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Where are the best places in the UK for older people to live?

As we get older, choosing somewhere to live comes with new priorities, with influences such as access to green spaces, quality of elderly care, ambulance wait times and even - maybe - where you can get hold of a decent fish and chips.

To help inform your decision, we’ve analysed the best towns and cities from across the UK based on some of the things that are most important to the older generation.

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Where are the best places in the UK for older people to live?

The top places to live in the UK for over 65s

We’ve identified the best places for older people to live in the UK, evaluating a range of cost, health and life-style related factors.

Tynemouth is best city for elderly care

Tynemouth

Best city for elderly care
The city scored 77/100 across various cost, health and lifestyle factors

Llandudno is best retirement town for older people

Llandudno

Best retirement town for older people
The town scored 53/100 across various cost, health and lifestyle factors

Brighton is best place for older people in numbers with a third of the population is aged 65+

Brighton

Best for older people in numbers
A third of the population is aged 65+

Hull is best for cheap retirement properties

Hull

Best for cheap retirement properties
Average property price is
less than £140,000

Ilframcombe is best for quality of care

Ilfracombe

Best for quality of care
All 20 care homes within 10 miles have a CQC rating of Good or above

lymington is best for longer life / life expectancy

Lymington

Best for longer life
Average life expectancy is 85 for men and 87 for women vs. national average of 81

Edinburgh is best for fish and chips

Edinburgh

Best for fish and chips
The city has more than 235 venues offering the dish

Glossop is best market town to retire to

Glossop

Best market town to retire to
The town scored 52/100 across various cost, health and lifestyle factors

  • Best towns and cities for cost of care
  • Best towns and cities for elderly care
  • Best retirement towns and cities

Best towns and cities for cost of care

We’ve considered several factors when considering the cost of care, including affordability of residential care and nursing care based on house capital and pension pots, to identify the best cities and towns for older people requiring care.

Best towns and cities for elderly care

We’ve considered several factors, including elderly population, cost of care, average life expectancy, quality of care provision and ambulance wait times to identify the best city for older people requiring care.

Best retirement towns and cities

Retirement signals a time for slowing down and enjoying the small things. But as we get older, there are important factors to be considered to ensure that you can live at home independently and safely for longer.

 We’ve analysed the top cities and retirement locations in the UK based on a number of lifestyle factors including average life expectancy, the percentage of population aged 65+, house prices, average care costs, availability of care and an overall lifestyle score.

Lifestyle scores are based on how many green spaces, English heritage sites, bingo halls and fish & chip shops are in the area and number of Instagram posts tagged with the area location.  

Best cities for retirement in the UK

London tops list of cities for cost of care

High average property prices and house deposits means older adults living in London, Wetherby and Cambridge may have more capital to pay towards care costs.

By comparison, Southampton, Hull and Stoke-on-Trent, are ranked towards the bottom with lower property prices meaning older adults have less capital to pay for residential or nursing care costs.

Whilst people living in London can use their house capital to pay on average for 17.8 years of residential care and 14.6 years of nursing care, the average in Stoke-on-Trent is just 4.7 years of residential care and 3.1 years of nursing care.

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Best cities for elderly care

Tynemouth ranked number one for elderly care

The North East town of Tynemouth has come out on top in terms of best provision of elderly care.

With yearly care cost averaging out at around £31,000, the town offers more affordable options for older people needing additional support. Boasting almost 200 care homes, 90% of which have a CQC rating of Good or higher and a care home to elderly person ratio of 1:71, Tynemouth is a promising location for anyone considering elderly care.

 

Coming out in last position for elderly care is Coventry.

The city offers affordable care but its care home to elderly population ratio is 1:389. With just 71% of care homes in the city having a CQC rating of Good or higher, the city received the lowest score for quality of care.   

*Data analysis conducted for cities and towns in England

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Best cities for retirement in the UK

Llandudno tops list of best retirement locations

The seaside town of Llandudno, Wales has ranked in the top spot for best retirement destinations in the UK.

With average life expectancy for the town sitting at 85 – four years above the national average – and plenty of outdoor space to help people stay active, as well as an abundance of bingo halls and fish and chip restaurants.

 

By comparison, Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, came out in last place, with an average life expectancy of 79 and an overall lifestyle score of 3.8/10.

Annual care costs in the city average out at almost £40,000 with just one care home for every 778 elderly person.  

*Data analysis conducted for cities and towns in England, Scotland and Wales

Download the infographic

How to maintain independence after retirement

As we get older, we may need a little support to help us remain safe and independent.

A monitored personal alarm with 24-hour emergency resolution from Taking Care provides reassurance that help is available in any emergency, including falls or medical situations.

Personal alarms for the home and out-and-about

Have the freedom to maintain an active lifestyle, with reassurance help is available wherever you are. 

An Out-and-About Personal Alarm will also work in your home so you can get help from Taking Care's Emergency Resolution Team any time of the day or night.

Compare out-and-about alarms

Request the full data

If you would like to use our Taking Care "Best Retirement Towns and Cities" data then get in touch!

We'd love to share our insights and research with you.

Request the data

Methodology

Below are the sources of data used to compile this report.

Elderly population percentage

ONS

Life expectancy for local areas of the UK: between 2001 to 2003 and 2018 to 2020.

Life expectancy per area

ONS

Subnational trends in the average number of years people will live beyond their current age measured by “period life expectancy”.

Cost of residential care

Lang Buisson report

Annual survey of UK Local Authority costs.

Number of care homes per area

Care Sourcer

Elderly care in your area (care homes and home care).

Care homes rated "Good" or above

Care Quality Commision (CQC) score

Percentage of care homes rated Good or higher in a 10 mile radius .

Ambulance wait times

AQI

Based on wait times for Category 3 (non-emergency) call outs.

Number of care providers offering at-home care

Care Sourcer

Elderly care in your area (care homes and home care).

Average house price

Rightmove

Based on Rightmove’s “recently sold” data.

Number of green spaces

Trip Advisor

Based on outdoor “Things to do” per town/city.

Number of bingo halls

BuzzBingo

Taken within a 10-mile radius of centre.

Number of fish and chip shops

Trip Advisor

Venues offering fish and chips as a mile within a 10-mile radius.

English Heritage sites

English Heritage.org

Taken within a 10-mile radius.

Lifestyle score

Overall lifestyle score based on average score for number of green spaces, English heritage sites, fish and chip shops and bingo halls. Score is weighted from 00, with 100 being the highest score.

The "Best Places in the UK for Older People to Live" has been created by Taking Care

If you liked this, you might also like the articles and guides in our Resources and Advice.

Taking Care are a subsidiary of AXA Health, has been providing personal alarm services for more than 30 years. Last year, we handled over 784,000 personal alarm calls and resolved over 37,000 customer emergencies. We are the only Which? approved personal alarm service and the trusted provider of the Age Co personal alarm service.

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