Changing face of ageing demands new approach to senior living

Baby Boomers are ageing, but they aren’t getting ‘old’.


“Virtual reality, new services, multi-generational communal living and other innovative accommodation models – this is the future of senior living and the revolution has already begun”, said Professor Laurie Buys, a QUT researcher from the Institute of Future Environments at the recent launch of Senior Living Innovation, a unique partnership between QUT, RSL Care + RDNS, Aveo, Stockland, Ballycara and the IRT Group.


Professor Buys said the Baby Boomer generation expected to lead an active life and maintain their contribution and value within their community.


“In contrast, society views ageing as a problem or challenge to be managed,” she said.


“The concept of dependency is not responsive to complex consumer expectations. Our research aims to discover what developers, planners and service providers need to consider in order to meet future demand.


“Senior Living Innovation is leading the way with an Australian-first research initiative that challenges attitudes towards ageing and reconceptualises the experience of ageing.


“Ultimately, we want to facilitate and maintain community engagement and create great living environments for older Australians.


“By working with leading industry partners we are taking an important new approach to positively shaping the future of Australians as they age.


“The industry has an opportunity to challenge traditional stereotypes and assumptions of ageing and develop new business models that reinvent the ageing experience and support health and wellbeing through all life stages.”


Professor Buys said Australians have one of the longest life expectancies in the world.


“By 2050, one in four Australians will be older than 65 years and by 2031, the number of older Australians requiring access to both community support and residential aged care will increase 63%, to 1.4 million (ABS, 2005),” she said.


“The World Health Organisation advocates active ageing and has identified health, participation and security as the three key factors that enhance quality of life for people as they age. It’s an enormously important issue that has been overlooked for far too long.”


Senior Living Innovation aims to inform policy development and decision-making in the senior living industry. It seeks to provide answers on where current and future seniors want to live, how they want to live in their community and the role that technology will play.


See the Senior Living Innovation website for more information.


See also the article “Latest ISOfocus brings benefits of ageing”.


11 June 2017.