Most residents satisfied with retirement homes, survey reveals

9/10 elderly people enjoy life in their retirement home

9/10 elderly people enjoy life in their retirement home - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nine out of 10 elderly people love living in retirement homes or enjoy it most of the time, according to a new report.

The study, carried out by the NHBC Foundation, found there is high demand for more quality retirement housing.

Residents cited companionship and community spirit as the biggest benefits of living in a development for older adults.

It is expected that by 2022, 6.6m UK residents will be 75 or older, thanks to an aging population.

The NHBC research revealed that one million elderly people say they would consider moving into retirement homes – but only 128,000 homes are estimated to have been build for private sale.

The NHBC says that building more of these properties would bring significant benefits for the elderly, allowing them to live independently for longer while freeing up homes for younger families.

Downsizing was the main motivation for moving, including a wish to reduce home maintenance.

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Almost two thirds of elderly people (63 per cent) gave downsizing as the main reason, with 59 percent wanting to be in a safe and secure environment. Being close to family and having access to support services were also important.

The report ‘Retirement housing – residents’ experiences’ examines whether current retirement meets the needs of residents and provides key recommendations for house builders and developers on future improvements. These include car parking, suitable kitchen and bathroom design layouts and minimal defects.

The study centred on six retirement developments with almost 400 homes. Questionnaires were completed by 284 residents and a fifth attended focus groups.

Neil Smith, group research and innovation manager at NHBC, said: “Our research found that there is a high demand for more retirement homes in the UK. Many people are keen to downsize from larger homes but there is a lack of suitable options.

“There is no doubt that retirement houses bring huge benefits to society by allowing elderly peple to live independently for longer within a supportive community of like-minded people.

“Living in retirement housing frees elderly people from the burdens of maintaining a larger home and garden and brings wider benefits to society by freeing up larger homes for younger families and releasing capital.”