Are smart apartments the future of retirement housing?

4 years ago
3 minutes

It’s no secret that people are living longer, mainly thanks to advances in medicine and technology and there’s no sign of this trend changing — so the need for more retirement homes has drastically increased.

For many ageing residents nowadays, the length of life does not correspond to the quality. In other words, more and more elderly home buyers want the residence to be up-to-date with the latest technology to aid their experience at home.

The award-winning Cardinal Freeman Residences in Ashfield have responded to this trend, not only by offering luxury retirement living but also by presenting fully activated homes designed to let residents live on their own for longer and more independently.

credit: Stockland

Targeting tech-savvy retirees over 55, the apartments feature voice-activated devices that can give residents the ability to play music, select television channels, operate lights, blinds and appliances all with a spoken command.

“I think people would be extremely impressed and very relieved to have all this kind of assistance in daily living,” resident Sue Kane told 9News.

This assistance continues with the addition of door sensors where, for example, if a resident has a fall in the bathroom, the sensors can alert emergency services or a family member if the door isn't opened after a certain period of time.

credit: Stockland

The same sensors can be implemented to monitor medicine cabinets and can send alerts if the homeowners neglect to access it.

Simple voice commands like “good morning” can begin a sequence of pre-programmed events, such as the blinds opening, the kettle boiling and the television turning on.

These residences are also environmentally friendly, with the potential to save 10 to 15 per cent of the resident’s energy bills via a self-regulating temperature control unit. 

credit: Stockland

To ensure the more elderly residents know what they’re doing, training sessions in the technology and 24-hour technical support is offered, with their homes set up to meet their specific needs.

“This is the future of retirement living,” explained Stockland regional development manager Calum Ross.

“More importantly, the smart apartment has been designed for our residents to age in place, meaning that people can live in their home and be independent for much longer.

“I think the older generations are really coming to technology at a rapid rate. They are starting to see the benefits it can bring to their daily living and in extending their independence in their homes.”

With the apartments valued at $1.4m, it’s not exactly an answer to more affordable retirement homes — at least, until this kind of technology becomes more accessible.

credit: Grandton Limited and Norup + Wilson

But this appears to be the general trend, with Grandton Applecross in Perth developing something similar. Grandton Limited is collaborating with builder Norup + Wilson on Grandton Applecross, an 84-apartment project designed to offer residents a special place to live in their later years.

The project will feature first-class amenities, including a rooftop ‘skydeck’ and garden with city views, an onsite cafe, a heated indoor pool, a gym, yoga room, cinema, in-room dining service, specialist 10-bed boutique care suite, and 24-hour nursing staff. 

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