Over 55s lead the digital push

29th April 2013 - By Sarah Burgess

Over 55s were the largest demographic sector of the UK population to increase their online usage last year, according to ComScore http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62338-stats-time-to-reassess-and-redefine-silver-surfers   A large proportion of this increase, says the ComScore report, was a direct result of the Olympics and the vast…

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‘Dementia Friends’ a great step forward

12th February 2013 - By Sarah Burgess

Dementia now affects one in every three people and is growing. It’s not a condition that is going to suddenly disappear overnight. It’s here to stay.   Retirement Villages’ dementia houses are scattered across a handful of our village locations. We see on…

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New retirement village, Charters Village, is ready to open to the public

28th January 2013 - By Sarah Burgess

The property industry received some welcome news last week with property sales hitting a five-year high, according to HMRC. And even Friday’s gloomy GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) couldn’t pour complete cold water on the construction industry with news…

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Everyone needs good neighbours – especially as you get older

30th November 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

I read the recent findings of the Age UK survey on neighbourliness with astonishment. It’s difficult to comprehend that seven per cent of the older people polled (equivalent to 721,000 individuals) said they did not know their neighbours. Reasons given by the over…

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Snoring ‘can boost retirement cash’

10th October 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

I wanted to share this item with you. If you haven’t read or heard about it before, research has uncovered that heavy snorers are able to pick up higher annual incomes through annuities. Anyone who has sleep apnoea, of which snoring is a…

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Esther Rantzen’s Silver Line support is to be applauded

1st October 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

Congratulations to Esther Rantzen for inspiring and supporting an invaluable initiative for the older generation.   Everyone has heard of Childline; now everyone’s favourite campaigner has put her weight behind Silver Line, a phone service for older people who feel lonely and want…

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Over age drinking in a retirement village

14th September 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

Did you catch Panorama this week? Headlined ‘Old, Drunk and Disorderly?’ it tackled the issue of alcohol abuse among the older generation and made excellent viewing.   Joan Bakewell, the government’s former voice for older people, was Panorama’s roving reporter and gave the…

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Hats off to our older workforce!

3rd September 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

Two out of three older employees want to keep working up to or past their pensionable age, says a study by independent think tank, the Resolution Foundation. http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/publications/   The think tank argues that there has never been a better time or a…

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You’re never too old to play ping pong!

7th August 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

In the Olympic month it’s only fitting we should pick up on this sports theme. Have you heard about a brand new film that tracks eight pensioners from across the world as they compete in the World Table Tennis Championships? The film is…

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Retirement Villages on Radio 2 with Jeremy Vine

17th May 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

I very much enjoyed my encounter with Radio 2’s lunchtime presenter Jeremy Vine on Thursday. I was invited onto his programme to discuss the retirement village concept in light of new research which suggests residents of such communities live longer and healthier. Jeremy…

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How retirement villages relate to Melanie Reid’s Times’ column

11th April 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

Thank you to Melanie Reid, one of The Times’ most capable and respected journalists. Her article at the weekend entitled “Growing old never used to worry me but my accident has changed all that” unbeknowingly captures the spirit of our own retirement villages….

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Government scheme welcomed

19th March 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

The Government’s NewBuy Guarantee feels like a positive step forward, even for developers like us who sit near the top of housing chains. The initiative is aimed at people wanting to buy a new build home who are unable to fund a deposit…

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We get happier with age says American study

1st February 2012 - By Sarah Burgess

This may be an American study but I’ve highlighted it here because I think it rings true in the UK too – well, at least in the many instances I’ve experienced firsthand. The study suggests that the older people get, the more likely…

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Residents to rate their own care home services

21st December 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

The idea of people rating their care home publicly is one I would support. It’s an initiative that forms part of a Government White Paper on social care and is likely to be published in the spring. Only an idea at this stage…

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More consideration needed for retirement housing local planning

18th October 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

Monday (17th October 2011) represented the last day of consultation on the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework. We sincerely hope the consultation process has taken onboard the growing evidence supporting a more flexible and open-minded approach to housing for the older generation. As…

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Retirement Villages Ltd gives its support to Grey Pride

12th October 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

I’m really delighted to see Anchor’s Grey Pride campaign starting to gather some serious following. There were 81,000 signatures on the petition last time I checked, click here for more details. We do need a Minister for Older People because there are so…

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Silver surfers are becoming an advertisers’ dream

2nd August 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

The over 50s are becoming an increasingly lucrative source of income for advertisers. Best illustrated by Saga, the age group’s most popular magazine read, which recently underwent a design revamp with better quality print and paper. Regarded as a bold move when most…

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Retirement care living – it’s not all gloom and doom

22nd June 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

The retirement care sector might appear to be failing if recent news headlines are any indicator – private care providers such as Southern Cross are in financial meltdown while some public sector care homes find themselves victims of local authority budget cuts with…

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Demand for care home places set to rise

12th May 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

There is no clearer evidence of the need for more care home provision than yesterday’s survey findings from Newcastle University’s Institute for Ageing and Health. The 85+ study shows that this portion of the UK population represents the fastest growing demographic with 2010’s…

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Celebrating 30 years

26th April 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

This year sees Retirement Villages celebrating 30 years. That’s 30 years of building, developing and managing communities entirely geared towards the over 55s. And 30 years of trying to explain exactly what a retirement village is! There are many misconceptions – that our…

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It’s wrong to assume poor standards in all care homes for the elderly

19th April 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

Today’s Which? report carries an extremely scathing headline ‘Care home failings exposed’ which as a care provider in this sector is devastating to read. The report justifiably exposes poor and unacceptable standards and service levels. No-one can defend these findings which came to…

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Budget’s single tier flat rate pension receives a warm welcome

23rd March 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

The Budget includes provision for a £140 flat rate state pension. Simplifying the system to a standard single tier rate will be welcome news although at this stage there are no indications of implementation day and the announcement has been tempered by the…

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Have your say on Age Consultation

15th March 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

The Government began its Age Consultation 2011 process on March 3, opening up the debate on a ban on age discrimination in the provision of services and public functions.

 The details are part of the Equality Act 2010 which received Royal Assent in…

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CQC gold standard raises the bar for care homes and should be welcomed

4th March 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

News from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of the introduction of an excellence rating is to be welcomed. Care homes are already highly regulated under recognised and reliable measurements and criteria.

 However, the excellence rating will take measurements to another level, and most…

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Older people will be engaged by Localism

25th January 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

There is some debate as to whether the Localism Bill – which had its second hearing last week – will make a huge amount of difference to the lives of the older generation. AgeUK is undecided on the matter – its recent survey…

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Government’s helping hand for older sector housing is welcomed

21st January 2011 - By Sarah Burgess

Yesterday’s announcement by Housing Minister Grant Shapps to help elderly council house tenants downsize is good news. Provided this isn’t purely an excuse to access larger family homes and more a focus on genuinely helping the older and sometimes more vulnerable sector find…

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One in every five babies born today will live to be over 100

30th December 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

That’s the news from the Government today and an announcement we are pleased to see given so much prominence. This subject has far-reaching consequences that need dealing with today. We can’t wait for these babies to come of age – as we are…

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Staying active in later life is vital for old age health

18th October 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

October symbolises the fourth national Older People’s Day – a Government appointed event, dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions that older people make to society and the economy. The theme this year is ‘getting and staying active in later life’ with the…

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Care home in Great Easton will enhance elderly care in Essex

15th October 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

Last Friday RV hosted an informal gathering at one of our villages, The Moat House, to mark the progress in building work for a new care home. We were joined by the village’s existing residents, their families, and other local guests including local…

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Dementia costs put disease in the spotlight

22nd September 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

Calls this week to make dementia a world health priority can’t have come soon enough. I work within the elderly sector – and as care director for a retirement property developer and manager I see daily evidence of the disease and the affects…

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Village living can add two years to your life

10th August 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

Village residents are outliving townies, according to a report in the Mail recently. While the report talks about villages in their generalist term, I’ve read the article and agree that it applies just as much to a retirement village – in fact, I’d…

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Dedicated TV channel for the older generation

30th June 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

At last, a communication channel which is tailored to the older audience. Vintage TV, aimed at the over 50s, is due to launch in September on Sky and Freesat. And while the older age group doesn’t particularly want to be singled out for…

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Age Concern and Help the Aged join forces to establish Age UK

28th April 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

Congratulations to Age Concern and Help the Aged which have joined forces to form one voice for the older generation – Age UK. Both charities hope their combined strengths will enhance their ability to campaign, fundraise, research and make people listen to the…

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Working in retirement – eighty is the new sixty

8th March 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

Just because you reach a significant birthday doesn’t mean you are surplus to requirements. Keith Frost from the Age and Employment Network made this statement recently and I couldn’t agree more. Working within a retirement-focussed organisation I see on a daily basis so…

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Internet services for sheltered housing residents

29th January 2010 - By Sarah Burgess

News that the Government is to help ‘switch on’ 20,000 people living in sheltered housing onto the Internet is very much welcomed. The £2.9m plan hopes to boost the numbers of silver surfers through a new ‘Get Digital’ training programme. This is excellent…

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Now is the time…to put your retirement plans into place

30th December 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

Now is the time…an open-ended statement which will mean something different to every one of us. In October we were told Now is the Time to invest in Russia. In the same month, the Prime Minister Gordon Brown was telling us Now is…

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CQC’s adult social care statement doesn’t show the positives

3rd December 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has today unveiled its statement on the quality of adult social care. Its assessment of 148 local authorities and 24,000 care homes and agencies makes grim reading for companies such as ours that work within the sector and…

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Social Care TV launch could have real benefits for the sector

12th November 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

Social Care TV was launched at last month’s National Children’s and Adults’ Services Conference in Harrogate. Managed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (Scie) this is a first for the care sector. There are an initial set of 25 films covering eight…

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Robopets – a step too far in cutting costs of elderly care

11th November 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

Anything which actively stimulates the brain as people start to enter old age has got to be good but the latest suggestions from a study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation Centre feel like a step too far. Cost-saving devices, however futuristic they are,…

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Planning restrictions and the effect on retirement developments

2nd November 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

I was fortunate to visit Whiteley Village at Walton on Thames last week which accommodates some 350 residents who live independently in their own homes along with an extra care development of 50 units and nursing facilities for 114. The only criteria for…

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Building retirement village schemes around historic buildings

9th October 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

  The Leicester Mercury carried a story last week about English Heritage’s fight to stop 18th century Scraptoft Hall near Leicester being renovated as part of a multi-million pound retirement village scheme. The national conservation watchdog, according to the report, says the proposal…

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The need for a sustainable assisted living model

30th September 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

In the past 5 years there has been a substantial increase in interest in providing specialist retirement housing with a number of new entrants into the market joining the established providers. Unfortunately, the UK planning system, which typically moves at the speed of…

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Celebrating New Homes Week with a new retirement development

30th September 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

We celebrated New Homes Week with the launch of our brand new retirement development at Mayford Grange near Woking in Surrey. The celebration at Mayford turned into a complete month of activities as we opened the development with a whole host of events,…

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Should the default retirement age be 65?

24th August 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

In March 2009, European Judges confirmed that the UK Government will have to overcome a high hurdle in the UK courts to explain why it’s social or employment policy objectives justify the National Default Retirement Age (updated) and therefore allow forced retirement. This has…

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Retirement villages – What’s in a name

10th August 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

Sharing the same name as the product we sell and manage has its definite benefits – but there can also be some negative moments. Our company has been called Retirement Villages for over 25 years now and for a large proportion of that…

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Retirement property resilient to credit crunch

30th July 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

The ageing process is no respecter of economic cycles and consequently our retirement villages’ product has proved to be relatively resilient compared to open market housing in the credit crunch. For our customers, the decision to move is partly aspirational and partly needs…

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Sheltered housing model is flawed

10th July 2009 - By Sarah Burgess

Sheltered housing as a serious living alternative for older people is outdated and irrelevant. We need to be following the lead of America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and building retirement communities which give older people the lifestyle they deserve. The ‘Nobody’s…

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