Older people should be offered accommodation in bright, purpose-built communities instead of the shabby and cramped care homes where many now reside, according to a new report.
The provision of desirable retirement homes would encourage pensioners to sell their current properties, giving young families a greater chance of raising their children in suburban homes with gardens, it says.
The Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) was commissioned by Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health to come up with creative proposals to improve housing for older people.
After visiting ‘model’ retirement communities in European countries including Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden it has called for a local authorities and housebuilders to radically rethink their approach to elderly accommodation.
The best developments all had ‘space, light, accessibility and a shared sense of purpose’, with large communal areas where residents could socialise, it found.
The panel said there was no reason why homes in the UK could not be architecturally interesting and built in desirable neighbourhoods.