February 2022

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Finding the right retirement village is an important decision. You want somewhere you will enjoy spending your retirement, while also getting the support you need. 

There are numerous choices when it comes to retirement. Once you’ve narrowed down the most suitable options, the next step is to organise a tour.

It’s always a good idea to see retirement homes in person before making your decision. You want to walk around and get a feel for it. When touring a retirement village or independent retirement home, it’s also a good opportunity to ask questions to help you decide whether it is the right housing option for you. 

Each senior living community is different. Some may offer more services than others, so consider your ‘must-haves’, as well as your personal and medical needs. This may include access to certain facilities, a social community or housekeeping support. It’s important to make sure the retirement village you choose is the right fit for you. 

Here are some key things to ask about when having a retirement housing tour.

Types of homes

Some retirement villages have apartments and private rooms, while others have freestanding homes and independent units

Ask to view floor plans of the available accommodation so you can get an idea of layouts and how the space may suit your needs. It’s also worth checking if the home comes furnished or unfurnished, and whether you can decorate your space as you want. 

If you’re looking at retirement communities with independent retirement homes, you may want to ask if you have access to housekeeping and laundry services to help you keep your home clean and tidy. 

The facilities

The tour is sure to show you around a few of the facilities, however, there may be some facilities you’re not shown during the tour, so always ask if there is anything else the retirement community offers. 

As well as facilities at the retirement home, there may be facilities nearby that you’ll have access to, or perhaps the retirement village can help you set up any memberships to nearby facilities. 

If you want to keep up an active lifestyle, ask about the sports facilities. Is there a swimming pool, tennis court, bowling green, or nearby parks and sporting facilities you can use?

Social activities 

Many retirement communities provide a range of social activities to encourage the socialisation of residents. Ask if the retirement village has a social calendar with activities and events on a regular basis. 

Consider what social activities appeal to you. Do you have certain hobbies you want to continue, or perhaps you want to take on new activities that will allow you to meet others in the community? Will the retirement village be able to accommodate this?

Another question to ask is whether participation is free, or are there additional costs involved with joining classes and activities?

Are pets allowed?

If you’re looking to move into a pet-friendly retirement village, it’s crucial to ask about their pet policy.

Some may not allow pets, and if you already have a pet or are considering adopting a companion in the future, make sure you know the policy upfront to help you make the right decision. 

Proximity to amenities & services

You may explore the surrounding area yourself before getting a tour of the retirement village to assess its proximity to shops, cafes, medical services, parks, and public transport, but this is something you can also ask about during your tour. 

As well as being close to public transport, you may want to ask if the retirement village provides its own transport option to help you get around to appointments or grocery shopping. 

Retirement villages in south east Melbourne, such as Evergreen, are often highly sought after due to the desirable location and proximity to various convenient amenities. 

Future plans

You may want to inquire about any future plans for the retirement village. This could be about updates to facilities and homes, developments, expansions, etc. 

Also, ask about future plans for the surrounding area. It may impact your retirement lifestyle, for better or for worse, and therefore your decision if major developments are planned for the area. 

Staffing and medical support

When moving into a retirement village, many seniors want or require, a certain level of support. 

Is there on-site staff at the retirement village? Check what hours they are available and whether they’re available on weekends and public holidays, or only during business days and hours. 

If you have health care concerns, you may want to ask if there are nurses on staff, or if the retirement village can provide 24-hour medical support for those who need it. Also ask if assisted living and home health care is available at the village, or if you would be required to relocate if your needs change. 


You may want to ask about ownership of the retirement village. Is it privately owned, run by a medical facility, or a charity? This can influence management style, services, fees, and any community rules and guidelines you’ll need to adhere to. 

Retirement can sometimes feel lonely, so ask about the policy for visitors. Can you have family and friends come at any time, or are there set visiting hours? Also, ask if you’re able to have visitors stay overnight, or if you are allowed to stay overnight outside of the retirement village. 

You should feel safe and secure in your retirement village, even if living in independent retirement homes. Ask about the security of the premises. Are there security personnel, or security systems in place to ensure a safe environment? 


When looking at retirement villages, the cost is an important factor. As well as choosing a place that suits your personal interests and needs, you want to move into an affordable retirement village that suits your budget. 

Ask about the costs involved within living in the retirement village, and how those costs are paid, whether annually, or monthly. 

Also, check what’s included with accommodation costs. Are there separate fees for cleaning services, social activities, or meals? And how is this calculated, is it a set cost per month, or do you pay each time you use a service? 

If you’re looking at retirement villages in south east Melbourne, Evergreen offers a social and friendly environment. Contact us to organise a tour of our facilities.