The Retirement Community sector united at the ARCO Annual Conference in backing a positive vision for the future of retirement living, based on delivering high quality housing and care for older people and helping the UK to catch-up with countries around the world where the sector is far more developed.
The two-day conference on 4 and 5 July, which convened 350 leaders and experts from from across the world, saw a strong display of unity in the sector with the launch of ARCO’s Vision 2030.
The UK is currently lagging behind comparable countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the USA – where between 5% and 6% of older people live in Retirement Communities. In the UK the figure is 0.5%, resulting in significant extra strain on the NHS and the social care system.
With the sector already showing signs of rapid growth and huge potential, members of ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) have committed under Vision 2030 to provide 250,000 people with the opportunity to live in retirement communities by 2030.
In order to achieve this, the sector has committed to ten pledges including calling on the Government to implement sector-specific legislation to protect consumers as the number of people living retirement communities continues to grow. The sector has also called on the Government to ensure clarity in the planning system for developments providing housing, care and support for older people.
This is alongside commitments from ARCO members to work with partners across industry and civil society to invest in innovative social care technology, retirement community workforces and develop a clear proposition for consumers.
Michael Voges, Executive Director at ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators), said:
“As a sector we have great ambitions to help tens of thousands of older people enjoy their retirements. We know that living in retirement communities is a great option for many people. By relentlessly focussing on value and service for our customers we can help to bring the UK up to the level of provision we see in many other countries around the world.
Recent years have already seen major growth in our sector. Our Vision 2030 is a crucial next step – exciting times lie ahead!”
Nick Sanderson, CEO at Audley Group and Chair of ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) said:
“The UK’s aging population, the need for more person-centred models of care and the success of the retirement community model around the world all go to show just how much potential our sector has to provide housing and care to many more people now and in the future.”