A second South Australian seniors living organisation has called for caution in interpreting the results of a major two-year study commissioned by ECH.
The research conducted by the Flinders Institute for Housing, Urban and Regional Research (FIHURR) concluded that most older people are not attracted to the type of housing that is found in large numbers of retirement villages all over Australia.
It said the majority of older people would like to live in small clusters of single-storey houses that have two or three bedrooms and are well connected to the broader community.
But the CEO of Masonic Homes, Doug Strain has warned against interpreting this as an endorsement of a “one-size-fits-all” approach.
“This research has confirmed what many of us have long believed,” said Mr Strain.
“Diversity in housing is just as important in seniors living as in all other sectors of society.
“Instead of looking for solutions that suit the majority, we must take the lesson that seniors, like all home buyers, have choices – and make decisions that may vary from what the industry regards as accepted norms.”
With a record $200 million of construction contracts in hand, Masonic Homes is one of the fastest growing retirement village providers in South Australia and the Northern Territory.
Mr Strain also defended the existing retirement village model, while stressing that diversity ion seniors housing options remains the key.
“We have found that many seniors like the concept of communal ageing in the retirement living environment, which is often marked by clustered developments, mirroring a normal housing community,” he said.
“The reality is that most seniors want to live close to the community they know and love.
“Some choose to do this by staying in their own homes and receiving care services when they are needed, some choose to live in small blocks of units with others their own age, while others choose a larger seniors community in the area that offers ready-made networks.”