Retirement villages – the mainstream care model of the future?
It is a well known demographic fact that the elderly population of the UK is continuing to increase, with people living longer, healthier lives and, due to improvements in financial net worth, the sector is also becoming more demanding. Less well known, however, is the freedom that local authorities now have to facilitate and deliver care packages that are more suited to those demands. Long term care funding was previously ring-fenced, with local social services departments incentivised to refer elderly people to care homes. This bred a largely hostile attitude on the part of local authorities toward the private care homes sector and in the 1980s, a new “extra care” model was delivered by a former director of social services, Bob Bessel, who founded Retirement Securities plc. The company accommodates elderly people in sheltered housing settings and offers extra care packages, which are tailored to the specific needs of residents. The primary movers in this new sector were voluntary organisations. A number of