Construction begins on innovative Canadian community Element Lifestyle Retirement’s flagship residence, OPAL by elementTM, broke ground in Vancouver, Canada, in February 2017 with a ceremony signifying the start of construction. Once complete, the aging-in-place community will span an entire city block on the city’s West Side.
OPAL’s design combines with Element’s intergenerational approach to create a community residence that encourages families to interact on a regular basis. The concept won an international award over 950 projects assessed worldwide, according to the British Columbia-based company, which develops and operates active lifestyle retirement communities.
“Element’s vision is to revolutionize the perception and experience of retirement and aging, for seniors themselves, and all families, across all cultures,” says Candy Ho, the company’s vice-president, marketing & corporate relations.
Featuring 130 modern suites and lifestyle-designed amenities, Element’s new residence encompasses the complete spectrum of lifestyles, from independent-living and assisted-living rental and condominium suites, to respite care and Licensed Complex Care. Residents will live close to transit, in a pedestrian-friendly, amenity-rich environment. In keeping with Element’s intergenerational focus, a number of adult children in their mid-50s have purchased units in OPAL so they can be integrated into their parents’ daily lives. In addition, dedicated spaces and structured opportunities will help older adults and grandchildren interact meaningfully through activities such as circle reading time, life story sharing, and guided cooking sessions.
Milken Institute report outlines benefits of ‘purposeful aging’
In a recently released report, the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging in Los Angeles, California, explains the many physical and cognitive benefits that older people gain when they provide service to others. The report also delves into the broad social and economic opportunities that derive from the contributions of older adults as they age with purpose. “The Power of Purposeful Aging: Culture Change and the New Demography” cites deeply ingrained negative stereotypes as the roadblock to purposeful aging.
“Our report is a call to action,” says Paul Irving, chairman of the Center for the Future of Aging. “It provides research, commentary, and a broad overview of the ways that both older adults and our communities can benefit from the promotion of purposeful aging. And it is an urgent appeal for our society and its institutions to make full use of this abundant human resource.”
The report stems from the 2016 Purposeful Aging Summit in Los Angeles, where thought leaders from public policy, business, academia, philanthropy and media discussed reframing perceptions of aging in the 21st century. The publication is available online at http://aging.milkeninstitute. org/assets/Uploads/PAS-16.pdf.
Active-aging robot ‘companion’ displayed in UK museum
The Design Museum in London, England, recently showcased a prototype of Elli•Q, an artificial intelligencebased robot companion developed to keep older adults active and engaged. The robot was on display in the United Kingdom from January 12 to February 19 as part of the museum’s “New Old: Designing for our Future Selves” pop-up exhibition.
According to Intuition Robotics, which created Elli•Q, the robot’s design intentionally avoids the look and feel of a traditional robot, and enables older adults to use an array of technologies, including video chats, online games and social media to connect with families and friends. Elli•Q seeks to inspire participation in activities by actively suggesting and instantly connecting users to digital content such as TED talks, music or audio books; recommending activities in the physical world, such as taking a walk
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The Journal on Active Aging January/February 2017 www.icaa.cc