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Retirement living/Downsizing

(16 Posts)
harbinger Wed 09-Oct-13 22:34:57

Just a quick warning so that your parents don't waste money.
There is a very well known builder of retirement properties, McCarthy and Stone. Good properties in great locations for the elderly and the lease looks fine.


If you look at an Assisted Living property (cleaner for one hour/week and lunch available etc.) The management company (Peverel) has clauses that could leave an elderly relative booted out.

Think carefully.

Needmoresleep Thu 10-Oct-13 16:27:21

Good advice. Perevel manages several new build residential (not retirement) blocks near me and to say they have a poor local reputation is an understatement.

Real care needs to be taken with "retirement" property. I looked at a lovely development by Churchill but ended up quite put off when they could not answer fairly basic questions such as whether a live in carer would be allowed, if and when needed.

I have also noticed that the value of second hand retirement properties varies tremendously. Whereas apartments in my mum's block generally seem to cost more than similar ordinary residential flats in the area, some retirement type properties are amazingly cheap. Right Move suggests they are barely more than the cost of a beach hut. I assume that restrictions or service charges render them almost unsaleable.

If older people are going to make a move to assisted living you would hope that this will delay any final move to a care home. If the vendor/manager can't answer basic questions about what happens when someone gets increasingly frail, be very careful. Its a lot more than choosing a property because of its location or the size of rooms.

That said most/all assisted living places would want someone to move if it were felt that they were "unsafe". They cannot lock their doors or prevent someone from going out, so might invoke this clause if someone with dementia had started wandering. Similarly the same might happen if someone was falling regularly and really needed nursing care. I would hope that before decisions were made there could be a three way negotiation including Social Services which would allow alternative approaches such as a live in carer to ensure safety within that residential setting.

harbinger Fri 11-Oct-13 22:13:09

Peverel, for example could in theory boot out someone who has 'flu. (no ill people). They also will not clearly state the difference between a carer,dresser,nurse etc.
Occupants should be mobile, (have a fall and break only an ankle) could be booted out.
I find it very odd that someone that hasn't lost their marbles (mind) would take on those sort of conditions.
What can we do with the very elderly frail people that are still compos mentis?

48th Mon 04-Nov-13 11:09:22

Thanks for this, jut trying to get my head round helping my parents move into some kind of flat. It's all pretty baffling in the small print. Thy want my input and I am starting to wonder if they aren't better selling up and renting. They are low income though with property owned and a McCarthy type flat would take every penny but not necessarily last them out...

Private renting, money to spare, both have significant health issues so maybe now party a bit while they still can. Maybe their cash lasts maybe they need housing benefit...

Needmoresleep Mon 04-Nov-13 11:46:04

Did you also see this

Budget carefully. Capital may, ironically, affect their choice, though can also allow them to live with in a community with similar backgrounds to their own.

Really worth getting full list of provision from Social Services and looking at perhaps shared ownership offered by some specialist Housing Associations, and traditional Abbeyfields and Almshouses. The most popular may have waiting lists, so worth looking early.

Locals, be they GPs, other health providers, others who have regular contact with the elderly and even a sensible estate agent, may have ideas. Second hand properties will almost certainly provide better value than a new M&S type development and have proven resale potential.

MooseBeTimeForSnow Mon 04-Nov-13 12:11:15

I seriously wish my late mother had gone into rented accommodation prior to her death rather than move into a retirement village. It took us over two years to sell her property after her death. It's bad enough trying to sell a property in a poor market without having to reduce that market further by only being able to sell it to someone over 55 years old. Not forgetting that whilst it stands empty we still had to pay council tax, utilities and the monthly service charge.

48th Mon 04-Nov-13 13:00:09

Thanks needmoresleep, that is useful too. I think I need to go and talk to the estate agents really, mum is deaf and dad whimsical and bizarre in face to face situations! Not dementia though thatis probably what the estate agents think! We are a few hours away and have school runs/ baby and stuff so it all needs planning.

Moose that sounds hard practically and emotionally. I am not sure my parents can let go of the security aspect of buying but yes I can see renting has real merits.

Needmoresleep Mon 04-Nov-13 13:08:52

Agree. We were lucky in that we were cash buyers, and needed to buy quickly in a slow market. There were several flats available and so I put in really cheeky offers on three and asked for best and final offers within 3 working days. One vendor (probate case - so the beneficiary was stuck paying service charges and council tax) accepted.

My hope that when I need to sell, I can factor in that discount with the aim of achieving a quick sale.

The point of saying this is not to boast, but to suggest that if you are looking to purchase a flat with age restrictions and there is a choice of empty properties, it is worth being more cheeky than you would with a normal property. If you are lucky and find someone who simply wants to get shot of it, you have more freedom when you come to sell.

Moose's point is valid, but how much worse if your mother had a stroke or something and needed nursing care and was saddled with an empty property with high monthly charges.

Zoopla and Right Move are your friends. Research is essential.

48th Mon 04-Nov-13 13:42:58

Yeah I need to be thorough I guess. I can really see the merits of being a cash buyer. If I can just get the gift of second sight I could make a good decision!

Needmoresleep Mon 04-Nov-13 14:14:09

Not all sales happen through estate agents. Some developments or their management companies seem to charge a fee on sales transactions and then offer to do the marketing for you. This works in popular developments as people are likely to approach them and ask what is available.

You ought to be able to google a list for older people accommodation in the area or Social Services might have one.

Without the gift of second sight it is a scary decision, especially when you are a distance away. Do your parents have friends who have downsized? Are there any blocks they know about and like the look of?

48th Mon 04-Nov-13 15:49:23

Their friends haven't really moved or have but aren't local. They do have a criteria but it is concerned with distance from church and favourite supermarket/a separate kitchen not open plan so quite open to interpretation.

At the moment they could just go into an ordinary flat with walk in shower but they might then need to move soonish. Originally they wanted to future proof but have been scared by tales of increasing service charges so are looking more towards over 55 places, private flats in general sector but are still looking at cheaper warden places. They don't really know what they want and are probably hoping I will tell them!

fridayfreedom Mon 04-Nov-13 17:25:50

McCarthy and stone came out badly on a programme a few months ago. Any hint of dementia and either they won't touch you or you are out, they were also very poor re part exchange when selling your property and moving in.
Without giving details they were not very compassionate towards a resident causing problems for them.

exexpat Mon 04-Nov-13 17:32:12

On the subject of properties managed by Peverel - take this as a warning: Elderly residents in Bristol trapped in their homes for more than a month by broken lift. The company seems to have done absolutely nothing to help them - other elderly residents were carrying the housebound ones' shopping up the stairs.

LIZS Mon 04-Nov-13 18:26:24

Currently considering this for dm . Do the lease conditions and charges vary as much as normal leases and how do resale purchases work , do you tend to own 100% or a share with them having a controlling interest.

48th Tue 05-Nov-13 11:40:28

Been talking to them today but we are non he wiser. Looking in the area they fancy there seems to be a huge premium on the McCarthy type places. Fugly too but well located. Am going online today to research thanks again needs more sleep found your posts really helpful.

PGorham Sun 29-Dec-13 17:48:30

I have been looking into an dementia care home in US. Heard about Prestige Care Inc, California? Any experience here? Other quality senior care communities??

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