Kathryn Greiner wants an overhaul of the retirement village industry.

Seniors living knitted into skyscraper residential developments is the way of the future, experts say as they urge industry players to rethink the existing retirement-village model.

Kathryn Greiner, who chairs the NSW inquiry into retirement villages, recommends integrating designated seniors living apartments in medium or high-rise residential developments where people of all ages live. Retirement villages differ from aged-care facilities in the independence of its residents, whereas the latter offers a high level of personal care.

“The services can be bought in as needed and rather than having people siloed out into retirement villages here, yuppies here, Gen X there, you actually have a community and bring those things together. You use your built environment but you just deliver the services differently,” she told the audience at a Property Council of Australia event on Tuesday.

David Lane, ThomsonAdsett Architects’ director of seniors living, agreed that high-rise retirement living would become increasingly common.

“That’s certainly the direction I think it’s going,” Mr Lane said.

“I think the industry needs to start looking at what is its point of difference in the marketplace. What is the difference between retirement villages and a condominium cluster in Hong Kong, for example?”

Ms Greiner, who also chairs the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Ageing, cited an example of affordable housing mix in the Netherlands, the Humanitas Deventer, where free student accommodation is integrated into the retirement village. University students can live in the homes if they visit and interact with their older neighbours.

March 1 2018 ~ Alison Cheung ~ Reporter


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