The current challenge and accelerated change
COVID-19 has catapulted the care-sector into the spotlight and whilst not entirely for good reason, it has brought to the fore the urgency of action required from the development sector – if the supply and delivery of purpose built homes is to have any chance of keeping up with demographic pressures. As outlined in the JLL Report, this pressure currently equates to a requirement of 10,000 additional beds per annum. over the next decade!
Whilst the pandemic has drastically impacted life on a global level, it has also accelerated fundamental shifts in thinking – socially, environmentally and economically, as we consider a reprioritising of the needs and wants of our post-pandemic selves. With flexible, remote working here to stay, relocating closer to family, friends, or in search of greater choice of amenities (such as cafés, parks), have been high on the agenda as the nation re-evaluate their quality of life, and quite simply, what is truly important to them.
Isolation and loneliness have long been a concern for our aging population, however, for those classified high-risk, isolation in recent months has left many feeling completely cut-off from society. A recent sharp rise in demand for Retirement Communities (as reported by ARCO) is therefore unsurprising, with older people seeking out both the company and the safety net, that Retirement Communities provide.
This fuels the need to open up the dialogue around the housing-for care-model: there’s a general assumption that we move into a care-home when we’re old and need the help, however the largest and most in-depth poll ever conducted of UK Retirement Community residents, and prospective residents, has found that people who live in Retirement Communities lead healthier, more active, more social, more secure and happier lives, than those who have not yet moved to a Retirement Community. Findings within ARCO and Promatura International’s report show that whilst 90% of residents thought they had moved into a Retirement Community at just the right time in their lives, 6% would rather they’d moved sooner!