Optimum Output


High-tech inventions and state of the art technology can transform later life, says Jane Slade

A technology boom has inspired a new way of living for retirees. Covid has accelerated the creation of apps, virtual villages, digital gyms and on-site medical equipment which are now considered standard in high-end retirement communities. The Abama Resort, a 400-acre estate of luxury villas and apartments in Tenerife has just opened a cardiovascular centre in its Ritz Carlton hotel.

“With approximately 62% of our buyers aged over 52, the importance of high-tech facilities and wellness offerings is more important than ever,” explains sales manager José Miguel Mesa. “Previously, the pleasant climate and proximity to the beach and pool were the most important considerations, but now buyers are far more concerned about the overall wellness package - where they can achieve optimum physical and mental wellbeing in the comfort of their own homes.”

The cardiovascular centre will be run by leading professionals in the coronary care sector and supported by a team of cardiologists, nutritionists, psychologists, physiotherapists and geneticists.

Abama, which is selling a five-bedroom, eight-bath villa custom villa with 23 metre pool and two spa pools for€5.7million, reckons it has completed a 360-degree health offering when the centre is combined with its golf course, beach club, swimming pools, tennis courts, Michelin-star cuisine and bars. www.abamahotelresort.com

At Auriens Chelsea in London, on-site biomedical testing is available which evaluates residents’ metabolic, hormonal, and immune health. The 56 high-tech apartments also have their own independent air supply with purifying filters and come equipped with a bespoke home automation which can be controlled via the Apple Home Pod or voice. Extra features include motorised kitchen cabinets and fall detectors, as well as voice-activated call-for-help systems. www.auriens.com

At Cinnamon’s Eastcote Park retirement village near Solihull an InfoNet Console has been installed in each home. A touch-screen tablet device is designed to give residents safety, freedom, and reassurance. “It incorporates a 24/7 emergency call system, enables residents to connect to reception and staff, and allows them to set up reminders about appointments or taking medicines,” explains director Carole Hunt.“ It also provides internet access and is a great device for video communications with family members, too.” www.cinnamoncc.com

Enterprise Retirement Living (ERL) which has three developments in Ripon, Worcester and Chester has engaged with Feebris, a health technology company, that can triage patients remotely, measuring their heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and pulse oximetry. The findings enable carers, via a mobile application, to collect observations and vital signs and send them to GPs and hospitals. www.erl.uk.com

“We will have a growing focus on technology and Artificial Intelligence,” declares Jamie Bunce CEO of Inspired Villages. Inspired is trialling an algorithm system to learn how people live their lives in its seven villages. “If someone puts a kettle on every morning and then one morning they don’t, that could prompt us to knock on the door and make sure they’re alright,’’ Bunce explains. “We’re also looking at harnessing the fall protection alerts on the new Apple Watch.” Inspired has created a Virtual Village Centre on Facebook and installed high-tech workout equipment such as Interactive Motion Walls and EGYM Smart Strength machines. www.inspiredvillages.co.uk

“We are continually testing and investing in the latest technology to improve the resident experience,” says Kay Cox, chief operations officer at Signature Senior Lifestyle. “We are launching an innovation hub at our Wandsworth site to trial new platforms and technologies, which can then be rolled out at our other developments.” These include: Circadian lighting which keeps the body’s internal clock aligned with the 24-hour cycle by emitting different hues at different times; a hotel-style TV package called Jeeves@Signature offering a variety of services and a Signature TV channel. New homes offering care are due to open later this year in Barnet and Hendon Hall in London. www.signature-care-homes.co.uk

Technology has also transformed the way retirees can view properties without leaving their homes. “COVID-19 has changed the way homes and developments will be viewed indefinitely,” declares Harry Ravenhill, co-founder of Motion Real Estate Media, specialists in creating 3D Virtual Tours for the retirement and luxury care sectors. “It’s like being able to attend an open day with none of the risks of travel or close contact.”3D Virtual Tours has transformed older people’s access to the housing market. But MREM is employing even more exciting innovations to make the experience more realistic. “Because we remove geographical barriers and time constraints, it doesn’t matter if the property is located in the south of France or south of England,” adds Harry. The other benefit of 3D Virtual Tours is the ability for purchasers/residents to view properties repeatedly as many times as they wish. “The future of this technology is expanding by the day,” adds Harry. “We are already working with developers to simulate different furnishings and specification options which would allow purchasers to choose different furniture and spec options and then view the changes virtually.

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