A simple guide to choosing the perfect retirement home

With retirement villages and care homes popping up across the UK, the Eastern region has a boastful selection to choose from; but how do you decide which is best for you?

Helping a loved one find a suitable home for a comfortable and secure future needn’t be a stressful process. My family have been through it personally in the past 12 months with my Grandmother. The biggest step is the first; researching what’s out there and also what support are you entitled to?

Once you’ve taken that first step, a whole new world opens up and suddenly you realise this is not a step backwards but a leap forwards towards your loved one’s improved independence, making new friends and getting that familiar spark back.

A simple checklist for your perfect retirement / care home

Given our recent experiences I can share with you our simple checklist of things we wanted Gran to have access to;

  • A private room/living quarters
  • Ensuite bathroom
  • Qualified staff (nursing, caring, catering, hairdressers)
  • Landscaped and easy access outdoor space
  • Communal dining areas
  • Various communal areas to socialise
  • Social activities
  • Ample parking for visitors
  • All this within a specific budget

Visiting each potential care home and retirement village was the next step. I highly recommend going together with your loved one followed by a visit to the local coffee shop afterwards to discuss everyone’s thoughts on the experience.  Even better, in the coffee shop on site if this is an option.


As with any form of house hunting, buildings blend into one after a while so it’s advisable to make your pro’s and con’s lists while the visit is still fresh in your minds.

How to choose your perfect retirement village
artists impression courtesy of Debden Grange

Depending on your loved ones needs you may opt for an exclusive retirement village such as Debden Grange, currently being built on the edge of the pretty village of Newport in Essex. With the opportunity to join a vibrant community from the very beginning. Your loved one would have the chance to shape their retirement as they want it to be.

Not everyone is able to live as independently as they were once able to, so often care homes are also on site and at Debden Grange such a care home is available with a range of care services should it be necessary in the future.

Our checklist prioritised social activities as being very important for my Gran. We knew that, despite daily visits from her family whilst she still lived at home, Gran was missing the company of like-minded people of a similar age.

How to choose your perfect retirement village
living area image courtesy of Debden Grange

So the clubhouse at Debden Grange sounds ideal with a relaxing lounge, restaurant, bar, reading area and a meeting room. And the facilities don’t stop there – there’s also a shop, a hairdressers and a mini-bus.

Residents will have the option to participate in the wide range of villages activities which typically include choir, craft activities, exercise classes, themed evenings and meals, visiting performers, pamper days, quiz nights and much more.

My Gran is now happier, well fed and has the opportunity to be more socially active than all of us put together. We still visit weekly and I for one wouldn’t miss the Friday quiz followed by a sitting exercise class. Gran gave me a run for my money last week when it came to flexibility!

If you have a loved one who needs to make that first step, have a closer look at what’s to come at Debden Grange by visiting our state-of-the-art Marketing Suite at 6 Rose and Crown Walk, Saffron Walden, CB10 1JH where you can take an interactive virtual tour around the village, view a 3D village model, and take away a brochure to peruse at your leisure.

The development is due for completion in Spring/Summer 2020.

How to choose your perfect retirement village
Typical bedroom image courtesy of Debden Grange

Properties at Debden Grange start from just £360,000 and rental options are also available.

For more information call 01799 243888 or head to  https://www.retirementvillages.co.uk/our-villages/debden-grange/.

Other care homes and retirement villages you may like to consider across East Anglia are Country Court Care and Castle Meadow Care

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