Residential estates have become increasingly popular for their security, exclusivity, and quality amenities and Estate Living often writes about the importance of having it all under one roof.  

However, it is important to recognize that thriving communities and accessible facilities beyond estate walls play a crucial role in fostering a vibrant and inclusive society too.  

Here one estate offers a perspective on what it thinks retirees desire the most and offers some tips on how it compensates in areas where it “falls short”.  

We want it all

The spokesperson from Palm Lakes admits that these days retirees want it all on their doorstep. From medical services to hairdressers and beauticians, the list goes on. For the most part modern residential estates are rising to this challenge.  

‘Being near the airport is also a big selling point. Pensioners also enjoy sports such as golf and (lawn) bowls. Being close to country clubs is always a drawcard,’ adds the spokesperson.  

City access and ocean views

Being close to the city centre is also coveted, but this is something that residential estates far out into the countryside can’t always deliver on. But for this Palm Lakes attempts to offer a solution. ‘That is why Palm Lakes Family Estate introduced a shuttle service for the retirement village. This service runs to and fro from Ballito once a week,’ says its spokesperson.  

Proximity to the ocean is also something that’s typically desired, but Palm Lakes’ spokesperson claims this isn’t the be-all and end-all. ‘It’s a nice to have, but not a must-have. Retirees are happy to drive and park at the sea or have lunch with an ocean view.’

Proximity to healthcare facilities

Healthcare facilities outside of a residential estate that provide essential medical services are vital too, particularly if the estate doesn’t offer comprehensive medical facilities. But if proximity to a hospital is not possible there are measures that can be adopted to ensure treatment is offered promptly in an emergency.  

‘Proximity is always an added benefit, but with Palm Lakes’ retirement village, they have access to panic buttons, a clinic on their doorstep, and a sister on duty 24/7. Paramedics and ambulances are available in emergencies too,’ points out the Palm Lakes spokesperson.  

Importance of schools and crèches

This may not be a top-of-the-list requirement for all, but if estate managers and developers want to entice a more diverse community that supports the elderly, the benefits of having good schools and crèches close to or within the estates’ walls can’t be ignored.  

Many of today’s modern estates are focusing on family-centered lifestyles and children’s needs are becoming front and centre, so facilities like playgrounds, crèches and even private schools are added to estates’ grounds.  

Some estates that include premium education facilities include Sitari Country Estate near Somerset West, which houses Curro Sitari; Burgundy Estate in Cape Town which offers three schools for all ages and Steyn City in Johannesburg which boasts Steyn City School. Schools don’t have to be on the estate to offer value though – Silvertree Estate in Cape Town, for instance, has a gate that leads onto the grounds of Reddam House school and this easy access has its appeal too.  

Having a school close by or on the estate doesn’t only attract a diverse client base but also attracts investors to the development and can even increase the value of the estate further than it would if it didn’t have these facilities.

Isolation is not the answer

While retirees increasingly look for seclusion away from the stress and the hustle and bustle of city life it’s important to remember that estates shouldn’t be built in an area where all of the community spirits is stripped away in favour of that quieter life that most people think they crave in retirement.  

Retirees value the closeness of family too and this is one of the many reasons why estates, like Burgundy in Cape Town, are channeling the message of ‘Generations United’. They do still see the importance of privacy and catering to residents that want to be shut off from other generations if they want to and this is probably why Oasis Life Burgundy Estate for retirees is separately walled off and secured.  

However, it’s important to bear in mind that communities outside of residential estates can offer activities, cultural events, and community initiatives that estates may lack. They can offer a sense of belonging. This is why management of residential estates should still encourage the elderly to engage with the outside world, particularly if they can’t offer it all.


This article was written by the EstateMate in house media team. We are a tech passionate group of people driven by our love to revolutionize the Property Tech space.