Property Australia

Chief Executive | Age friendly communities

Ken Morrison Ken Morrison June 21, 2022

Every part of our industry had to overcome immense challenges over the past two years. But the retirement living sector’s success in keeping older Australians safe and well in the face of the worst health pandemic in a century deserves special mention. 

Speakers at the Property Council’s National Retirement Living Summit this week allowed themselves a moment to acknowledge this tremendous achievement and to recognise the many front-line staff and industry leaders who delivered this outcome. 

However, the focus of the conference has very much been on the future.  

The demographics driving demand for aged friendly communities is well understood, here and elsewhere. At the start of her reign, Queen Elizabeth wrote congratulatory letters to only ten of her centenarian subjects – last year it was more than 50,000. Half of all five-year-olds in the US today will live to be 100 years old. 

The sector’s leaders were focused less on lifespan and more about ‘wellspan’. The right mix of accommodation, community, and care that customers want to enable daily life. 

The sector has a value proposition that is compelling: safety and security, peace of mind, companionship, certainty of costs and a pathway to care. 

It is also a sector that is innovating heavily – in housing product, financial models, community wellbeing strategies, and in access to care and support. 

This is an evolution that should be celebrated by policymakers. Our Retirement Living Council is focused on leading towards this bright future.