COMMUNITY CONNECT: Elements Retirement Village residents Ruth and Bob Bramley are embracing the digital community age.
COMMUNITY CONNECT: Elements Retirement Village residents Ruth and Bob Bramley are embracing the digital community age.

Is this the future for retirement villages?

RESIDENTS at Springwood's Elements Retirement Living are on the way to becoming high-tech-savvy through an innovative community connect program being launched next week.

Everyone in this Brisbane community will be connected to the village administration, and to their family and friends, through a cloud-based communication hub accessible from ipads supplied to each household.

When a home repair is needed the resident can record a video to show the village management exactly what the problem is. 

If they want to use communal areas, they can be booked real time.

Residents can read the latest village newsletters, download appliance manuals, and organise social activities, all via their village ipad.

The ipads are even patched into the village security cameras, so residents can see visitors at the entry before remotely opening the gates.

Managing director Chiou See Anderson said the tech-first made social, financial and environmental sense.

"The ipads are pre-programmed with all the information and services they need for village life," Ms Anderson said.

"It cuts down on paper, speeds up communication and is a huge boost to village security."

The new communications hub is part of Elements' innovation strategy, which began in 2010 with installation of a private fibre optic network providing super fast internet speeds.

"We are at the forefront of using technology to encourage and improve social engagement amongst retirees," Ms Anderson said.

"It's about future-proofing the village and enabling our residents to maintain their ties and relationships with the people they love and care about. Being connected keeps you healthier and happier for longer."

Ms Anderson said it's a myth that older people don't like technology.

"Surveys show 80% of seniors are regularly online Facebooking, paying bills, doing business and booking holidays," she said.

"Our residents feel immensely proud to be keeping up with their tech-savvy grandchildren."


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