No matter your age or stage of life, being part of a community brings many benefits. From the social interactions to the sense of support, when we share a connection with others, it makes us feel good.
In years gone by, neighbourhoods were smaller, the pace of life was slower and belonging to your local community seemed to happen by default. We not only knew our neighbours, we knew everyone in our street—and if you lived in a rural location, everyone in town!
These days, that same sense of community is more difficult to come by. This can mean that many people feel disconnected or isolated, especially if they live alone or have retired from work. Thankfully, there are still many ways to forge connections with others—for example, you could join a club or volunteer your time to a worthy cause. Also, if you’re over 55, moving to a Retirement Community can be a great option.
While downsizing, low-maintenance living and on-site features are all big drawcards, it’s the lifestyle and health benefits of being part of a community that is often the number one reason people make a move to a retirement living community.
So, if you’re keen to find out why community is essential to your health and happiness, read on!
Social Connections for Better Health
With our busy lifestyles and competing demands, maintaining friendships is not always easy. If your friends and family don’t live close by, connecting with others can be a challenge. However, when you live in a small community of your peers, there are many more opportunities to meet and get to know people with similar interests. In a Retirement Community, on-site facilities such as the clubhouse, lounge, gym and pool, provide the perfect setting to connect and enjoy regular catch-ups. There are also organised activities and events for residents that you can choose to take part in, which is another great way to meet with others in your community.
When your social connections are strong, you’ll be happier and more active, and will experience improved emotional and physical wellbeing in a range of areas, from higher self-esteem to a strengthened immune system. In contrast, loneliness has been linked to depression, elevated blood pressure and higher levels of cortisol, all of which can lead to serious health issues if left unchecked.
Supportive Environment Puts You at Ease
Knowing people who live close by in your local community helps you feel supported and connected. It is comforting when you can reach out to your neighbour if you need help or advice, and it provides you with a deep sense of satisfaction when you can also return the favour.
If you feel like a stranger in your own neighbourhood, it is likely you’ll also have an underlying sense of vulnerability, which can lead to anxiety and unhappiness. In a Retirement Community, you live close to many of your neighbours, and there is a strong sense of community everywhere you go. You can choose to be involved to the level that suits you, as there are lots of opportunities to connect with others. Living in a small community also provides an added sense of safety and security as everyone tends to look out for each other that little bit more.
Inspired to Help Others and Be Your Best
Being part of a vibrant community of positive people can also inspire you to do more. As a group, you can share ideas, set goals and provide ongoing motivation and accountability to stay the course. This could mean pairing up or forming a small group with a fitness goal of walking around the lake for 30 minutes every morning. If it’s just you, the temptation to hit snooze may well win, however, if it’s a goal you’ve set with other members of your community and you know they’ll be waiting in their trainers out front at 7 am sharp, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.
So many wonderful initiatives are born out of community groups who are inspired to help others. In a Retirement Community this could range from something specific for residents of the village, such as a shared veggie patch or monthly happy hour in the lounge, while on a wider scale, it could be a fundraiser for a local charity or Christmas toy drive for families in need. Either way, getting together and making good things happen is a fantastic way to help others in a meaningful way and boost your mood in the process.
Community Connections Make all the Difference
When it comes to setting yourself up for a healthy and happy retirement, your connection to a community should be a top priority when deciding where to live. Choosing a community where you have the opportunity to build meaningful social connections, feel supported and safe, and are inspired to help others and be your best, will allow you to enjoy your retirement to its full potential.
Over to you
Do you have a question about our retirement communities? Or would you like to find out more about our facilities and available homes? We’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch with our team on 07 3263 2788.