Ministers highlight role of retirement communities in health and social care

Caroline Dinenage MP addresses the ARCO conference in London

Retirement communities will have a major role to play in meeting the housing and care needs of the country’s ageing population, the care minister has said.

Speaking at ARCO’s What Next? 2019 Conference, Caroline Dinenage MP said housing-with-care would help to keep older people healthier, more active and less lonely, as well as freeing up family homes.

She added retirement communities could fill the gap between living independently at home and care homes.

The MP for Gosport said the government was committed to publishing is long-awaited social care green paper, adding that delays had been ‘frustrating’ and the document had not been left ‘stuck on a shelf’.

She told the audience of more than 400 people the green paper would not be a ‘panacea’ or ‘silver bullet’ but that it would start a conversation on the future of social care. ‘We need to find the balance of responsibility between individuals and the state and the funding of long-term care,’ she told the conference.

In a video address Housing Minister Kit Malthouse called on the sector to be ambitious in its expansion plans, particularly in the mid-market.

Michael Voges, ARCO executive director said: ‘Today we heard a clear message that government recognises the importance of our sector and wants – in fact needs – us to grow significantly over the coming years.

‘Our sector is ready to play a major role in tackling the housing and social care challenges at the same time. If the government follows through on the commitments made today we will see an unprecedented boom in our sector over the coming decade. Hundreds of thousands of older people will benefit as a result.’