Age Cymru uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our policy. To read more about how we use cookies and how you can control them. Read our cookie policy
Skip to content
Please donate

Specialist housing options

We look at some of the many specialist housing options for older people, including shared ownership, retirement villages, Abbeyfield developments, and almshouses.

Retirement villages

Retirement villages are fairly new in the UK. They are usually large schemes set out like a village, with a range of facilities such as shops, restaurants, gyms and swimming pools. Personal care services are often provided.

Properties in retirement villages are available privately to buy, rent or part-buy. Make sure you understand what services are provided, how much they cost and how they are paid for, and check the lease to see what happens if you decide to sell or leave the property to someone.

Contact the Elderly Accommodation Counsel for a list of retirement villages


The Abbeyfield Society is a charity which provides accommodation for people aged 55 and over. The type of housing varies, but could be a converted house with 6-12 bed-sitting rooms and a communal lounge. Some rooms have en-suite bathrooms. Residents supported by a house manager and volunteers, and provided with one or two cooked meals a day.

Some newer Abbeyfield developments are larger and provide extra care accommodation.

Contact Abbeyfield for more information


Almshouses are run by charitable trusts and are mainly for older people. Each charity has a policy about who it will assist, such as residents in a particular geographical area or workers who have retired from a particular trade.

You occupy an almshouse as a beneficiary of the charity and do not have the same legal rights as a tenant elsewhere. Your rights are outlined in a ‘Letter of Appointment’ provided by the trustees.

Contact the Almshouse Association for more information about living in an almshouse

What should I do next?

What extra money are you entitled to?

For more information call Age Cymru Advice on 08000 223 444

Become part of our story

Sign up today

Back to top