ARCO celebrates take-off of “Integrated Retirement Community”

ARCO is celebrating two years since the organisation launched the term to describe the modern Housing-with-Care schemes of its members

ARCO, the national body for operators of Integrated Retirement Communities, is celebrating two years since the organisation launched the term to describe the modern housing-with-care schemes of its members.

Since its launch, the term "Integrated Retirement Community" has seen remarkable growth. Google searches for the term have skyrocketed to over 14,000 results, marking a 250% increase in usage since its formal adoption by ARCO.

Over 100 UK organisations, including UK Government departments, news outlets and sector search portals, have embraced the term, demonstrating its broad appeal.

“Integrated Retirement Community” was introduced in November 2021 to help distinguish the sector from residential care homes and legacy Retirement Housing.

ARCO conducted extensive research, involving 600 older people, ARCO members, and stakeholders. The outcome was a unanimous preference for the term "Integrated Retirement Community”.

ARCO’s Chief Executive, Michael Voges, said:

“It is fantastic to see the term ‘Integrated Retirement Community’ become so embedded across the sector and beyond, just two years after its initial adoption by ARCO.

When ARCO adopted the term two years ago, we called on our members, the wider sector and the external landscape to follow suit and provide clarity on the sector’s offering that our 2020 research showed was desperately needed. I am delighted to see this has been achieved with the term’s widespread use by over 100 organisations.

‘Integrated Retirement Community’ is more than just a name. The term represents a blend of independence and support that people rightfully deserve the option of accessing as they reach older age. The rapid and widespread embrace of this term reflects a significant shift in how we view and value this option.”

To mark the anniversary, ARCO has launched a new briefing setting out the background to “Integrated Retirement Community and charting its use.


Notes to Editors

  1. Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs), sometimes known as ‘Housing-with-Care’ sit between mainstream housing and residential care. The key features of an Integrated Retirement Community are:
  • Every resident has their own front door, kitchen and bathroom
  • 24/7 onsite support
  • Extensive shared facilities - frequently including lounges, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, shops and other leisure facilities
  • Optional, onsite care and support services are designed to support older people to live independently for as long as possible.


Associated Retirement Communities Operator (ARCO) is the main body supporting Integrated Retirement Communities across the UK, setting standards for the sector, and representing the interests of consumers and providers at national level.


For Further Information, Please Contact