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ARCO’s Parliamentary Expo turns the spotlight on Integrated Retirement Communities

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust visited the Houses of Parliament on June 19th to attend the ARCO (the membership body for Integrated Retirement Communities) Parliamentary Expo 2023.

ExtraCare residents Shena Davidson from Pannel Croft Village in Birmingham and David Tunney from Shenley Wood Village in Milton Keynes were in attendance. The duo supported by ExtraCare staff discussed life at integrated retirement communities and shared their first-hand knowledge of the many benefits with members of parliament and the retirement living sector.

Members of the sector discussed opportunities and challenges brought by an ageing population and the urgent need to provide communities which meet older people’s needs and aspirations.

The venue at the Houses of Parliament added historical significance to the experience. In a government where the social care crisis needs to be firmly on the agenda the event allowed attendees to raise awareness of the many ways IRCs can be the answer to reduce societal and NHS strains.

David and Shena

Alongside residents and providers of retirement living, attendees were joined by speakers Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Care Minister, Damian Green MP, and Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director, Age UK. The trio discussed the need for IRC’s and highlighted the impact an expansion of older people’s housing would have on freeing up homes for younger people and families and reinvigorating high streets. ExtraCare have worked closely to support ARCO in being a voice for the retirement living sector.

In attendance were members of the newly created Housing-with-Care Task Force who will be visiting ExtraCare’s Shenley Wood Retirement Village this week to take a look at an IRC in action.

Shenley Wood resident David Tunney commented: “The event was a wonderful chance to share experiences and our first-hand knowledge of integrated retirement communities with Members of Parliament. As residents we were able to represent the true voice of the retirement sector and discuss the positive aspects of IRC’s.”

James Lloyd, Director of Policy & Communications for ARCO commented: “Retirement communities have a key role to play in keeping older people independent for longer. ARCO were delighted to welcome so many in the sector who really do improve health and wellbeing and encourage independence. The event was a chance to broaden horizons and deepen understanding of the options available, and for the sector to come together for the benefit of society.”

At the event ARCO also launched their new Manifesto for Older People’s Housing: An IRC in Every Town at the event which is now available at their website.

Retirement village residents go to parliament