Retirement villages and related care services: Perceptions, preferences and needs of elderly consumers and providers in Cape Town

Froneman C.A. ; van Huyssteen M.K.R. ; van der Merwe I.J. (2004)


This article describes the findings of a study in the Cape Metropolitan Area and its fringe districts of the perceptions, preferences and needs of elderly persons and the views of housing providers for the elderly regarding retirement housing and related care services. Interviews were conducted with 228 sampled elderly persons in neighbourhoods with a high concentration of the elderly and in selected retirement villages in the study area. The views of experts on retirement housing and role players in the field of elderly care were elicited separately. The basic preferences of the elderly can be summarized as: renting residential units instead of buying them; no luxuries such as therapy services; safety considerations incorporated in the design of the interior of the units; being able to use their own furniture in the units; primary health care offered; availability of recreational facilities; good corporate management; and accessibility to essential general services (in terms of the location of the village). These findings are considered for consumers in different cultural and socio-economic groups and are also compared with the views of developers, housing providers and other role players. It is contended that - given the Government's new policy on housing and care for the elderly - the findings may assist the providers of retirement housing and related care services to understand the diversity of needs of the South African mature retirement market and to provide facilities and services accordingly.

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