The future of housing for older people look like?

Guild Living plans to open a new later living community in Epsom and provide a new and unique offer to the underwhelming options currently on the market. To hear more from the founders of Guild Living, Eugene Marchese and Michael Eggington, see the full release featured in Housing Today below.

Future of housing older people: unused NHS buildings turned into tree-lined square mixing children’s nursery, shops and housing with care.

  • Next generation later living community blending age-friendly housing, amenities and care
  • Public square to improve life for hospital staff and visitors
  • Transitional care suites to ease pressure on NHS

A new mixed-use scheme blending housing and care for older people with a range of facilities designed to directly support Epsom Hospital is being planned in Surrey.

Unused NHS buildings are to be redeveloped into one of a new breed of later living schemes being planned by Guild Living, a business set up in partnership with Legal & General to create and manage housing for older people.

The project will include 300 homes designed with the help of leading academics to enable older people to live independently using the latest technology, alongside places for families to stay when visiting.

The homes will be set alongside publicly accessible facilities – such as a wellness and fitness centre, restaurants, bars and GP consultation rooms –  facing onto a tree-lined public square. The architecture blends the traditional aesthetic of the Surrey town, providing new leafy public areas that will enhance access between Epsom General Hospital and surrounding green spaces.

As well as offering tailored care for residents – as and when they need it – Guild Living’s plans also include a children’s nursery and rooms for relatives to stay. The BAFTA-award winning TV show Old People’s Home for 4-Year Olds highlighted the benefits of encouraging children to interact more with older people. When older adults contribute to the well-being of youth, it cultivates a sense of purpose and extends benefits both ways, according to a recent Stanford report.

As well as freeing up family housing in the surrounding area, Guild Living’s plans will play a key role in supporting Epsom Hospital, creating cafes, restaurants and community spaces set in a tree-lined mini-market square that offers visitors somewhere to take friends and family.

To further support the local services transitional care suites will be included within Guild Living’s scheme – ensuring patients recovering from hospital care can transition back to living independently without the isolation of staying on a hospital ward.

In its submission to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council, Guild Living’s plan includes 300 homes around a variety of public and private spaces, together with 24-hour support that steps up as and when it is needed. Uniquely, Guild Living’s focus is on ensuring older people can live in the centre of towns, which is a potential boon for local businesses which stand to benefit from significant footfall driven by staff, residents and visitors.

The call to “reinstate older people back into our minds and into the hearts of communities” follows widespread discussion around fighting the stigma of loneliness and dealing with the increasing challenges of an ageing population.

 

Eugene Marchese, co-founder and director at Guild Living said: “There’s a significant issue around loneliness and isolation for older people that needs to be tackled. That’s why we are focused on town-centre sites, allowing us to create real intergenerational communities that offer residents somewhere safe and secure to live.

“We are committed to working closely with Epsom General Hospital to help improve the entire area for hospital staff, visitors and residents. This is a truly unique opportunity to deliver vital housing for older people, helping people live independently and safe in the knowledge that care is there if it’s needed.

“Because we are in partnership with  Legal & General, residents will have confidence that we are committed to Epsom for the long term. All the facilities we are planning – wellness facilities, cafes and social spaces – are designed to bring people together as we want to promote multi-generational living and not create the kind of retirement ghetto many people associate with traditional retirement living.”

 

Michael Eggington, co-founder and CEO of Guild Living said: “Britain is facing up to the reality that our ageing population and social care crisis means we have to do things differently and look at how we bring older people closer to us, helping them live healthier for longer.

“If we can get people outside interacting with various facilities and local green space, it gives people somewhere they can relax, offering a much nicer experience both for residents and people visiting loved ones. Because we have long-term capital from Legal & General, we are able to take a different approach than traditional developers can and our ambition for Epsom is to create a project that pushes the boundaries in terms of quality and design.”