Laura Sharman 30 June 2020

Give councils the tools to incentivise retirement communities, says report

Retirement communities could play a major part in addressing the adult social care funding crisis and keep people out of hospital for longer, a new report has argued.

The report, published by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) and the County Councils Network (CCN), argues that council and providers should be given the tools to incentivise retirement communities.

At the moment just 0.6% of over 65s live in a retirement community. Research shows that residents in such development spend up to 12 days less in hospital due to unplanned accidents compared to those in regular housing.

ARCO estimates that should 250,000 people live in retirement communities by 2030, it could free up over 560,000 bedrooms back onto the market.

Cllr David Williams, chairman of the CCN, said: ‘Retirement communities are currently a fringe part of the adult social care conversation, but the benefits they can bring to people’s wellbeing, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, and freeing up half a million bedrooms shows that they should be a prime part of the solution to many of the societal challenges we face.

’Today’s report contains some bold yet easily implementable recommendations, not least in introducing a new planning classification to cut down on confusion, bureaucracy, and a clear specification for councils to include in their assessment of housing and care needs. These reforms could help turbocharge the development of retirement communities over the next decade.’

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