Westward Care is pushing the boundaries of a traditional retirement village. 

Peter Hodkinson, Managing Director is passionate about older people being given options in later life that meet their needs. We spoke to him recently about how Westward Care is re-thinking the retirement apartment offer across Leeds.

"When it comes to getting older, there are still many choices available, especially when it comes to the type of care you receive. Retirement apartments with care and support is one choice that not many people are aware of. 

Westward Care is pushing the boundaries of traditional retirement villages. We are one of a small handful of providers who are taking on the challenge of providing a 24-hour care service in an apartment-style setting.

As one lady, a former headmistress and now an owner of a Westward Care apartment with care and support, said to me, “I didn’t realise that opportunities were still available to me in life like this”.

Lots of people, including my own relations, stay at home. But when receiving a high-level care package, which could be four 30-minute visits a day, the challenge is what happens for the other 22 hours? Homecare packages provide valuable but intermittent checks – they do not offer the reassurance of 24/7 care and support if, or when, it is needed.  

Retirement apartments with care and support are ideal for someone who needs a few hours of care a day but can manage quite well in their own home. For example, Westward Care carries out wellbeing checks in the morning and evening as a courtesy for those who don’t need a care package. We also offer emergency cover as well to ensure peace of mind. 

Our residents say it is a great place to live because you don’t feel like you are in a care home. The care is with a small c really. We have people receiving a full 24-hour care service, provided with three meals a day, while getting all their laundry and cleaning done, just the same as you would get in a care home but they are living in their own, independent apartment. On the other hand, we have people that increase or decrease their care and support package depending on what level of care they need at any particular time.

Retirement apartments are great environments for people with care and support needs. Properties can be modified to reduce the risks of falls and accidents and tailored to each individual diagnosis. We can even support people with early on-set dementia for as long as we can provide the care they need. Westward Care is small enough to provide a highly personlised service every day. As residents’ care needs grow, we are big enough to offer a wide range of services from respite care to dementia care, with specialisms across our three locations.

Like in life, residents have got a choice of joining us in the communal spaces or staying in their apartment. We do have activity organisers but we find that it is the residents who drive what goes on, creating a real community. This could be anything from organising their own gym sessions to having Opera North come in for a lunchtime performance.

Our residents lead the life they want while accessing the care they need, when they need it. This is the choice Westward Care offers and delivers."

Find out more about Retirement Apartments with care and support
"By moving to my Retirement Apartment I've got the freedom I want. My family the peace of mind they need."
Southlands, Apartment Owner