Despite a quarter of known coronavirus deaths being in care homes, the retirement property sector is not shying away from continuing to offer care

Jane Ashcroft CEO of Anchor Hanover, which operates a mix of care homes, retirement villages and housing with care models, told a webinar audience earlier today that despite the risks attached they were continuing to offer care in all their retirement communities. Furthermore they had launched a recent recruitment drive which had produced a surprisingly encouraging response.

“We are attracting people into the sector who have never worked in it before,” she told ‘What Now?’, a webinar hosted by ARCO (the Association of Retirement Community Operators), which looked at where the Retirement Community sector might be heading post-Covid 19.

“Care delivery is not without risk but part of our offering,” she asserted, adding a note of further optimism, “I am confident there will be support for housing-with-care models from local and central government too. The value of housing with care has been better understood in recent years.”

Phil Bayliss, CEO of Later Living at Legal and General, which are big players in the retirement property sector, added his voice to the commitment to continue to offer care at L&G’s Inspired Villages and Renaissance Villages. “Our future vision is to have care in house,” he declared. Currently it is outsourced.

And Philip Schmid, Senior Director at CBRE Operational Real Estate, asserted that Covid will go away but the need for quality care will not. “Care is a fundamental part of the whole in terms of retirement living,” he said.

Michael Voges, ARCO’s executive director, who hosted the webinar, added that there are 13 million surplus bedrooms in properties owned by the over 65s prompting a need for more homes for downsizers, particularly affordable, and a care model to offer support.