The Best Places to Live in the UK as a Senior [Study]
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Finding the right place to live for your needs and interests is important to everyone. But when you retire, your perspectives and needs change – healthcare becomes more important, hobbies and socialising changes, and being connected to family is key. But where in the UK is the best place to live as a senior?
Using local and regional data on things like community centres, % of local population that are over 65, and GP access, we’ve found the towns and cities that rank best against these, and other, factors to be the most senior-friendly.
The top 20 senior-friendly places to live
Taking all six factors and data into account, Stoke came out as the UK’s best place to live as a senior, scoring highly for number of national parks, community centres and gardening clubs.
Wales, Scotland and England all featured in the UK’s top 20, with Cardiff at position 15, and Glasgow and Edinburgh at 18 and 20 respectively.
Looking at the top 20 locations geographically, the senior friendly towns and cities are spread around the UK, with the north, midlands, west, and coastal towns like Southend even featuring.
Notably, London features; despite it being perceived as a “young city” it actually ranks highly for outdoor space, number of gardening clubs, and train stations for connected trips.
What is important to a senior or elderly resident?
Luca Rado, co-founder of The Live In Care Company comments:
“This study has been really eye opening in terms of resources and amenities for seniors around the UK. What might not be important to some younger demographics – such as a community centre or gardening club – can be a lifeline for a senior looking to maintain an active social life.”
“Likewise, with increasingly dispersed families in the UK, geographical connection is important, as is GP access for peace of mind. Naturally, the older we get, the more we rely on doctors and healthcare, but if we can ensure that seniors can exercise (walks in local parks), have regular GP access, and an engaging social life, their mental and physical wellbeing is much more looked after and we can support from afar, and when needed, rather than relying on care homes by default,” adds Luca.
The UK’s top 20 senior-friendly towns and cities, ranked
Here you can see the full ranking for the UK’s top 20 senior-friendly towns and cities based on the six data sets.
Interestingly, some of the more commonly associated towns and cities for retirees actually feature lower down in the rankings, and not many in the top 10 at all.
Luca Rado comments: “More traditional “senior spots” tend to be seaside towns and cities in the UK. Historically, places like Bournemouth, Southend or Portsmouth have been associated with an aging population and perhaps “the” place to go to retire. These are the towns and cities I expected to see myself in the top 20, based on my conversations or dealings with our care clients. However, what this study has instead highlighted is the changing needs of the elderly population in modern Britain. As although scenery and a coastal retirement sounds idyllic, is it actually conducive and practical for healthcare or family visit? Not really according to this research! I believe the quality of life stems much more from human interaction, suitable amenities and greater independence, which seemingly is available in pockets all around the UK.”
Our data is based on local findings, and included:
- % of population aged over 65
Recent Census data was used, and calculated for a % make up of those aged 65+
- Number of GPs to over 65 ratio
GP surgery data was taken from the NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/Services/Trusts/GPs – we then divided the local senior population to these figures to find out the ratio of access to GPs for elderly residents
- Number of national parks
This was taken for each town and city from https://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do
- Number of national train stations
These were compiled using https://www.thetrainline.com/
- Number of community centres
These were compiled using local council data for each town and city.
- Number of gardening clubs
We used the RHS search tool to find gardening clubs local to each town and city https://www.rhs.org.uk/get-involved/find-a-group