Retiring to somewhere that continues to care

Sheltered housing might give you independence. A care home will look after your health needs. But a fast-growing cadre of retirement communities is offering the best of both

Some 460,000 people in Britain live in care homes. Rather more (550,000) are in sheltered housing. A far smaller, but fast growing, number are choosing to rent or buy accommodation that seeks to combine the independence of one with the support structure of the other.

The Department of Health describes Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) as “an all-embracing, comprehensive alternative… providing for a whole range of needs and individual circumstances’”. In other words, a community of people at different stages of health and mobility where you have your own apartment with your own front door, and the ability to buy in the care and domiciliary services you need.

The appeal is obvious. The leap between the two more standard forms of accommodation is huge. Care homes are not only expensive, and currently under some scrutiny, but they can also accelerate a loss of independence. CCRCs allow, indeed encourage, you to retain independence as long as possible, but with the security blanket of a full range of services on hand. People can go through the gears without ever moving out.

Chantry Court illustrates the many advantages of CCRCs. Situated in the pleasant Wiltshire market town of Westbury, it ticks all the boxes for older people and their anxious families looking for an option that is secure, designed with reduced mobility in mind, worry-free when it comes to maintenance and offers a built-in community just outside your door. The 68 apartments are divided between independent living – with the option of tailored domiciliary packages – and 26 assisted living apartments, all situated in the main complex building where care staff are close to hand. There are also a lodge house and a barn conversion for sale.

Chantry Court also has all the social and leisure facilities that make these communities sustainable – restaurant, bar, lounge, bridge room, library, hair salon, therapy room, doctor’s surgery, even a cinema that doubles up as an exercise room. And there’s a spacious guest suite.

Moving from a family home doesn’t have to mean losing precious living space: the four penthouse units are 1,200 square feet each, the two bedroom apartments around 800 square feet and the one bed slightly smaller again. Chantry Court offers the feel of a well-appointed country hotel.

One resident, a highly decorated war veteran well into his 90s, moved here after his wife had been involved in a serious accident “I came here in a very bad way,” he says. “The support and care they have given me has been wonderful. I had 13 brushes with death in my flying days. The state I was in when I arrived at Chantry Court was number 14 – and thanks to the care staff I’ve survived it.”

Independent living apartments at Chantry Court cost from £187,500 to buy or can be rented from £270/week. Assisted living apartments, including package of care cost from £400/week.

For more information, or to view, call 0800 0147 552 or email


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