Design Innovation Key to Seniors Housing Plan
The success of Western Australia’s new housing plan for seniors will depend on the housing system embracing innovation in the design and delivery of age-friendly communities, according to a leading designer of retirement villages and age-care facilities.
“It’s great that smart design is central to Western Australia’s new five-year plan to provide more housing choices for seniors”, said KPA Director Todd Paterson.
“Innovation is necessary to keep up with the rapidly changing housing needs of seniors.
“The state government’s Ageing with Choice: Future Directions for Seniors Housing, released this week found there will be more than 500,000 people aged over 65 in WA by 2026. This is a 40% increase on current numbers.
“The biggest challenge will be providing more opportunity for seniors to remain in areas that they are familiar. This includes more compact housing with smart features close to local amenities as well as modern care facilities.
“Our clients want housing and facilities that are safe, close to amenities like the local shops, and adaptable to their needs.
“Some of the highlights in the new plan that we like are:
– locating liveable design homes near public transport, services and amenity,
– encouraging adaptable housing through the planning system,
– enabling more continuum of care for older people,
– incorporating more dementia-friendly design, and
– more supply of diverse and flexible housing options including dual-key and ancillary dwellings.
“Integrating more seniors housing in established areas of Perth is good for local businesses and communities that benefit from the richer social interaction.
“Hopefully the new seniors housing plan will be the catalyst for overcoming some of the resistance to greater housing densities and locating new care facilities”, said Mr Paterson.
Image: KPA Architects – Italian Aged Care