New research will revolutionise our response to ageing in Australia
QUT and industry partners Aveo, Ballycara, RSL Care, Stockland and IRT have launched Senior Living Innovation, a major research initiative that aims to reconceptualise the experience of ageing in Australia, with a focus on the senior living industry.
Senior Living Innovation connects industry, academia and related organisations to address a number of industry challenges, changing consumer attitudes and technology as a new generation of Australians move towards older age. QUT’s Institute for Future Environments is heading the Senior Living Innovation research agenda under the leadership of Professor Laurie Buys.
Australians have one of the longest life expectancies in the world and the proportion of people aged over 65 is expected to more than double by 2055. But the way we age is changing.
“Baby Boomers are ageing, but they aren’t getting old.” said Professor Laurie Buys.
“They expect to lead an active life and maintain their contribution and value within their community. In contrast, society views ageing as a problem or challenge to be managed, which is a concept reflected in the traditional retirement ‘village’ model.”
“The concept of dependency is not responsive to the complex consumer expectations. Through our research we aim to discover what developers, planners and service providers need to consider in order to meet future demand. Ultimately, we want to facilitate independent living, community engagement and great living environments for senior Australians.”
"The industry has an opportunity to challenge traditional stereotypes and assumptions of ageing and develop new business models that reinvent the ageing experience and support health and wellbeing through all life stages."
Senior Living Innovation uses robust scientific research approaches including:
- Digital Media Research Centre (DMRC): advanced social media analysis provides rich insights into what the Australian public are saying about senior living environments and retirement on social media
- TrISMA (Tracking Infrastructure for Social Media Analysis): collects and analyses image and media posts from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Online community: explores the everyday experiences of over-50s to gain insights into how they perceive their living environment, personal wellness and community connectedness
- Community engagement: QUT provided visitors to the Teneriffe Gasworks community the opportunity to contribute ideas around issues of community living by drawing a picture, writing a note or interacting with digital media
- Industry workshop series: explores ways in which cutting-edge research and emerging technologies - from robotics and virtual reality to information services and design-led innovation - could transform business models in the senior living industry
The research findings will inform policy development and decision making in the senior living industry and tackle complex questions such as:
- Where do current and future seniors want to live?
- What types of homes do they want to live in?
- How do they want to live in their community?
- How will technology play a role?
For more information on QUT's Senior Living Innovation initiative, visit: https://research.qut.edu.au/seniorliving/
Senior Living Innovation research lead Professor Laurie Buys
Senior Living Innovation online community
Institute for Future Environments
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