Sheffield retirement villages could play key role in tackling adult social care crisis

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Retirement villages could play a key role in keeping older people in Sheffield healthy and reduce the cost of adult social care.

A report by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) says retirement communities such as Brunswick Gardens at Woodhouse could be key to the city's future housing needs.

Currently, just 0.6 per cent of over 65s live in a retirement community - developments which allow people to live in their own property, but with on site care plus a wide range of services and amenities.

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The report says councils and providers should be given incentives for these developments as research shows residents spend up to 12 days less on average in hospital due to unplanned accidents compared to those in regular housing.

Brunswick Gardens Resident Tony AstorBrunswick Gardens Resident Tony Astor
Brunswick Gardens Resident Tony Astor

ARCO says retirement villages should form part of future reform of adult social care, with the government’s long-awaited green paper set to be published in the aftermath of coronavirus.

Brunswick Gardens is a partnership between The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, Your Housing Group and Sheffield Council.

It provides apartments and bungalows for over 240 people with an average age of 81. Properties, a number of which are socially rented, surround a village centre which has 15 facilities including a village hall, fitness gym, shop, library, greenhouse and IT suite.

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Joyce Loveday, aged 86, rents her village apartment and was one of many local residents who helped build a thriving and active community over two years before the village opened.

She arranges church services, is involved in the choir, supports reception duties and is a member of the residents association and says she loves life at Brunswick Gardens.

“I was one of the first to move in. I said it would be like being on holiday and it turned out to be true. I feel very lucky living here and I wouldn’t change it, especially at a time like this when the staff are so supportive and we have everything we need on site.”

ARCO estimates that should 250,000 people live in retirement communities by 2030, it could free up over 560,000 bedrooms back onto the market.

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