with-care developments run by housing associations and local authorities tend to be called ‘extra care’ or ‘independent living’ schemes, and explicitly seek to accommodate people who need daily help.
Those run by private operators more often focus on lifestyle, with help and care services discretely available to buy if or when required.
Care services offered to people in housing-with-care facilities are regulated, subject to periodic inspections and awarded grades. Wherever possible, Inspectorate reports and grades are accessible from the housing-with-care pages on this website.
Read more about housing-with-care
Search our directory of housing-with-care
Understanding & finding a care home
A care home is a residential setting where a number of older people live, usually in single rooms or hotel-style suites, because they need regular or continuous access to care.
Some care homes are registered to provide personal care only, for example help with washing, dressing and giving medication. Others also provide nursing, and will have a nurse on duty twenty-four hours a day.
With a few exceptions, accommodation in a care home cannot be bought or rented like retirement housing. Think of them more like full-board hotel accommodation with 24 hour care available.
As with hotels, the cost of living in a care home varies widely according to its location, the size of your room or suite, and the facilities on offer. There is often a substantial difference between fees charged to those who can afford the costs themselves and those who receive help from their Local Authority. A majority of homes aim to cater for both, but some target only one or the other.
Care homes are regulated by independent Inspectorates in each country of the UK, subject to periodic inspections and awarded quality grades. Inspectorate reports and grades are accessible from the care home pages on this website.
Read more about care homes
Search our directory of care homes
Read more about nursing homes
Search our directory of nursing homes
Maintaining your home in good, secure, safe and warm condition may present increasing problems as you grow older.
Ordinary household tasks can present challenges, and finding reliable tradespeople to carry out repairs and redecorations, or to help in the garden, can be a worry. Getting out and about may become more difficult.
Our site offers information and guidance that we hope will be of help to you.
We offer information about services that provide:
Making your home more age-friendly
A challenge we all face as we get older is to think about where we live, and how it will work for us when we’re older. If you intend to ‘stay put’ where you are, then thinking and planning ahead makes sense.
Home improvement Agencies (HIAs), also known as Care & Repair agencies, are local non-profit organisations set up to help older people think about, plan, finance and organise work on their homes. These services tackle smaller repair jobs, including installing safety & security devices. They are provided by many local Age UKs as well as other organisations.
If affording work to your home is an issue, Age UK’s factsheet Home improvements and repairs is a good read, as is OneFamily’s webpage How to fund home improvements.
Find your local HIA or handyperson services
Read more on our staying put, staying at home page
Read Age UK’s Home improvements and repairs factsheet
Visit OneFamily's webpage on funding home improvements
Practical help and support in your home
Our home service directory provides information about a wide range of services for older people. Select one of the topics below to browse service in your area:
For guidance on how to find help at home, see:
Our factsheet Living longer – remaining independent
If affording services to help you at home is a problem, see our factsheets:
Benefits for people of retirement age
Support and help for carers
For longer reads, search the EAC Library
Sign up to add your service(s) free
Help with housework or gardening
Equipment to make life easier (link to trusted external site)
Health & wellbeing services
Home from hospital services
Companionship and homesharing
Personal care services
Getting out and about
Getting older can make it more difficult to get around and do the things you used to do, or would like to do. But there are plenty of services that could help you.
Our Home Services Directory offers information about:
Day centres and clubs
Home from Hospital services
For 35 years EAC has provided a range of information and advice services to help older people think about their future, and how to ensure they can continue to live safely and well at home whatever changes and challenges ageing brings.
We frame our offer around ‘home’ because we understand its importance for everyone. But also because planning ahead may be needed to ensure that where you live now is ‘age proofed’, and that if you wish to consider moving, you have good information and advice to help you understand all your options.
Although we can only offer a limited telephone advice service at present, please choose from the following:
Staying put, staying at home
Housing and support options for people with dementia
Retirement & sheltered housing
Extra care housing
Close care housing
Care at home
Care homes with nursing
Residential care homes
EAC factsheets & guides
Our most popular materials are:
Housing and care options for older people
Living longer - remaining independent
Care and support at home
Buying a retirement property
Extra Care Housing
Advice on hospital admissions and discharges
Choosing and Paying for a Care Home
Support and help for carers
Returning to the UK
Favourites from our partner organisation Care & Repair England are:
Thinking Ahead: Housing, Care & Related Finance in Later Life
Making your home a better place to live if you have a long term condition
Making your home a better place to live with arthritis
Making your home a better place to live with dementia
Search our library for a wide range of other reading materials.
HOOP: Our ‘housing options’ app – Your Housing MoT
Our HOOP (Housing Options for Older People) ‘app’ guides you through key questions to ask, and offers suggestions about solving any problems you identify.
HOOP is a tool that:
• Will help you assess how well your present home suits you now, and may do so in the future;
• Offers immediate suggestions for tacking any issues you identify;
• Helps identify any further information you need about possible solutions or alternatives.
Whether you want to move closer to family or friends, or have your heart set on retiring to a house in the country or a bungalow by the sea, but can’t afford to do so, then possibilities include:
HOOP can also link you to EAC’s telephone Advice Line Service. If it doesn’t provide as much as you need, or you would like advice from us, submit your completed HOOP questionnaire to arrange an appointment to speak to an EAC Advisor.
Open the HOOP ‘app’ now
EAC Advice Line
We have recently been able to open a new Advice Line Service staffed entirely by experienced volunteers, who are here to help you in whatever ways they can.
• If you can’t find the information you need on our website, we can help you do so – or tell you where else you might find it
• If you need advice about accessing care and support to help you live safely and well at home, about moving to retirement housing or housing-with-care, or about paying for the services you need, our Advice Line service can provide this.
The Advice Line works by phone and email. We ask you to provide a few basic details about what you need, and an Advisor will then email a reply, or contact you to make an appointment if you prefer to speak by phone.
Please be aware that we do not provide housing or care services ourselves, so we cannot accept applications for housing and do not have any control over the services listed on our site.
Contact us now
This site offers providers of services, accommodation and related advice a free opportunity to advertise what you do. The site’s 4 million visitors a year comprise roughly 45% older people, 45% younger family and relatives, and 10% professionals who work with older people.
For more information on how the site can help you, click the appropriate link below.
Our offer to service providers
Our Home Services Directory aims to cover services that help older people live safely, independently and well at home. The main service categories are:
• Care & dementia care
• Home help
• Home maintenance, security & safety
• Independent living
• Information, advice & guidance
• Moving home
• Socialising & transport
Browse the Home Services Directory
Login to update your service(s)
Our offer to housing providers
Our Housing Directory aims to include all housing schemes /developments in the UK that are intended for older people. Our Quality of Information Mark (QI Mark) flags good presentations.
Our HousingCare PLUS and PREMIUM subscription services offer additional branding, links to your own site, ‘vacancy / availability ads’ and much more.
Our National Housing for Older People Awards celebrate examples of successful retirement housing and housing-with-care.
Read how to manage your scheme profiles
Read about the EAC Quality of Information Mark
Read about advertising available properties
Read about our HousingCare subscription services
Visit our Housing Awards website
Our offer to care home providers
Our Care Home Directory is a free public service. It includes all 11,500 registered care homes in the UK that cater exclusively or primarily for older people. There is no charge whatsoever to appear in it, and we welcome a photo and descriptive text to enhance the presentation of your home(s).
Read more about managing your Free profile on HousingCare.org
Read how to manage your care home profile
Our offer to information & advice agencies
EAC sees itself, and this website, as one source of ‘housing options’ information and advice for older people and their families. But there are many other organisations providing valuable services, both locally and nationally.
Of particular interest to us are local agencies that do what we can’t – that have detailed knowledge of local housing solutions, and offer telephone or face-to-face advice and support to their clients – alongside any website presence.
The Home Services Directory on this website provides an opportunity to promote your services. Entries are completely free, and we’re happy to work with you to ensure your service(s) are presented in a way you’re happy with.
Sign up to add your service(s) free
Login to update your service(s)
Or contact us: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 7820 1682
Our offer to entertainers who play for older people
A popular feature on our site is the Entertainers’ Directory, which offers an advertising opportunity to entertainers who enjoy performing to older people in retirement housing, day centre and care home settings.
Arranging performances may be difficult right now, and we’ve recognised that by making a Directory entry completely FREE for all new acts who sign-up this year.
Sign up or explore the EAC Entertainers’ Directory
The Quality Assessment framework for Home Improvement Agencies, complaint with the Supporting People regime
Published Date: 2004