Rise of over-50s resorts across the region and beyond
IT WAS not that long ago that the notion of a "retirement home" conjured up images of sedate, closed-off living with residents "marking time" between visits from well-meaning grandchildren.
In more recent times, however, these "last resorts" have transformed themselves into actual resorts, boasting facilities such as cinemas, swimming pools, libraries and coffee shops.
As Australia ages, innovative and bespoke housing solutions are beginning to emerge, with over-50s villages and resorts occupying a unique position in the accommodation landscape.
Often with no entry or exit fees and the burden of stamp duty removed, modern-day over-50s developments are attractive options for those wishing to still own their own homes in their later years.
Economics aside, they also provide a "best of both worlds" approach, in that independent living is preserved, but company and assistance are readily available.
Shirley Ortez, sales representative at Palm Lake Resort, Toowoomba, observes, "The resort offers an easy lifestyle for people who wish to downsize…many of our residents are off properties, for example.
"There is no lawn or garden to worry about, but there is company and security.
"Some of our residents arrive here quite lonely, then next thing they've met some people, are going out to movies and on bus trips...It helps to put the spark back into living."
So, just as attitudes to aging are slowly evolving, so too are our ideas about accommodation and the age of the "retirement resort" is well and truly with us.