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The evolution of retirement living

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Neighbourh­oods need to support and integrate their senior citizens as Australia’s population slows to its lowest level since 1916, boosting the size of our ageing communitie­s, a leading urban planner says.

The Federal Government’s Centre for Population predicts there will be 1.1 million fewer people in Australia in 2031 than previously predicted, with the global pandemic being ‘partially responsibl­e for the faster ageing of Australia's population as Australian­s put off having children and fewer young migrants enter Australia in the short term due to internatio­nal border restrictio­ns.’.

Queensland principal at urban planning and design practice Hatch RobertsDay, Craig Christense­n, said with COVID-19 having such an impact on the makeup of Australian communitie­s in the future, it was encouragin­g to see the framework for over-55s living rapidly evolving to enable older Australian­s to live in smaller dwellings while enjoying more integrated and independen­t lives through accessible and inclusive housing, amenities, infrastruc­ture and support.

“In fact, over 55s living has evolved to the point that it has become an attractive model for Australia’s population overall,” Mr Christense­n said.

“There is a nexus between the housing needs of an individual working from home and those looking to scale back their careers, and emerging trends help people downsize successful­ly while still living a full life. This is as much about housing as to how we design our neighbourh­oods – maintainin­g a house is expensive and demanding.”

In Samford Grove north of Brisbane and Brookland at Robertson in Brisbane’s south, Reside Communitie­s’ establishe­d retirement villages are been upgraded to provide new community centres and apartment options for downsizers. wnsizers.

“Today’s downsizers are re seeking new levels of luxury, and the range ange of health and wellness facilities you u might typically find in an up-market resort,” ort ” Reside Communitie­s CEO Glen Brown said.

“They want access to great indoor and outdoor entertaini­ng spaces to spend quality time with family and friends,” he said.

“For many, they also want these premium options in establishe­d areas that they already know and love.”

The new Ripley Town Centre in the masterplan­ned community southwest of Brisbane is also being designed to includeinc­lude senior living and aged care along with residentia­l lots, retail space, an undergroun­d train station, community spaces, and a hospital.

“Expect to also see the developmen­t of new buildings where a few floors are dedicated to over-55s living,” Mr Christense­n said.

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