According to recent research by the ONS, the generation approaching retirement are increasingly more tech-literate, with internet use in the 65-74 age group increasing from 52% in 2011 to 78% in 2017. With shoppers over 55 expected to make up two thirds of all retail activity by 2025, it’s clear that this is a generation that have fully embraced all the benefits of modern technology - but are they getting access to the ultra-fast, reliable internet they’ve become accustomed to in their later years?

According to a recent report by CMS, 61% of citizens in cities across Europe would “consider renting when they retire” and, crucially, over 53% of over-55s are in agreement with this statement. Those questioned cited better amenities as a reason to move, with many from the baby boomer generation also expressing a wish for less living space, meaning that they are willing to downsize. Respondents were also asked what features they'd like to see in their next home - super-fast internet was the most popular, followed by smart meters and electric vehicle charging points. Bearing this in mind, it is clear that senior living accommodation is on the brink of a revolution to meet the needs of a more tech-savvy older generation.

Developers such as Audley Villages have recognised the need for change in the market. Whilst there is still the need for the more traditional type of senior living accommodation (care homes or groups of bungalows in a sheltered housing scheme with a warden on-site), there is also a growing need for the newest breed of developments.

The smart choice for retrofit infrastructure: Smart Fibre Infrastructure

Retirement Living is a purpose built integrated village community. Aimed at able and active older people looking to downsize from a larger property, it gives the option of individual living through a range of options such as 2 or 3-bed apartments, maisonettes, bungalows or small houses - all within a purpose-built community and with a huge range of amenities on offer.

In addition to on-site restaurants, gyms, cinemas and other communal facilities now standard in many BTR residences, developers such as Elysian Residences have been working with booksellers Foyles to include an up-to-the-minute contemporary library facility in their residences. Other luxury developments include pools, spas, barbers, wine cellars and personalised apps as part of their offering. The typical resident will want to bring the comforts and conveniences of their lives into their homes - and they will also demand a high level of connectivity - they will need ultra-fast, reliable internet.

As we know, entertainment services like Ultra High Definition (UHD) streaming and Virtual Reality online gaming, and Smart Home Internet of Things (IoT) are becoming mainstream and previously local services like playing music have become cloud services like Spotify, all resulting in the need for higher bandwidth.

For many operators and residents, ease and convenience are key - which is why Glide is the ideal ISP. With experience in retro-fitting, we can install ultra-fast, reliable fibre broadband with minimal disruption - no need to replaster walls, no waiting around for engineers.

But it’s not just entertainment and leisure that requires ultra-fast, reliable internet. For many residents, moving into a retirement living complex will mean moving away from family, so the ability to communicate with loved ones is essential. This means they will need technology that allows them to move around the building while still connected. They’ll need internet they can rely on to make sure conversations don’t cut off because the internet drops out - they’ll need to stay in touch via video calls etc.

There’s also the need for improved support services within the development. Virtual Concierge services will rely on good Wi-Fi. As the older generation are now such prolific users of internet shopping, they will need someone to sign for all those parcels! Technology such as voice-activated Alexa etc can enable people with mobility issues to adjust lighting, thermostats, listen to music, all from the comfort of their sofa - no need to worry about having a fall while turning off a light.

How a Virtual Concierge increases resident satisfaction

There is also the opportunity to revolutionise the quality of care. In ‘later life luxury’ property Auriens in Chelsea, Infra-red beams criss-cross some floors, alerting care staff if a resident should fall. There is almost no imagining how ultra-fast, reliable internet can improve the quality of life. We’ve seen how BTR developers such as MODA are using technology to support happier, healthier and safer communities and there is so much more potential in this sector - which is why installing ultra-fast, reliable broadband is the first step.

The success and sustainability of services for diverse groups can only be enhanced by fast, reliable, pervasive and high-speed Wi–Fi. To reduce the hassle of day-to-day management of Wi-Fi, building operators need an appropriate managed service offering. It makes sense for operators to deal with one provider to deploy and manage Wi-Fi. Everything from cabling to refreshing the technology is all taken care of, freeing up more time to focus on enriching the resident experience and building a sustainable community.

Smart Fibre Infrastructure™ (SFI™)

Glide Residential’s SFI™ is a full fibre, landlord broadband solution that provides a fast and simple way to cable a building, specifically designed for the Build-to-Rent (BTR) sector. With SFI™, buildings are future-proofed for the next 25 years, as there are no restrictions on what can be delivered via fibre. SFI™ also enables the provision of many smart technology services such as Wi-Fi controlled lighting and heating, door entry, CCTV, digital signage, smart metering, and SkyQ. SFI™ helps add rental value, whilst reducing operational costs, and is designed with developers, landlords, and their residents in mind.

Managed Internet Service

With Glide Residential, you can also benefit from a fully managed internet service for private rented residents and fully managed internet solutions. Everything is managed from the cabling, to launch, to ongoing 24/7/365 support. Complete managed broadband services from a single provider. The network is monitored around the clock to ensure everything is running smoothly, and each customer has their own dedicated service manager as one single point of contact to provide everything you need.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can enhance your Build-to-Rent (BTR) development. Call us on 03333 800 800 or drop us an email at glideresidential@glide.co.uk, or find out more details on our website https://glidegroup.co.uk/connectivity-and-smart-solutions/sfi

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