With the ageing population on the rise, looking to the future in the care and retirement sector is increasingly vital. From the techiest Utopian ideals of fifty years’ time to the simple essentials that will improve day-to-day mental and physical well-being, the future of retirement housing and care homes is looking to innovative ideas for the way forward.
With an estimated 40,000 more beds needed over the next 10 years (AgeUK) and a call for greater specialism and customisation to individual needs, there is no time like the present to look to what the future could bring for our next generation of retirees.
First and foremost, ambient monitoring is leading the way in technological progress and is starting to be implemented in care homes today. Alerts that remind people to turn appliances off, monitor medication and alert carers in case of falls, can all help elderly people lead more independent lives. Not only this, but voice recognition technology, which is becoming more and more popular, could allow those with impaired mobility to control their environment with greater ease, such as allowing them to open windows and control lights.
Getting more futuristic, care homes could one day offer virtual pets, automatically adapt to people as they age, and even offer augmented reality eye wear to help dementia sufferers find their way around and provide immersive therapy.
A number of retirees also intend on travelling in retirement, which could mean a potential global network of homes with international memberships.
Whatever the future of care homes, the same needs for maintaining contact with family and friends, having a good community and social network, and spaces that combat isolation and loneliness will be just as important as they are today.