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Information for Professionals and Members of the Press

ARCO is the main body that represents retirement communities in the UK. The Association was formed to raise awareness of the retirement community model, which ARCO believes can provide a credible solution to the pressing challenge of how we meet the lifestyle, health and social care needs of our ageing population. Retirement communities may also be referred to as retirement villages; extra care housing; housing with care; assisted living; close care apartments; and independent living.


Enjoying tea (July '08)Quick facts about retirement communities

  • Retirement communities offer self-contained accommodation, primarily for older people, which can be purchased or rented with security of tenure.
  • There are currently 50,000 people living in retirement communities in the UK today.
  • Residents can take advantage of personal care that is delivered flexibly, usually by staff based on the premises, and have access to a wide range of additional domestic services (housing with care).
  • Residents can choose either to eat in their own homes or in a restaurant or communal dining area. All communal facilities are managed to encourage an active social programme in the community.
  • Retirement communities aim to provide residents with a home for life, enabling people to “age in place”.

Quick links

What is a retirement community?

What is ARCO?

How does ARCO set standards?

Recent press releases & materials