The article focuses on the lack of retirement housing options for New Zealand’s seniors and poses the question; “Does current retirement accommodation really meet baby boomer expectations?” Blair Keenan writes, “the retiring generation – baby boomers – are refusing to give up the lifestyle they worked so hard to create, and rightly so. While they are looking for suitable accommodation as they age, no longer are they willing to sacrifice location, style, and amenity.”
“There are hundreds of rest home beds in parts of the country that lie empty, and it’s not because there is no demand. It seems odd for so many beds in such a high demand market to lie empty, but it goes a long way to show those retiring are simply not interested in giving up what they’ve got. Residents in seniors living and aged care have never been spoilt for choice. There have been so few options for them, the sector has got used to matching the stock that’s currently in the market because they knew it would fill up. That trend is slowly dissolving, but quality solutions are not yet the standard practice.”
“Compare the current stock to what baby boomers are currently calling home. The whole design process needs to shift away from things like long corridors and open central communal living spaces. While elements of the design of retirement and aged care developments will reflect the residents’ age, the reality is there are certain expectations we need to match. We should no longer treat retirement and aged care developments as less important – and we have to be clever and innovative about accommodating the care factor. It’s a really exciting time to be designing seniors living and aged care developments because it allows us to break the mold of the previously dreary retirement and aged care centres and create something that people are attracted to.”
“As architects, it’s our role to constantly innovate and challenge the status quo and it’s up to us to create new paradigms for this sector. We need to help change perceptions about retirement and aged care and shift the mindset from seeing a retirement village as the last resort into something that is a lifestyle choice.”
Blair Keenan is the Principal of the Marchese Partners Auckland Studio and is committed to bringing alternative solutions to the Seniors Living and Aged Care sector in New Zealand. To read the entire article, visit Trends Ideas. For More information on Marchese Partners’ Seniors Living and Aged Care philosophy, visit Esprit de Vie.
Blair Keenan talks to TRENDS Magazine
May 2, 2017