Updated: Jun 21, 2020
By Brenda Hobin
While we have limited information on COVID-19 and risk implications for the different age groups, we can infer “older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19,” based on current clinical and statistical evidence and reports by CDC and John Hopkins Medicine.
This has serious implication for real estate developers. Designs and layout that would continue to offer substantial living or even separate living space for multi-generational families living within the same home or creating separate homes within the same estate, to allow family to continue their social interaction while far enough to protect the health of each family members, particularly the elderlies.
Jeremy Lim, Co-director of Global Health at the National University of Singapore, says there might be COVID-19 this year and next, but there will be future pandemic.
Currently, many elderlies around the globe have to keep in touch with their adult children and grandchildren through virtual conferencing. What if real estate developer and property developer can incorporate separate housing that could allow the elderlies to keep in touch with their families? We are talking about building assisted or independent housing that is within close proximity to the children and grandchildren to facilitate this, while a vaccine is being worked on for the current pandemic, in case there's another pandemic, in case there's a call for physical distancing? Real estate planners have a responsibility to take a new approach to designing their township; they have a a serious responsibility to incorporate mental, social and physical well-being into the approach and methodologies. With the recent lockdown or semi-lockdown, real estate planners have to consider the availability of medical resources to their residents and the silver community. Adults must consider all the variables and resources available before relocating the whole family into a new home or area.
The rising need of independent and assisted living The World Economic Forum concluded “Our world is changing constantly and at an increasingly rapid pace. We’re at a unique time in our history when increased longevity is converging with unprecedented technological innovation to disrupt ageing in ways previously unimaginable – empowering us to choose how we want to live as we age.”
It is estimated by the year 2050, more than 30% of the world population will be aged 60 and above. Demographers also more than half the kids born today will live to 100 and some researchers believe that the first person who will live to the age of 150 has already been born! While science is making it possible to live longer, we have to take measures overcome the impact of pandemic to make this possible. The world is urged not to see this as a challenge but rather an opportunity for individuals, organisations and nations to thrive further. The silver generations who are healthier and living longer has massive experience that the younger generation could learn from. This in turn calls for real estate developers to develop retirement-type housing that offers either independent or assisted living; within the same estate as their adults children.