UK pioneers new term for housing with care: “integrated retirement communities”

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The UK’s retirement sector is looking to cut through the confusion and mixed messaging around retirement living options among Government and the community.

Currently in the UK, there are 14 different terms attributed to housing with care.

Research found 51% of the public associate all forms of retirement housing with an ‘old people’s home’ or ‘nursing home’, despite significant differences between these living options.

The UK’s Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) has adopted a new term, ‘integrated retirement communities’, to describe housing with care’s one national model, and wants it taken up across the UK.

Integrated retirement communities in the UK sit between ‘sheltered housing’ where minimal support is provided, and ‘care’ or ‘nursing’ homes, which are increasingly focused on supporting people with higher levels of support needs.

ARCO is calling on Boris Johnson’s Government to use the term, ‘integrated retirement community’, to describe the form of specialist housing, which its members provide for over 78,000 seniors in the UK.

“People want facilities such as cafés and restaurants, optional activities and social links, with care available if they need it. Integrated retirement communities provide this choice at a range of price points but awareness remains low,” said ARCO executive director Michael Voges (pictured).

ARCO believes a lack of clear terminology impacts negatively on planning and regulation – making it harder for local authorities to understand the benefits that integrated retirement communities can bring.

“Sector specific legislation is … needed; it will help providers and planners meet demand for these communities and support consumers who are seeking to move into them,” said Voges.

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