People living in retirement communities gain significant health, well-being and security benefits, a major study has found.
In-depth research by ProMatura International and ARCO shows older people are healthier and more active in specialist housing with care.
The research, carried out in partnership between ProMatura International and the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) included 2,799 residents from 81 retirement communities run by 15 operators.
More than 1,000 older people who were considering a move into retirement communities also took part in the research.
Margaret Wylde, Chief Executive and founder of ProMatura, said: “The evidence here is very strong and hard to argue with – retirement communities are an excellent option for older people in the UK, benefiting their health, keeping them active and providing security.
“This is the first time that these questions have been asked on this scale and the data provides vital insight for investors, operators and suppliers in this sector.
“We are working through the full implications and are already exploring several options for follow-up research to support the fastest growing sector in housing for older people in the UK.”
The report found that, compared to those who had not yet moved (but were considering making a move), residents in retirement communities: stay healthier for longer; are more active; are less lonely; have a greater sense of a safety net; feel more secure; enjoy life more; and enjoy more privacy.
The study also found that 90% of residents thought they had moved into a retirement community at just the right time in their lives with 6% saying that would rather have moved in sooner.
Almost three in four respondents said (71%) saw moving in to a retirement community as a chance to make new friends.
Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, added: “It is amazing to have such high quality data on our sector. This reinforces what our members have been reporting and seeing on the ground for years – that living in a retirement community is good for your health, wellbeing and sense of security.
“It is easy to see why retirement communities are set to account for three quarters of all specialist housing for older people within five years. They represent a fantastic offering for increasing numbers of older people and are based on a responsible, sustainable business model which is attracting record levels of investment.
“We were delighted to have the opportunity to work with such a well-respected and rigorous research agency as ProMatura – there is a clear need for more good quality data like this as our sector grows.”
Caption: Middleton Hall near Darlington has become the first UK retirement village to be owned by its staff.