Internationally acclaimed gerontologist, Dr Bill Thomas, has joined the advisory board of start-up Evermore as the organisation gears up to revolutionise retirement living in the UK.

Evermore is a new housing and lifestyle model that combines attractive property with support services to help older people retain independence and control. Founded by Sara McKee, it will launch in 2014 and will radically change the housing choices available for people in later life and tackle social isolation among older people living alone.

Mrs McKee was inspired by Dr Thomas’s Green House Project in the US, which he founded in 2003 to provide housing for older people that look and feel like a real home while also delivering high quality care.  Research has shown the Green House model has improved the quality of life among residents, resulted in better quality of care, and created higher staff satisfaction compared to traditional retirement homes.

Dr Thomas joins Evermore at a crucial time for the organisation as it finalises the plans for its first Village in the north-west of England.  

Mrs McKee said: “We’re really excited that Bill is joining us ahead of the official launch and construction of our first Village. He is an internationally acclaimed expert in elderhood and geriatric medicine and brings with him more than 20 years’ experience in the aged care sector that will be hugely beneficial to our organisation. His vision and passion for re-imaging ageing is one that we share and it is an on honour to have him on board.”  

Dr Thomas said Evermore represented the opportunity to reinvent residential living for older people in the UK and welcome the opportunity to contribute to Evermore’s growth.

“It’s time to give older people a future they can look forward to rather than fear, one where later life can be a fulfilling and happy time. This is essential if we want to encourage everyone to plan for their older age, and I believe Evermore can transform the UK model in order to achieve this. I’m delighted to be part of the revolution,” Dr Thomas said.

Evermore is aimed at the self-funded registered care home market, worth £4.9billion annually (1). The first Evermore Village will feature a stylish complex of 70 self-contained apartments, clustered in households with communal living spaces. The apartments will be available for sale to single-occupiers, looking for an alternative to residential care that provides a great place to live and a home for life.

It delivers a genuinely integrated approach to older age care through a combined focus on great living space, hospitality and wellbeing.  The companionship the Evermore model provides not only enhances older people’s quality of life, but also their health and general wellbeing through ongoing contribution.

Research by Demos in September found 3.5 million over 60s are interested in buying a retirement property but only 100,000 retirement properties are available for sale – the equivalent of 2% of Britain’s housing stock.  While the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has predicted that the projected growth in the older population will require an increase in the stock of specialist housing between 40 and 70 percent over the next 20 years.

ENDS

Notes to editor

  1. Research published by HSC Partnership in September 2013 highlights that the self-funded registered care and nursing home market is worth £4.9billion annually.  Older people who pay entirely for their own care and support account for 45% of residential care home and 47.6% of nursing home places. (Dilnot 2011).