Retirement Homesearch has produced a brief guide to planning for your needs in old age.
This follows evidence in their 2017 survey suggesting that we are still underestimating the need for care and support in our autumn years.
In the survey of 1,000 UK over-50s, ‘younger’ respondents (i.e. aged 50 to 59) consistently rated availability of care and medical services as a lower priority in choosing their retirement housing than older respondents. 42% of respondents aged 50-54 rated proximity of medical services as ‘very important’. But this rose to 66% amongst the over-75s.
This supports a body of evidence showing that we fail to understand our likely care needs – or the associated costs that we will have to shoulder – until it is too late.
Retirement Homesearch Managing Director, Nick Freeth, said:
“It is a real worry that we give so little consideration to the likely increase in health problems and decrease in our mobility in old age. Getting about the house, maintaining your home, getting to the shops, engaging socially with the world around you: we all know that these things can become challenging as we grow old.
“But if we think ahead, we can make choices that will help to stave off these problems and extend the time we can live independently. We can also prepare to mitigate these issues, making plans and financial provision for support. “There is an urgent need for us as individuals and as a nation to be better prepared.”
The survey showed that 19% of UK over-50s believe it ‘likely’ that they will spend their autumn years in a purpose-built retirement community. Such housing can prevent ill health and produce better outcomes for the individual, while saving both the older person and the state unnecessary care costs.
Yet such housing comprises just 2% of existing housing stock.
The guide, Focus on: the future, is published in the latest RHS Quarterly review