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‘Not just for the elderly’: Retirement homes in for shake-up

Retirement homes

Retirement villages of the future will have a focus on multi-generational living and wellness, while wearable devices will monitor residents, UBS has predicted.

In a recent report, the investment bank argued the vision for Australia’s ageing population is “exciting”, with a future closer to German or Swedish living styles.

“Some [homes] are based upon philosophiess of anthroposophy (using natural means to optimise health and wellness), like Ytterjarna in Sweden,” the report said.

“Germany’s multigenerational centres (mehrgenerationenhäuser) combine seniors, health, preschool and youth groups in the same premises, with the UK and US to follow the same approach.”

Or Australia could follow Austria’s example, with villages dedicated to communal living for both families and senior citizens.

The village in question, Miss Sargfabrik village, features communal-access balconies which facilitate a social atmosphere. 

“Mado, a multigenerational village in Georgia (United States), utilises a combination of everything, featuring medicinal gardens, community activities and multiple housing options. The site features a 25-acre organic farm, seasonal farmers' markets, art galleries and a range of public events,” the report said.

With this in mind, UBS predicted the future is multi-generational towns that focus on wellness and health.

Residents’ differing housing needs will be met by independent living, communal and high care accommodation.

Additionally, aged care villages are more likely to be high-density, built on top of or adjacent to shopping centres and medical centres.

However, the independence could come at the price of wearable devices, which would monitor residents and their health.

UBS investment analyst Pat Barrett said the next decade of real estate changes will “dwarf the past century of advancements”.

Innovators like Elon Musk are working on brain-machine interfaces, which will connect humans and computers, while Bill Gates works on converting sewage into drinkable water and global decarbonisation. 

“Innovation has had a profound impact on the world and investment markets. In just a century we've moved from horse-drawn ploughs to GPS guided tractors, steam powered trains to automated metro systems, and from telescopes to cars in space,” Mr Barrett said.

“Businesses must evolve and so too does the real estate sector.”

Speaking last week, the executive director of the Property Council of Australia’s retirement living arm, Ben Myers, acknowledged the benefit of communal living for retirees and older citizens.

“Retirement communities can extend people’s ability to live independently by five years on average, and allow for shorter hospital stays and a reduced need for GP visits,” he said.

‘Not just for the elderly’: Retirement homes in for shake-up
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