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What is a retirement village?

The term retirement village is often used interchangeably alongside others such as retirement communities, independent living settings, extra-care housing and more. This can get confusing, and you may find yourself wondering "what is a retirement village?!"

Normally distinguished as larger developments, retirement villages offer self-contained apartments or houses with readily accessible communal facilities and activities for their residents. On-site facilities vary depending on the size of the development and provider. There are commonly a range of communal and shared areas, ranging from restaurants to meeting rooms, lounges, gyms, professionally managed gardens. Regular activities take place in these communal spaces, too, and are a great way to meet people.

Retirement villages are considered to provide a comfortable transition out of the world of work, during a time in life where there is still plenty of living to be done. By being part of a community, you will see that retirement is the beginning of a new chapter, not the end of one.

Make the decision that you’re coming to live part three of your life. You’ve had your childhood, your middle years and then you’re getting to part three. Embrace it positively and make the most of it.

Christine (Resident at Westbury Fields retirement village)

Independent Living

Moving into a retirement village allows you to maintain an independent lifestyle as you grow older, with extra help and care options available should they be required.

Care options are available in your property should you need them. And because you own your own property you have all the freedoms that come with it, including the ability to bring along your beloved pets and decorate your home however you wish.

Dedicated Support Staff

Central to retirement village life is the presence of staff on site 24 hours a day, with options for different forms of support should the resident find them helpful.

In St Monica Trust retirement villages staff range from porters and carers, to chefs and Community Engagement Coordinators who help organise different activities and events – all are here to help you as much or as little as you wish. Staff aim to help residents have an active retirement and access a range of different opportunities, without much of the usual concerns that come with owning their own home.

I believe it's very important that we keep moving as we get older.... Getting involved and being active keeps us strong and healthy and stimulates the brain. Joining in also creates a sense of belonging and builds community.

Domenica Hall (Community Engagement Coordinator)


Living in a retirement village can mean you are part of a supportive community of like-minded people. This allows you to build strong, lasting relationships with people close by – providing you with an additional support and social network. The sense of community is often incredibly strong, and you can get involved however much you please.

Find out more about our villages

St Monica Trust operates 5 retirement villages in Bristol and the surrounding area. We're currently able to offer a limited number of tours in person or over video call, by appointment only. Please get in touch with our friendly sales team for more information.

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