From single-occupant to multi-storey dwellings, every aged care facility should be designed with its potential occupant in mind. Unlike when designing for a young couple or established family, it’s essential to understand that not only do residents eat and sleep there, they spend a great deal of time there every day. Therefore the facility should reflect their lifestyle, needs and interests. And while most Australian aged care facilities are well-equipped to meet the needs and demands of current residents, few are prepared for the ‘new’ generation of retirees.
Facilities and services offered by most aged care homes are unlikely to appeal to the current influx of retiring baby boomers, because they live differently. To capitalise on this trend, aged care architecture and marketing is changing drastically. As of recently, facilities are most likely to appeal to retirees if it features wiFi, Smart TVs and menus accessible via Tablet, as opposed to bingo and craft days. This is because technological advances have become part of the retiring generation’s lifestyle, and taking it away would affect the way they spend time.
Upon retirement, the number one concern is always disconnection from the community and social circles. And, thanks to social media platforms (i.e. Facebook and Twitter) and smartphone technology, this generation of retirees is more connected to the wider world than ever before. Therefore, it stands to reason that if access to this technology is taken away, the fear of being disconnected from the community will intensify. Put simply, new aged care facilities will either cater for this demand or risk demise.
In addition to providing entertainment, new technology must address residents’ health and safety concerns. Perhaps the greatest technological advancement in the aged care sector is Internet Protocol Television (IPTV). IPTV is a truly integrated solution, which can provide:
*Nurse call integration
*TV conference calls to family and friends
*Multi-device integration (i.e. iPad, Tablet and Smartphone)
*Service and food ordering via TV terminals
*Patient surveys accessed through TV, and;
*On- and off-site training content for staff
Before the 21st century, young people outnumbered senior citizens. By 2050, however, older people will outnumber young people. So, it is imperative that the modern aged care facility caters for the needs and interests of its residents. The needs of tech-savvy baby boomers demand a change in aged care design.
From there, it’s up to designers and village managers to provide residents with suitable facilities and entertainment which keep pace with the ever-changing technological landscape.
For more up to date information on getting the most out of your aged care facility, call the team at MDF Group, on 02 9742 5001.