Ageing populations, although exhibiting marked differences across countries and cultures, are a global phenomenon. Old-age dependency ratios in most developed countries are projected to double by the year 2050. In Australia there will be a strain on economic growth as a large part of the population moves from pre-retirement to post-retirement age over the next 25 years. A disproportionate amount of this strain will be concentrated in aged-care housing or retirement accommodation. Current evidence suggests that existing housing stock for older people is inadequate. As the Australian population ages, the maintenance and long-term performance of retirement housing is a key concern of government and housing providers. This study looked at four aged-care or retirement providers across Australia and examined the performance of the current housing stock managed by these providers. The interviews revealed that housing design decisions in retirement stock, although critically important to the changing needs of occupants and the adequate supply of suitable housing, are often ill-considered. The findings critically question the idea of simply building ‘more of the same’ to relieve demand. This study has major implications for the future of Australian retirement housing, especially as the population ages dramatically.
Quality in Ageing and Older Adults – Pier Professional
Published: Sep 1, 2008
Keywords: housing older people