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Dedicated retirement accommodation for seafarers remains popular in the UK, but it's important for facilities to move with the times. ANDREW LININGTON heard the latest thinking from the country's main maritime accommodation-providers…
Maritime charities are facing growing challenges in providing residential and care facilities for retired seafarers, Nautilus welfare manager Mick Howarth told the Seafarers' Welfare Conference in November 2018.
As one of four expert speakers in a special session at the event, he talked of the constant problem of ﬁnding funding in a time of increased demand for services, more complex care needs, and growing and changing regulatory requirements.
Mr Howarth said there are 686 seafarer-speciﬁc homes around the UK and around 168 seafarer-speciﬁc care home places, and there has been concern that much of the social care provision for retired mariners is outdated.
Research shows that demand for these places will continue to increase until around 2035, he added, and as retired seafarers are – like the general population – living longer than they used to, there is a growing need for specialist care and support.
Someone over 85 is 10 times more likely to need this assistance than someone aged 65, Mr Howarth pointed out, and there is an increasing incidence of dementia, disabilities and health problems.
The Nautilus Welfare Fund (NWF) charity has sought to stay one step ahead, ﬁlling a gap in the spectrum of support by opening the Trinity House Hub to provide retired seafarers and their dependants with their own apartments, but with 24/7 stafﬁng on site.
Helping older residents to remain independent in their retirement homes is extremely beneficial and cost-effective