Rightsizing: Finding Your Future Home

Calderdale Council have recently been promoting a rightsizing campaign by the West Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership. It looks to explain the different types of housing which might be suitable as people age. Here’s what the rightsizing campaign says about itself (you can read this and much more about rightsizing on their website). It’s a long read, but there’s lots of really useful information here, if you’re considering changing your home to suit your lifestyle in later life.

What is rightsizing?
Rightsizing means finding a home that’s right for you now and in the future. This might mean moving to a smaller home or somewhere on one level. It might mean moving near family or staying close to amenities. It could mean exploring supported living or retirement options.

Every person will need different things from their home.

Benefits of rightsizing
Choosing to rightsize doesn’t always mean moving somewhere smaller. It is about making sure the space you’re living in is right for your needs. It may mean moving, but it may also mean adapting your own home.  Making the decision to rightsize can result in many benefits. It also means you have plenty of time to explore all options available to you.

Once you’ve rightsized you may:

  • Have more disposable income
  • Feel safer in your home
  • Have more free time because there is less maintenance
  • Improve your social life
  • Feel comforted that help and support is available when and how you want it
  • Feel content knowing you’ve got your future planned

What are the rightsizing options?
There are many different rightsizing options available across West Yorkshire.  It’s best to take a look through them all, speak to family and friends and have a chat with local providers. Here’s a quick guide to the housing options available.

  • Retirement communities are large residential developments, for adults who want to live independently
  • Retirement villages are made up of purpose-built bungalows and houses
  • Independent living, retirement or sheltered housing is usually a group of bungalows or flats and everyone has their own front door. Schemes often have a manager or warden to arrange services and are usually linked to a careline or alarm service
  • Home adaptations are changes you make to your home. These make it safer and easier to move around and do every day tasks to help you live independently
  • Assisted living is also known as extra care or housing with care, they could be flats, bungalows and retirement villages. You have your own self-contained space and access to communal facilities. Domestic support and personal care are also available
  • Residential nursing or care homes are there to support people who are struggling to live independently. You would normally have a bedroom and use of a shared lounge with other residents. Personal care can be provided
  • Housing associations offer rented housing for those people who don’t want to own their home
  • Shared ownership is where you part rent, part buy your home from a housing provider
  • Social housing is provided by housing associations and local authorities, often for those who are in housing need
  • Supported living can help if you do not want to live in residential care but you’re finding it difficult to cope at home. It could be more suitable accommodation, or support in your own home, with personal care like help with washing or cooking
  • Priority to rehouse on health and medical grounds may be available if you have a physical disability or medical condition that means you can’t access essential facilities in your home, like your bathroom or bedroom. To qualify you will need to be registered for rehousing and meet certain criteria ​​​​

Making the right choice

Before deciding to rightsize it’s important to talk to others. Here are some questions to ask yourself or discuss with family and friends to help you make the right choice.

Where do you want to live?

Choose a location that’s right for you. Do you want to live close to family and friends, close to shops, good local dog walks or a bus route?

Do you want to stay in an area you’re familiar with or are you happy to move to a new community? Think about what services and activities you want near your home.

“I want to live as independently as I can, so living near a bus route is a must.”

Help and support

Consider whether you need any care requirements such as residential care, nursing care or personal care.

Would you want to live somewhere with onsite support staff who look after building maintenance and emergencies? Is onsite security important to you? Do you want domestic help with your washing and cleaning?

“My health isn’t what it used to be; I want to live somewhere where I know help is on hand.”

Think about family

It’s worth having a think about how many bedrooms you really need. You might need a spare room for the grandkids. Some schemes and complexes have space for guest rooms allowing family to stay over

Many people worry that their family will be upset if they decide to move. However, you may be surprised that your grown children may encourage the idea of you no longer living in the family home. In many cases they will be happy that you’re thinking about the future and making your own choices about where to live.

“I want to live close to my family, I love seeing the grandchildren growing up.”

Love your lifestyle

It’s good to think about the kind of life you love now and want for the future. Do you like gardening or do you have a pet? Is living on your own really important to you but you would like to also have some  communal social facilities?

Which areas of your home do you currently use the most and do you need storage such as a garage? Rightsizing might mean moving to a similar sized home that is laid out differently or has adaptations to support you when you get older.

“I love my dog; I want to live somewhere that allows pets and has a garden.”

What’s your budget?

It’s important to look at your finances and plan for the future. Do you want to live in a home that’s cheaper to run? You could move to a new home that’s more energy efficient and easier to keep warm.

“I’ve always kept my eye on the pennies, so I made sure I had all the facts about costs.”


If you are looking for housing advice in Calderdale contact:

Calderdale Council

Call: 01422 288001

Together Housing

Call: 0300 555 5560

Download our Calderdale rightsizing pocket guide

Help and support services

Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you’re over State Pension age and on a low income

Carer’s Allowance is suitable for anyone who cares for someone at least 35 hours a week

Bereavement Support Payment you may be able to get Bereavement Support Payment if your partner has died

Personal Independence Payment can help with extra living costs if you have both:

  • a long-term physical or mental health condition or disability
  • difficulty doing certain everyday tasks or getting around because of your condition

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people who have reached State Pension age and need an elevated level of care, due to a physical or mental disability, or a terminal illness

Bereavement Support Payment: you may be able to get this if your partner has died

Winter Fuel Payment: you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills

Older person’s bus pass: when you reach the state pension age you can get a bus pass for free travel

Housing Benefit: once you reach state pension age you can make a new claim for Housing Benefit

Council Tax Reduction: you may be eligible for a discount on your Council Tax bill

Charities supporting older people

Here are some of the charities which support older people not only in rightsizing but in all aspects of life.

Age UK: ageuk.org.uk 0800 055 6112

Age UK’s advice on housing options in later life

EAC Housing Care – a national charity set up to help you make informed decisions about meeting your housing and care needs as we get older

Re-engage: reengage.org.uk 0800 716543

Shelter: shelter.org.uk 0808 800 4444 (for emergencies only)

Friends of the Elderly: fote.org.uk 020 7730 8263

Independent Age: independentage.org 0800 319 6789

Handy links for homeowners looking to rightsize

Retirement properties for sale – Rightmove

Retirement properties for sale – Zoopla

Retirement properties for sale – moving soon

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