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Biggest ever study of Retirement Communities shows huge health, well-being and security benefits for residents

In-depth research by ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) shows older people are healthier and more active in specialist housing-with-care.

The largest and most in-depth poll ever conducted of UK retirement community residents and prospective residents has found that people who live in retirement communities have healthier, more active, more social, more secure and happier lives than those who have not yet moved to a retirement community - supporting the results of our own research with Aston and Lancaster Universities

Carried out by ProMatura International and ARCO, the research included 2,799 residents from 81 retirement communities run by 15 operators and 1,111 older people who were considering a move into a retirement community.

The report found that residents in retirement communities, compared to those who had not yet moved (but were considering making a move):
• stay healthier for longer;
• are more active (our research shows an increase in exercise by our residents of 75%);
• are less lonely (again, our research shows that 87% ExtraCare residents are hardly or never lonely);
• have a greater sense of a safety net;
• feel more secure;
• enjoy life more; and
• enjoy more privacy.

The report also found that:
• 90% of residents thought they had moved into a retirement community at just the right time - 6% would rather they’d moved in sooner;
• 71% of residents saw moving in to a retirement community as a chance to make new friends;
• Retirement community residents feel more in control of their lives; and
• By a huge margin, residents of retirement communities believe their lives are better now than they were a year ago.

Retirement communities or retirement villages, like ours, combine high quality housing options for older people with tailored support services. They allow residents to rent or own a property and to maintain their privacy and independence, with the reassurance of 24-hour on-site staff, communal facilities, and optional care and support as needed.

ARCO is the trade association representing the retirement community sector in the UK. Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO said: “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, well-being 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."

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."

ARCO has published the results of its research into retirement communities at arcouk.org