Aug 02, 2017

High-Rises and Hotels: The Future of Aged Care Design?

When most people think of aged care – whether it be for themselves or for loved ones – many people imagine something cozy and homey.

Though aged care could never replace the family home, aged care acts like a new “home” for the resident.

Most facilities boast of their exquisite communal dining areas, facilities and activities for people to enjoy and gardens that the residents can spend time in.

But as the ageing population grows, and the demand for aged care increases, aged care is evolving and operators are finding new places to offer care.

So are these the best way to accommodate the growing demands? Or are they too “different” for a generation that are used to living in suburban houses?

High-Rises for the Elderly?

One aged care provider, Tricare, are planning on building a high-rise aged care in the south-west of Brisbane.

The proposed plan is for three glass-panelled towers of nine to 16 storeys, which is to be fast-tracked for assessment by the Brisbane City Council.

Last year developer incentives were introduced to help boost aged care and retirement beds in Brisbane – a boost that will surely been seen by creating tall buildings with more than double the rooms of an average facility on that size of land.

This “high rise” model of aged care if one of the first of it’s kind in Australia. Since introducing the develop incentives, more than 2,000 beds and units approved across 19 aged care and retirement developments – but none in structures like these.

The developments have caused outrage in the local community because of the sheer size of the proposed plans, which are nearly double the current heights in the suburb.

Though many locals are against it, the council are conflicted. Projections for the city show that they need an annual increase of more than 3,000 beds to keep up with the ageing population.

A final decision on these Taringa high rise proposal is due in the next few months.

A Former Hotel turned Aged Care?

On the other coast of Australia, another innovative aged care proposal has come in the form of a five-star hotel.

The Richardson was once Perth’s exclusive hotel for the stars, but now it could become a high-end aged-care facility by the end of the year.

At this time a change-of-use development application has been lodged with the City of Perth.

The Richardson opened in West Perth in 2006, with 74 rooms designed by British architect Sir Terry Farrell.

Located close to Perth’s central business district, having an aged care facility near the city may be an ideal option for older people who live centrally and would not want to move into a suburban aged care facility.

Though the hotel may not have wide open spaces and gardens, it does have rooms and a dining area that could be easily transformed for aged care.

Converting hotels into aged-care facilities could become a trend with the cut-throat hotel market emerging in Australia’s capital cities.

Aged care is evolving, and operators are now looking for new ways to accommodate the booming ageing population. Time will tell if these ideas are too “non-traditional” to work or if they are innovation that can be adopted.

Would you ever consider staying in a high rise aged care facility? Or a former hotel near the city?

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