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Specialised dementia housing – an emerging market

October 16, 2018

Commercial property consultancy Knight Frank has released its latest Retirement Living report: The importance of dementia-friendly Retirement Living, which says there is scope for the development of specialist retirement living units for people with dementia.

The report identifies dementia as one of the major public health issues of the 21st century, owing to an aging population, with a million people having the condition by 2025. By 2050 this will double to two million people.

Knight Frank’s report puts the current cost of dementia in the UK at £29bn per year, forecasting it to rise to £55bn by 2040.

“Dementia has higher health and social care costs than cancer and chronic heart disease combined,” says the report.

“It is set to hit $1trillion globally this year, larger than the annual GDP of more than 170 individual countries around the world.” The report presents the following findings:

  • 39% of those living with dementia over 65 are living in either residential care or nursing homes. This leaves almost 500,000 over-65s with dementia who are currently living outside of a specialist care environment.
  • Those with dementia could spend £100,000 on their care over their lifetime, meaning it would take 125 years to save for this if an individual saved at the same rate as their pension.
  • On average, the total cost of care is higher when an individual lives in a community setting i.e. a family home, compared to a residential setting i.e. care home.
  • The market for specialised dementia housing in the UK is relatively immature, with a lack of adequate accommodation to support and cater for a person with a mild form of dementia.
  • The UK lags behind countries such as Australia, France, and the US which have a range of options for those living with dementia.

Knight Frank’s report opines that specialist retirement living units, designed to accommodate dementia sufferers, would provide a cost-effective way to deliver care whilst enabling residents to keep their independence.

Marchese Partners, an Australian-based firm of architects, master planners and interior designers has devised a series of design principles based around familiarity, legibility, distinctiveness, accessibility, connectivity, safety and choice.

The report suggests that, by following these design principles centred around the individual and their wellbeing, residents, irrespective of age or levels of care, can live in retirement living schemes together.

  • The report can be downloaded at: https://content.knightfrank.com/research/696/documents/en/uk-retirement-living-the-importance-of-dementia-friendly-retirement-living-5857.pdf

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