Retirement Villages

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Various terms are used throughout the literature to describe retirement villages. Indeed, any review of the literature around retirement villages is frequently complicated by the broad use of the term often encompassing discussion of a range of housing options for older adults which may include naturally occurring retirement communities (NORCs) as well as formally organized retirement villages. However, while definitions may change in accordance with government regulations, retirement villages are purpose-built housing complexes characteristically targeted at adults aged 55 years and over, which often combine independent living units with other services and facilities such as nursing home care, and community and recreational facilities (Stimson and McGovern 2002). Key features of modern retirement villages include community centers, libraries, games rooms, swimming pools, exercise/ sports facilities, café or dining facilities, hairdresser/salon, outdoor gardens, and workshop space. Accommodating for the needs of residents, the physical environment of a retirement village combines the features of security, independence, and communality (Gardner et al. 2005; Graham and Tuffin 2004), and through options for incorporating formal living assistance can provide an avenue for older adults to obtain manageable housing with the social and physical supports that enable them to age in place for longer and enter more formal residential care (e.g., nursing homes) later than people in the community (Gardner et al. 2005). Physically, retirement village housing is often very similar to other medium-density housing in the community. However, with the incorporation of physical health, recreation and social supports for those with varying care needs, the residential environment differs considerably from most other housing within the community. Retirement villages within Australia and New Zealand (as with other countries around the world) are subject to legislation regulating the rights and obligations of residents and retirement village operators. However, even within jurisdictions various models exist for the structure and specifically the contractual and financial arrangements entered into by residents. Tenure models include: leasehold, freehold, loan/licenses, and rental systems. Importantly, retirement village models have over time evolved in response to the needs and expectations of older adults, and will no doubt continue to evolve into the future. Therefore, distinct from other forms of aged care accommodation (e.g., hostel and nursing home style care), retirement villages represent a desirable housing choice for an increasing number of older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Geropsychology
Subtitle of host publicationLiving Edition
EditorsNancy Pachana
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9789812870803
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Retirement Villages'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this