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Retirement villages cautiously welcomed

6th April 2006

Help the Aged has cautiously welcomed a report suggesting that older people are increasingly attracted by the prospect of living in retirement villages.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report suggests that retirement villages that provide the elderly with on site care services have been met with favour because of the mixture of independence and security they offer.

The villages tend to have over 100 properties, with cafes, craft rooms and fitness areas often provided.

Help the Aged fears that the villages are aimed at wealthier pensioners and warned that good housing and facilities should be available to all.

"Retirement villages are a welcome step, but they are not the be all and end all when it comes to housing options. A 'one-size fits all' approach would not be the right route," said the group's policy manager David Sinclair.

He added that the majority of pensioners still live in conventional housing and that "newly built, high quality social housing should be made available to older people on low incomes which can often be better suited to their needs".

Bristol, Warrington and York all have retirement villages, with many more in the pipeline.