Retirement property needs start to grab the headlines

Blog posted

8th April 2014

At last we are starting to see some exposure in the media for retirement property provision and the growing need for more focus to be given to private retirement property as well as Government-funded schemes.

We are all aware that the amount of provision at the moment is a mere drop in the ocean compared with the number of bespoke retirement projects required to
counter-balance our growing elderly population. And the ITV programme presented by Julie Etchingham last week called ‘Looking after Mum and Dad’ drew attention to this fact.

The programme made the point that less than 1% of over 65s across the UK live in specialist accommodation and painted a pretty bleak picture for the future if the rate of build isn’t accelerated soon.

It was an insightful programme and left no-one in any doubt that more has to be done to support the growing housing needs of the older generation.

I’m pleased that the media is at last giving some serious focus to this issue which will potentially affect us all at some stage or other. And the fact that ITV is prepared to commission programmes about the subject and employ a responsible and reputable presenter such as Julie Etchingham is encouraging too.

Here is the link to the programme which is available for 30 days from the date of transmission (April 3rd). It’s a 30-minute programme but well worth a viewing if you have time to sit down and watch it over a cup of coffee.

We were asked to contribute to the programme but on this occasion we were unable to help out the programme makers. We do hope the opportunity arises again though as we want to share our views on this and ensure everyone starting their retirement property search is fully aware of the current options open to them or their older relatives.

One item that was made very clear by the end of the film, and reiterated by some of the interviewees, was the fact that people leave decisions about their future far too late and what should be a relatively easy and straightforward process, leading to a fulfilling future, can actually become a drawn out and much more onerous affair. If there’s one piece of advice I would agree with, it is exactly this – don’t leave it too late. It’s the one sentiment that is repeated to me over and over again by residents who do eventually make the move. Without fail, their first comment is ‘we wish we had done this years ago’!

Whatever you conclude from watching the programme, I would recommend it’s worth 30 minutes of your time to see where retirement provision in the UK is and where it’s heading in the future. Happy viewing.

Sarah Burgess