Retirement communities in Britain: a ‘third way’ for the third age?

Judith Phillips, Miriam Bernard, Simon Biggs and Paul Kingston

in Inclusive housing in an ageing society

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861342638
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302582 | DOI:
Retirement communities in Britain: a ‘third way’ for the third age?

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Until recently, the idea of retirement communities has been slow to gather momentum in Britain compared to the United States and parts of Europe, but in the current policy context this might be expected to change. Retirement communities are promoted as new living arrangements, which concentrate on an empowering, anti-institutional, safe environment, and which can significantly improve the quality of life of older people. This chapter provides a summary on the historical growth of retirement communities in the US and Europe, examines literature on the logic and critique of such provision and discusses whether such communities do herald the development of new lifestyles or whether they are simply a further form of institutional care.

Keywords: retirement communities; Britain; United States; Europe; institutional care; older people

Chapter.  9186 words. 

Subjects: Gerontology and Ageing

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