In the early part of 2020 the ARCO team will be publishing a series of posts about the decade ahead, covering a variety of aspects of our work and the sector we represent.
This first post comes from Gareth Lyon, ARCO's Head of Policy and Communications
Changing perceptions of Retirement Communities in the decade ahead
Ten years ago, politicians were not very willing to talk about social care because they didn’t see it as important enough. In the most recent election politicians were not very willing to talk about social care because they saw it as far too important – and therefore too risky to discuss.
Realistically the current system cannot last another ten years.
New forms of delivery, which offer an attractive lifestyle, security, peace of mind and which bring in new sources of funding are needed.
Like Retirement Communities…
Recent polling by Opinium for Bright Blue has found that people want the new Government to make social care a top priority in the years ahead. This reflects the truth that it is not just politicians grappling with the challenges of social care – nearly everyone is, whether they are worrying about current or future care provision for themselves or for elderly relatives.
Whilst public perceptions of care homes tend to be largely and not all together fairly negative, as there are many good care homes out there which play an important role, the challenge in Retirement Communities though is more one of recognition.
In other words people are looking but many of them have not yet found us.
Just because something needs to happen doesn’t mean it will. I am however optimistic about our collective ability to rise to the challenge. ARCO members provide a great service which delivers just what is needed – ensuring that everyone can access good housing with care and providing enough positive lifestyle reasons for people to choose this option.
Once people come in to contact with our members they tend to be overwhelmingly positive – and new developments very quickly seem to beget their own demand as local communities realise just what it is they are offering.
So for the next ten years at ARCO we’ll be doing all we can to bring more people into contact with Retirement Communities in as many ways as we can – and to help to do our bit in meeting the social care challenge along the way.