Conversations with our families and loved ones about our housing and care needs are vital as we grow older.

Anchor’s new report, Fragmented UK, reveals a disparity between what younger people believe their parents want and what older people themselves say. Today, over half (54%) of 18-34-year-olds expect that their parents would want family members to care for them in later life - yet only 16% of over 55s say they would want this to happen.

Our research also identifies the four key areas which over-55s most associate with independence: people making their own decisions; having control over financial decisions; living in their own home; and pursuing their current way of living.

Specialist older people’s housing can play a key role in helping more of those in later life to meet these expectations.

While specialist retirement housing and care can play a significant role in supporting people to live independently for longer and be active in their communities, there is low awareness of housing options for people in later life among the public. Anchor’s research shows 80% of people do not fully understand the options available to them. It is vital to increase awareness of the options to ensure people can make an informed decision.

That’s why we’re calling for a National Conversation within families and across society to increase awareness of what people want and what’s available and to support older people to make the decisions which are right for them at the right time.

Where awareness of the options exists, demand follows.  More than a third of over-55s say they would be very likely or quite likely to consider specialist retirement housing yet supply of specialist older people’s housing remains limited.

At Anchor, we’re calling for steps to be taken to help meet this pent-up demand. A new planning classification for retirement housing would help to do this and we are also calling on the government to establish the older people’s housing Task Force, promised in the Levelling Up White Paper, as soon as possible.

Our ageing society requires action now. Whilst this presents many challenges, the benefits of meeting these are wide reaching and will help to build a healthier, happier, more prosperous society for all.

Sarah Jones, Chief Financial Officer, Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for people in later life. Anchor are proud to support the Housing LIN.

See Anchor’s Fragmented UK report here: Fragmented UK | Anchor (opens new window)

If you found this blog of interest, do also have a look at the dedicated pages on housing for older people curated by the Housing LIN.

And lastly, if you would like to find out more about how the Housing LIN can provide you with bespoke support, please email us at: or look at our consultancy page.


Posted on by Margaret Edwards

Yes awareness is key. An ex neighbour of mine learned about retirement housing when she attended a focus group that I ran several years ago. She moved from a 3 storey townhouse into a well designed accessible flat and lived there for the rest of her life. When her health and mobility declined she was able to stay in her home and she told me how glad she was that she made the move when she did.

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