With figures showing that the over 65s will account for almost 60 percent of the increase in households by 2033, Riverside’s Executive Director of Care and Support Leann Hearne is championing a fresh approach to retirement housing for the 50 plus generation who want great homes, with the added support that retirement living brings when provided by social landlords like Riverside.
“When I am looking for a place to stay I want a choice of contemporary design, great facilities, the option of onsite social activities and at a rate that doesn’t break the bank,” said Leann Hearne. “These are exactly the things that people look for when they are thinking about moving from their current family homes into retirement housing and this is what social landlords should be delivering.
As part of marking the corporate rebrand to Retirement Living, Leann Hearne is championing the wellbeing and social side of retirement living by helping promote activities such as a healthy eating sessions for Riverside’s customers. These have included joining one of Riverside’s partners, Can Cook, in a healthy cooking demonstration during which each retirement living customer was gifted a slow cooker and healthy eating recipe book.
Can Cook’s Development Manager, Laura McCumiskey, said: “At Can Cook we are excited to open our first Food Hub. Riverside Housing have designed an innovative scheme and in keeping with their innovation, we have set up the Hub to ensure that all their customers have access to fresh food. We look forward to meeting them all and offering everyone who visits the Hub, great food.”
Two of Riverside’s newest customers who have just moved into their own retirement living apartment, Mr and Mrs Moore, flagged up the importance of the social side of living as part of a retirement community in ensuring that people do not feel isolated.
Mrs Moore said “A place like this can bring you out of yourself as you’ve got company and if you’re fed up you only have to come to the café to share a cup of tea.”
Mr Moore added the other great aspect of having your own apartment in a retirement complex by concluding: “But when you’ve had enough of company you can just walk away back to your flat!”
With around 5,000 units of retirement living accommodation provided in over 200 housing schemes nationwide Riverside’s team have carried out a wide-ranging consultation with staff and customers as part of their rebrand. Riverside Head of Retirement Living, Alison Halstead, who led the consultation said: “It was a fantastic lesson hearing what our customers wanted from their retirement housing and great to hear them describing themselves as “recycled teenagers who don’t do boring in their lives or homes”!
Nationwide the rebrand was launched in September.