30 May, 2024

Rising above the 50s

Given Moreton Bay is one of Australia’s fastest growing regions, with the population forecast to grow by over 200,000 people by 2041, this means the senior and elderly population is also bound to grow substantially.

Rising above the 50s - feature photo

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of residents over 50 years old will be almost 400,000 by 2046, an increase of nearly 300%.

A Moreton Bay Council spokesperson has added that the number of people aged over 65 will increase by 44 per cent in just ten years.

With this sprout of aging residents, comes the demand for affordable living arrangements, that are also safe and healthy, both physically and mentally.

This means a probable large increase in retirement villages and over 50s living resorts.

“With an aging population comes the demand for different types of housing including retirement villages”, the Council spokesperson said.

“City of Moreton Bay welcomes housing diversity that meets the needs of all people - and this changes over a person’s lifetime.”

Program Coordinator of Urban Design and Town Planning at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Dr Nicholas Stevens, says an increase in these developments could be beneficial in reducing the current housing crisis.

“It could be viewed as positive if people are moving to these types of developments to ‘right size’ their lifestyles, and therein making available to the market a family home which is no longer suited their purposes”, he said.

“There are perhaps no major downsides in having a larger over 50s population– this is a cohort of the population who may indeed have a higher level of disposable income, and if that is being spent in the local community – that is great.

“They are generally high users of a range of commercial and retail facilities, and often quite active in their local communities.”

According to Dr Stevens, there are many reasons these over 50s or retirement villages are so popular for the ageing population.

“There have always been ‘gated’ communities, where people of a similar age or stage seek to live with other liked minded individuals”, he said.

“Aging individuals are often empty nest couples and individuals looking to downsize from perhaps what was the family home.

“It is a type of housing and community that may suit work retired, but not lifestyle retired people – they can be amongst similar people, they can lock up and travel, there is often an enhanced sense of safety in this type of community.

“Many also have facilities, such as pools and gyms available, but without the burden of individual maintenance.”

Dr Stevens also adds that being over 50 and moving to a retirement village doesn’t mean you have stopped living. You have just decided on how to age.

“The current generation isn’t retiring from life, and over 50 now can expect 25 – 35 years of quality living ahead of them, and they have choice in the way that this happens.”

Owner and director of Sunnymeade Aged Care Community, Anthony Walker, has echoed Dr Stevens views on why people may prefer these villages as they get older, adding that these living communities also add and important social factor and physical factor.

“Living here, people can socialise and be involved in activities outside of the home, which adds a great benefit to their mental health, which they may not have if they still lived on their own”, he said.

“Our residents are also welcome to have pets, which helps them not feel alone.

“They find it’s much better to continue living and be surrounded by like-minded people, being able to contribute to a small community, all while having doctors and assistance available if they need it, as we have our aged care facility right next to the village.”

Mr Walker added he has noticed an increase in corporate and resort style villages over the past years, in contrast to his family owned Sunnymeade Park.


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