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 some forced to close or reduce service levels.
But it’s not an entirely gloomy picture – one model that does appear to be robust enough to stand up to the uncertainties of the marketplace and the prospect of an ever expanding elderly population is the retirement village model.
This week we acquired our 13th retirement community – The Priory, 43 apartments and cottages, in South Devon.
The combination of the banking crisis, government expenditure cuts and a series of scandals in the elderly care sector looks like a perfect storm but in fact it is shaking up the sector and accelerating the necessary change towards a new model for elderly care in this country.
The traditional residential care home is dead, the traditional retirement housing scheme is dead. The baby boomer retirees want independence, dignity and above all enjoyment and that’s what retirement villages deliver.
Residents retain a stake in the equity market through leasehold ownership of their property. At the same time, the model provides continuing care – a progressive range of care facilities as residents grow older and their needs change. And most importantly, a social scene in a community of like-minded individuals that makes life worth living.
This is a sustainable model and one that more people aged 65 and over are buying into.