A new survey published by ARCO shows that nearly 90% of people think the Government should widen housing options for older people - including those with care, and that more than half of older people are interested in moving but lack good local downsizing options.
The survey illuminates the mismatch between the needs and wants of older people and the options available to them. 56% are interested in moving, rising to 70% if to somewhere with care and support as an alternative to a care home, yet 53% say their local area does not have enough downsizing options, including those with care.
The resultant report makes a number of recommendations aimed at Government and the sector, including:
- Government should encourage the development of a wider range of housing options for older people, including those where care is available for those who need it
- For the Government to work to develop alternatives to care homes, such as housing-with-care
- A clear and unified approach and strategy from the Government towards the Retirement Community sector to encourage growth
- Improvements in the planning system to encourage the growth in specialist housing options for older people - especially those where care and support is available
- For the Government and the sector to work together to improve clarity and certainty about the fees, charges and rules relating to moving into specialist older people's housing, building on existing good practice in parts of the sector
- For the sector to work with the Government on introducing clarity in terminology for the different older people's housing settings, and to provide more information to prospective residents
- Whilst accepting the current fiscal restraints the Government is under, for the application of stamp duty to these settings to be reviewed
- For the Retirement Community Sector to assess demand in rural and village locations, alongside expanding provision in town and city centre settings.