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Future changes to the retirement living sector

Touchstone Life Care was pleased to sponsor the DCM Institute’s Village Summit in 2023, with events held in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.  Dr Merran Cooper was a speaker at the Melbourne event and attended a session by Chris Baynes, CEO of the DCM Group, where he shared insights on the future of retirement living.  In this article, Dr Cooper shares some of these insights and her thoughts on future changes in the industry.

From fitness classes and hobby groups to educational workshops and social gatherings, villages offer a plethora of opportunities for seniors to engage in meaningful activities with a focus on quality of life and maintaining health, rather than receiving care. They are increasingly popular, and as our population is ageing there will be increasing demand for new and smarter homes and villages to be built, offering a different menu of services.

These will include:

Workforce and Services

Services and staff will be required to support a high quality of life for residents and promote longevity, preventative health measures and maintenance of fitness and strength.

Technology Integration

Retirement villages will embrace technology to cater to the needs and preferences of tech-savvy seniors. This will include smart home devices, telehealth services, and digital communication platforms for socialising and staying connected with family and friends.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Design

As environmental concerns continue to grow, residents will demand sustainable, accessible and eco-friendly design principles including energy-efficient buildings, renewable energy sources, and green spaces for gardening and outdoor activities. Additionally, community apartment buildings with included care services will emerge as a new segment in the retirement village market. This setup, similar to a strata-type arrangement, will provide a supportive community environment.

Personalised Care and Services

Retirement villages will offer personalised care and services tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each resident as home care and hospital -in-the-home services become more common. Increasingly care suites for high care needs and palliative services will be offered on site so residents can remain in their village, rather than have to move away from established friends and supports.

Intergenerational Interaction

Encouraging intergenerational interaction will benefit both the residents of retirement villages and younger generations. This will be achieved by creating spaces for shared activities, organising events with local schools and community groups, or even implementing programs that promote mentorship and knowledge exchange between different age groups.

Cultural Diversity and Inclusion

Retirement villages will increasingly create inclusive and diverse environments that celebrate different cultures, traditions, and backgrounds through multicultural events, offering diverse cuisine options, and providing opportunities for residents to share and learn about each other’s cultures.


In conclusion, the future of retirement villages will be shaped by the increasing demand for active and fulfilling lifestyles, the incorporation of technology and innovation, a focus on community, intergenerational interaction and independence, sustainable practices, and for personalised care and services, including memory care. A range of care services that allow residents to remain at home and receive the support they need will allow them to live in a more social environment for longer.

By staying ahead of these trends and adapting to the changing needs of seniors, retirement villages can continue to provide a high-quality and fulfilling retirement experience.

Picture of Dr Merran Cooper
Dr Merran Cooper

Dr Merran Cooper MBBS. BSc (Physio), MAICD, M.Admin, PGD Adult Ed is a medical doctor and qualified physiotherapist. In 2018 she responded to the lack of good quality advance care planning in hospitals and the resultant overmedicalisation of dying by founding a technology company, Touchstone Life Care to develop an interoperable, real time advance care planning solution for consumers, providers and health systems.