If your elderly relative is able, and wishes to live independently in old age, there are a few options in Surrey to consider. Age Space have outlined what is available in the county so that you and your elderly relative can make a decision that is right for them.
Downsizing in Surrey
Downsizing means selling the current home and moving into a smaller, and typically cheaper, property. It is a common step for the elderly to make, when their children have all left home, a partner dies or a larger house becomes too strenuous to maintain. For more guidance on general downsizing, please take a look at 6 Practical tips for Helping Elderly Parents Downsize.
When looking to downsize in Surrey, the following factors are important to consider:
Public Transport Routes
If your parent is no longer driving, or this move enables them to give up their car, then you will need to consider public transport options. Towns and villages in Surrey are generally well connected by local bus services and train routes run by railway operators: South Western, Southern, Thameslink and Great Western. The most connected towns by public transport (most frequent services) are the considered ‘commuter towns’: Dorking, Godalming, Guildford, Leatherhead and Reigate.
However, your elderly relative is unlikely to need this level of service and the public transport routes in smaller towns and villages may well be adequate. If they have given up their car as part of this move, the savings they will make can be put against taxi or other car services.
To check for connections in a particular town or village, please check out the following public transport network maps:
If your elderly relative wants to downsize to an area that is easily accessible from a certain destination (maybe your home), Traveline is a good resource to plan journeys. You can enter two locations and see how long the journey would take and how many interchanges it involves.
Property prices vary across Surrey county and are likely to impact upon your decision. As a whole, Surrey is an expensive place to buy property compared to the UK average.
Below is a guide of average property prices by area in Surrey to give you an idea of the cost of different areas. It is worth noting that these prices are an average of all properties sold, and that bungalows and smaller properties are likely to be cheaper.
- Ashford – £383,602
- Banstead – £572,905
- Camberley – £466,014
- Caterham – £423,001
- Dorking – £486,510
- Egham – £473,912
- Epsom – £504,301
- Farnham – £576,942
- Godalming – £517,761
- Guildford – £525,880
- Haslemere – £672,257
- Horley – £395,164
- Leatherhead – £531,495
- Redhill – £371,096
- Reigate – £556,401
- Staines – £418,112
- Thames Ditton – £751,086
- Walton-on-Thames – £622,127
- Weybridge – £794,265
- Woking – £494,777
Prices are for 2019, source: Rightmove.
Proximity to High Street
Particularly, if your elderly relative no longer drives/is not keen on driving for much longer, being in close access to local amenities is really important. Being able to work to shop, collect prescriptions etc. allows an elderly person to remain independent for much longer.
However, property prices nearer to town and village centres tend to be more expensive so be prepared to pay a bit more.
If easy access to facilities such as shops and healthcare is really important, we suggest you consider sheltered housing options, as often facilities are on site.
Sheltered Housing in Surrey
Sheltered Housing is accommodation designed for older people to allow them to continue to live independently. Typically, it consists of flats or bungalows with communal facilities.
The main advantage of sheltered housing is that help is on hand, may your relative need it. A warden usually lives on site providing maintenance and repairs to communal and housing areas. Alarm systems are available within each property so that residents can have receive help if they have an accident, for example a fall. Older people often enjoy the social and community aspect of sheltered housing.
Sheltered Housing can be provided by the council or privately (more commonly known as Retirement Villages).
Council Sheltered Housing Options
Local housing authorities offer subsidised and affordable sheltered housing accommodation with care and support to older people. The provision of this is dependent upon Surrey care assessment results. If your relative is deemed eligible for council sheltered housing provision after a Care Needs and Financial assessment, the appropriate local authority will be contacted.
Below are the housing department websites for each local council in Surrey, where you can find more information.
- Elmbridge Borough Council
- Epsom and Ewell Borough Council
- Guildford Borough Council
- Mole Valley District Council
- Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
- Runnymede Borough Council
- Spelthorne Borough Council
- Surrey Heath Borough Council
- Tandridge District Council
- Waverley Borough Council
- Woking Borough Council
Private Retirement Villages
There are 4 retirement villages in Surrey. Below is a summary of the setting and facilities at each, along with contact details to enquiry about pricing.
Audley Cooper’s Hill, Runnymede
Formerly part of Brunel University, Audley Cooper’s Hill is a luxury retirement village. The village recently opened (in 2019) and comprises of 128 retirement properties. The Audley Club has extensive facilities: a health and fitness suite, tennis courts, putting green, restaurant and library.
Telephone: 01784 557 376
Elmbridge Village, Cranleigh
Elmbridge Village is an age-exclusive (60+) retirement village with a mix of modern private apartments and cottage style homes. The Village is set in beautifully kept gardens and there is a lively village community with an exciting social calendar.
Telephone: 01372 383950
Mayford Grange, Woking
Set in the outskirts of Woking next to a local golf club, Mayford Grange is an age-exclusive retirement village. There are easy links to central London by train.
Independent retirement living is offered with 42 apartments set around a landscaped courtyard. A central clubhouse provides the hub for retirement village life. A level of domiciliary care is provided upon request.
Telephone: 01483 751642
Whiteley Village, Walton-on-Thames
Whiteley Village has a charitable purpose and most accommodation is only available to rent to retired people of limited means. There are 262 one or two bedroom independent living cottages, as well as 51 self-contained flats for people requiring a bit of extra care.
Telephone: 01932 842360
Surrey Retirement Homes
Retirement homes are similar to sheltered housing but are more communal and less independent. So instead of separate homes, retirement homes are usually made up of rented rooms or apartments.
There are more than 100 retirement homes to choose from in Surrey. You can search here on Housing Care and filter by area.
Retirement homes are different to Care Homes/Nursing Homes in that they do not provide immediate care or medical attention to residents.
If your relative requires more care then it may be best to look at Care Homes instead. Take a look at our Finding a Care Home in Surrey page.