How do we design for the baby boomer influx?


Thinking unconventionally for the future of Integrated Seniors Housing. by Danny Hammon, Woollam Constructions.

The baby boomer influx is upon us, so how do we accommodate a lifestyle desire that’s vastly different to previous generations while also providing care?

It’s the question several providers had posed to us. They know how to provide care. They know how to design for care. They know how to provide retirement living and they know the processes and procedures to deliver these models.

But providing a care model integrated with a lifestyle-centric residential setting is throwing some new challenges:

What does the model look like?

What services will our customers expect?

How do I integrate care with lifestyle without it feeling like a care facility?

How do I staff such a model?

How do I overcome funding constraints and the silos between service types?

So we packed our bags, grabbed ten of Australia’s top care providers, a representative from Leading Age Services Australia and set off for the United Kingdom to tour 15 of the country’s most significant private and public retirement villages.

We toured the epitome of class. A high-rise inner-city village complete with top-shelf spirits in the lavish styled bar, curated designer furnishings and amenities akin to a luxury boutique hotel.

We toured a sprawling estate. An elegant manor neatly perched atop 66 acres of manicured Chelsea lawns; a castle-like facility catering to ex-servicemen and women with traditional military mess halls and resident uniform requirements.

We toured quintessential British communities. Impressive finishes, comforting homely environments, beautiful high-tea rooms and the highly desirable private courtyards with ivy-laden trellis.

Ok, these three examples do target the middle to upper class of English society and certainly aren’t going to be viable for all markets, nor all providers. But regardless of who they were targeting, most of the 15 villages we visited had one thing in common:

They’re providing a lifestyle choice rather than care.

Over and over, the Directors, CEOs, and Facility Managers at each community recounted how successful the offering is.

So how can we learn from these international models?

How do we incorporate unconventional thinking into Australia’s existing models?

And more importantly, what is the most viable way to offer a holistic long-term lifestyle choice in the current Australian person-centred care market?

Over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my insights and key learnings from UK providers that have successfully achieved an integrated model. I’ll share;

  • How to design for lifestyle, not life critical needs
  • Making the most of your community grounds: Ideas for generating alternative revenue streams
  • Thinking out of the box – how to look to other industries for guidance, innovations, mistakes and lessons
  • Your brand identity – how do you maintain brand standards and consistency?

Stay tuned, and I look forward to engaging with you.


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