Ask Sheila - Archive England

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and therefore is no longer available to answer your social care questions. However, you might still find the answer you’ve been searching for down below.

16th June 2016

Where do I start in order to set up a retirement home from home?

I have a beautiful 7 bed home with an indoor pool with lots of scope for development. I want to set up a very high quality retirement "home" from "home" and break the model of current care centres, which in the majority I think are poorly funded and not run properly. I would like to live if I were elderly and had a choice. I have many ideas to offer a high quality of life however I do not want to offer care as such but more of a hotel environment with top class facilities but remain compliant and start a business utilising my home and moving out to another premise. Where would I start please - can you help me to do this ? I am very keen to do this and very serious about where to begin?

A beautiful property;
An indoor Pool that could become a spa;
I could convert all rooms to one suite;
I could fit a fire alarm;
Upgrade everything that needs uplifting;
Have a maintenance man;
Change bedding;
Clean rooms daily;
Bentley available for special events all included with Driver;
I would want in our separate building a couple to run the business and offer all meals inclusive, mini bus service into town to the pub and weekly trips to cinema, theatre, the coast etc;
Butler service;
Fully landscaped gardens;
Pets welcome;
Potential home cinema;
Hairdresser and beauty visits weekly;
Fitness classes 3 times per week.

Potential for 8 rooms at £140 per day with 2 live in staff and possibly another 2 staff available to assist.

I do not want a medical based care home I want a quality place for people to relax, come and go as they please and call this their home - truly their home but have full support if required and retire in luxury.

Thank you,


Dear Paul,

The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to operate a care home for older people or if you want to operate a hotel for retired people.

If you decide that you want to open a hotel then you will have to comply with legal requirements for hotels such as Health and Safety, fire prevention food hygiene etc.

You should contact your local Council as you will probably need planning permission and conditions may be attached.

There are any number of websites on the internet about opening a hotel. There are also some for hotels for the retired as well.

You must also be sure that the services that you provide will not cross into the provision of Adult Social Care unless you decide to open a care home.

You can read about the registration of a care home on the Care Quality Commission's CQC website

If you operate a care home without registration then that is a serious offence.

I also think you should find on the Internet some retirement hotels for the elderly and visit one or two.

I hope this is helpful.

I think the financial implications will also be important; is the size of your project big enough to make it viable.

Good luck!


*All information is correct at the time of publishing.

About Sheila

Sheila Scott OBE has now retired and over the years , prior to her retirement she has answered thousands of your social questions. You can still access the many questions below.

For Sheila Scott OBE as the former CEO of National Care Association (NCA), care is Sheila's life. She possesses a strong command of the issues facing the care sector informed by her long career as a nursing professional, the owner and manager of a care business, and as a leader in the care sector.

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