Councils should focus more on alternative methods of care such as retirement communities, according to a new report by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) and the County Council Network (CCN).
The report confirmed that a mere 0.6% of people over the age of 65 in England live in a retirement community.
This is despite evidence that they can aid the adult social care funding crisis by keeping people out of hospital for longer.
With the report stating that residents in these communities spend on average 12 days less in hospital than someone in regular housing, CCN and ARCO argued that councils and providers should be incentivised by the government to develop such facilities.
Retirement communities offer a middle ground between living alone and living in a care home. They offer health care facilities onsite, but allow the resident to maintain their freedom and independence while living near people of their own age.
Additionally, ARCO estimated that should 250,000 over-65s live in these communities by 2030, it would free up over 560,000 bedrooms, adding them back into the housing market.
The report also suggested other changes such as a more clearly defined set of names and definitions within the sector. It claimed that there are over 10 terms for retirement communities.
Councillor David Williams, chairman of CCN, said: “Retirement communities are currently a fringe part of the adult social care conversation, but the benefits they can bring to people’s wellbeing, reducing unnecessary hospital admissions, and freeing up half a million bedrooms, shows that they should be a prime part of the solution to many of the societal challenges we face.”