Skip to content

OU on the BBC: Silverville - About the series

Updated Friday 17th July 2009

A different way of seeing older people: The BBC and The Open University tell the tales from Silverville.

Dave and Rita Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC

We’re all getting much older – it won’t be long before a quarter of us are over retirement age. Pensioners already out number the under 16s and the over 80s are the fastest growing age group.

We’re trying to keep fitter and healthier than ever before and we’re demanding more from our later years.

For some, moving to a retirement village is the answer. Already a popular choice in America, retirement villages are springing up across Britain - purpose-built communities offering security, companionship and independence for the over 55s.

Silverville follows the lives and loves of some of the 350 residents of a new retirement village in Milton Keynes. How will they cope - and how can they thrive - as they get to grips with a different way of living?

Retirement communities are one option for our rapidly aging population; residents can buy their own apartment or bungalow, share the ownership, rent, or be funded by social services and there’s care on hand if they need it.

The village – which cost more than £30 million to build - has a shop, hairdressers, gym, bar, restaurant and a packed schedule of leisure activities and events.

As the government puts increasing emphasis on promoting independence for older people, offering them choices, and improving their quality of life. Retirement villages could be the answer for some.

Find out more

Real-life stories: The Oldest Generation research project.

Too-early retirement? Can you keep working past 50?

 

For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.

Have a question?

Other content you may like

OpenLearn Live: 6th October 2015 Creative commons image Icon John Fielding under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license article icon

History & The Arts 

OpenLearn Live: 6th October 2015

Celebrating a small village with a role in two explosive events in history - then more free learning across the day.

Article
Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life' Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Paul O'Grady's Working Britain: Order your free copy of 'A journal of working class life'

Order a free booklet exploring different aspects of working class life in Britain through the years.

Article
Child of our Time: Order your free 'Becoming a Teenager' booklet Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license article icon

Education & Development 

Child of our Time: Order your free 'Becoming a Teenager' booklet

Order a free booklet exploring key aspects of childhood and teenage life.

Article
Open Advice on... active learning Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: OU audio icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Open Advice on... active learning

Samina has found that active learning is about exploiting any available resources to help her learn. Most of these are provided by the OU

Audio
5 mins
Life Story: Power Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC/Emma Napper article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Life Story: Power

To gain power an animal must find a way to rise through the ranks of its society. 

Article
What The Industrial Revolution Did For Us - Presenter profile Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

What The Industrial Revolution Did For Us - Presenter profile

Read more about the presenter and leading expert on Britain's architectural history, Dan Cruickshank.

Article
Death and society Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Jupiter Images video icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Death and society

Richard Wilson interviews Glennys Howarth about her research into how attitudes towards death changed in British Society during the course of the twentieth century

Video
10 mins
Wastemen: Big Problems, Big Solutions Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

Wastemen: Big Problems, Big Solutions

In the last of our visits to the men who cope with Newcastle's waste, we look to the future...

Article
OU on the BBC: Ever Wondered About Food - Sugar Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Production team article icon

TV, Radio & Events 

OU on the BBC: Ever Wondered About Food - Sugar

Ever Wondered About Food exposes the secrets of sugar

Article