As we look ahead to a future with a rapidly ageing population and a lack of suitable housing for those in retirement, Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of homes for the over-55s and a thought leader on the retirement housing sector, has ventured to envisage what the retirement housing of the future might look like. 

Two computer generated images have been created as part of a future-gazing report exploring the outlook for retirement housing and care. With ambient monitoring walls, rotating gardens and virtual pets, the designs envisage what retirement housing could look like in 50 years’ time to meet the growing demands of this silver segment of society.
 
Pushing the boundaries in terms of innovation and design, the computer generated images depict a cylindrical home which can be adapted and customised on purchase. Buyers can choose everything from how much internal/external space they would like to the size, shape and style of the garden. The house even rotates on a turntable, offering both sunlight and shade at the owner’s request. The homes are situated in a village and connect via a series of linking bridges which help foster a sense of community and engagement. Covered winter gardens and parks in the village provide the capacity for all-year round outdoor activity encouraging retirees to live a more active and healthy lifestyle as well as providing greater opportunity to meet and interact with others.
 
Internally, the house has clearly defined zones for seamless indoor and outdoor living with pivot glazed doors allowing the spaces to connect seamlessly. Wellbeing and exercise were key factors behind the concept and the house has dedicated areas for a virtual yoga class, alfresco dining as well as a vertical garden enabling plant life to grow all year round. Integrated smart technologies place a particular emphasis on health, wellbeing and connectivity with an ambient monitoring wall detailing the home-owner’s personal health statistics and prompting medication requirements. High speed internet, a virtual fridge and FaceTime access are also available at the touch of a button. The humble coffee table now acts as a 3D hologram computer; controlled from the comfort of the sofa it can create an augmented reality within the home regulating lighting, sound and even a virtual pet.
 
The two designs form part of a broader report showcasing Anchor’s wider business development strategy and continued investment into the retirement sector. This ensures that Anchor continues to meet the changing requirements of its current customers and anticipate those of the future. Silver Chic: The Future of Retirement Housing project helps position Anchor as an innovative thought leader and a pioneer in providing desirable housing and lifestyle options for the UK’s ageing population.

The report, written by journalist and policy consultant Sonia Sodha, is informed by independent research, results gathered from focus groups of two different demographics as well as a prestigious round table event, attended by a range of care industry experts, thought leaders, architects and designers. To accompany the report, Anchor worked with an up-and-coming interior designer and specialist design consultant to create the two CGI images. The full report can be downloaded here

Howard Nankivell, Anchor’s Housing Operations Director, comments: “There are a number of very significant issues facing the retirement sector in the coming decades and we will need new, innovative forms of retirement housing and care services to respond to these trends. Good quality housing, that meets the needs of the end user, has huge potential to help people live happy and healthier lives, delaying the need to move from independent living into residential care. This in turn helps reduce the ever-increasing pressure of our ageing population on the NHS as well as unlocking valuable housing stock at the top end of the market. Innovative and thought-provoking designs, such as these, are just some suggestions of what could and need to become a reality in the future if we are to try and tackle the issues facing older people.”

Anchor produces research papers on a range of topics that impact the lives of older people. Find downloadable PDF versions of Anchor’s most recent research papers here.

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