As published in The Boomer lift-out of The Advertiser in August 2018.
It’s no secret that Australia’s population is ageing – in fact, by 2050, close to 1 in 4 Australians will be aged 65 or over.
Not only are Australians living longer but, in general, we’re also enjoying a higher quality of health and mobility as we get older. With this, we will see more and more demand in the coming years for suitable independent living options for retirees and older people.
Many seniors are well-positioned to make the most of their retirement years, maintaining an active, social and fun lifestyle. This desire and ability to ‘add life to years’ focuses on the benefits of a good quality of life – mentally, physically and socially – as critical in ageing well and maintaining independence.
At Uniting Communities, we are certainly seeing our customers think outside the square about their lifestyle and living choices as they age.
Many people choose to remain independent in their home for as long as possible, often with support for tasks around the home or garden. With plenty of options to get out and about and participate in groups and activities, people are also able to maintain a well-rounded, interesting social life and a strong connection to the local community.
Others are seeking newer alternatives to traditional retirement living, particularly in desirable locations close to the city and inner suburbs where options have previously been limited.
A 2014 Property Council of Australia study showed that lack of appropriate retirement housing has meant seniors are less able to retire in or near their home suburb. As a result, they have ended up further from the CBD and city fringe, a trend particularly noticeable in Adelaide.
The 20-storey U City development in Adelaide’s CBD will offer older South Australians an alternative. From the upper six levels of the 6-star Green Star building, residents will enjoy vibrant city living in their retirement years, close to restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
The development will also incorporate disability accommodation, community services, and retail and hospitality spaces, bringing together residents and tenants in a sustainable ‘vertical village’ environment.
In focusing on the keys to good quality of life in the retirement years, we will continue to see new and exciting options for seniors to feel connected, maintain independence and age well.