Dr Matthew Hutchinson
Senior Executive Integrated Living, Peddle Thorp
Matthew is an architect and researcher with over 30 years industry experience. His current role is Senior Executive Integrated Living at Peddle Thorp in Brisbane. He has completed a PhD at QUT exploring the potential nature of housing in the future for Australia’s ageing population. Prior to his PhD studies he was a Partner at ThomsonAdsett where he headed the Seniors Living Group for the practice nationally. He has extensive experience in a range of architectural developments and phases in a number of Australian states and the UK. He has particular interest the nexus of appropriate housing and support services in order to live independently in the community and society. He is interested in strategic planning for Australia’s ageing population as well as developing new housing typologies in response to the present accommodation pressures for many at hand.
My Home, Your Home, Our Place. Could co-located housing be a part of future ageing in community?
Ageing in community is often championed as the supreme objective in keeping older people active and engaged in society. Limited public aged care funding, constrained workforce numbers and a shortage of appropriate and affordable housing in which to age, compound to provide significant pressure on Australia’s ageing population and its ability to age well in community. The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safey recognized that well-placed, appropriately designed housing can both maintain older peoples’ place in the community for longer, as well as delay entry into residential aged care, increasingly seen as the domain for those requiring dementia related support and palliative care assistance.
The budgeted increase for in-home community care funding is targeted to keep more older people in their homes as well as mitigate pressure on residential aged care, with its proportionally higher operating costs. In-home care is optimal when the physical environment easily facilitates needed support activities and when older people have…a home. In many cases, existing house environments are not conducive to care delivery and further, many older people are increasingly without secure housing. A rethink about types of housing, tenure models and the support ecosystem itself is needed if ageing in community is to be championed and realistic. Could the aged and community care sector play a key and expanded role in reaching and supporting the broader ageing cohort where they live?
Arranged around key functional relationships of My home, Your home and Our place emerging out of my PhD research into the potential nature of future housing for an ageing Australia, a new model of integrated housing and support is proposed as a possible response to the issues at hand. This potentially scalable, co-located housing model designed around 12 performance principles, modest dwellings and the premise of formal care and mutual support, could be situated in urban or suburban contexts. It could be developed through partnerships between community aged care and housing service providers as well as governments, seeking more embedded support into mainstream Australian communities.
Australia greatly needs solutions to respond to the challenges of ageing well in a society increasingly under pressure from compounding social, economic, and political forces. Australians are seeking new ways to age well and live longer in their community. Could a co-located housing model and support ecosystem, such as this, be part of a new, more comprehensive narrative around normalised ageing in community?