Being part of a supportive and vibrant community has many benefits – it’s good for your mental health, gives you a sense of belonging and makes you happy.
The connection that community brings is especially important as we get older, particularly for seniors who live on their own.
So how do you get involved in your community? You could head down to your local sporting club, where supporters and volunteers are always appreciated. Or you might try the library which is often a hub for local groups, including book clubs. Or maybe a community house, as they run classes and activities of all description, or an environmental volunteer group? For retirees, there’s also the option of moving to an over 55s village, as one of the biggest drawcards is the welcoming community. Retirement communities also come complete with on-site facilities and activities to help you meet other residents and get involved.
There are many reasons why you’ll benefit from being part of a community when you’re over 55 – here we share our top three.
Friendship, Social Life and Fun
Maintaining friendships and an active social life in retirement can be difficult, and unfortunately isolation and loneliness are all too common. Being part of a community means you’re amongst people with shared interests, and you have lots of opportunities to attend social events and make new friends. A recent study has also found that social group memberships have a positive impact on quality of life and mortality rates in retirement, with the results indicating that an active social life is just as important as exercise is to your health.
In a retirement community, you’ll have access to shared facilities such as a recreation room and gym, which gives you the perfect setting to get to know your neighbours. There’s always lots of social activities happening too – from a barbeque in the gardens, to a friendly game of cards in the evening, or a Friday night drink during happy hour. Being part of a community of your peers means there’s lots of opportunities to make friends, and plenty of activities and happenings to get you out and about and have fun.
Connection and Inspiration
These days there are lots of ways to stay connected as you get older. You can go online and stay in touch with friends and family on social media sites such as Facebook, which is ideal if you don’t live nearby, or you can even be old-fashioned and pick up the phone and give them a call. But there is no substitute for face-to-face interaction, which is why being part of a community is so important to your happiness and wellbeing.
Living in an over 55s community means you’ll always have people close by when you feel like a chat. You can connect with others who have similar interests or hobbies and be inspired and motivated by those in your community who have seen and done exciting things, or travelled to faraway places. You’ll also be exposed to a range of on and off-site activities that you might not be otherwise, giving you the chance to try new things and participate more, both of which will keep you sharp and motivated.
Safety and Supported
As you age, you may feel more vulnerable to threats such as burglary or scams, and living in a close-knit community offers a sense of security. This is especially true when you live in a gated retirement community. Not only will you feel safer day-to-day, but if you go on holidays, you’ll also be able to relax and enjoy yourself knowing that your neighbours are keeping an eye on things while you’re away.
Importantly, you can also rely on your friends and neighbours to look out for your health too. It’s reassuring to know you have people living close that you can rely on to help you out if you’re ever ill and need some help around home, a meal cooked, or just a visitor to pop in and say hi.
Being part of a community offers people of all ages significant benefits – especially over 55s. So, if you’re not already involved, take the first steps to join in with your community today. Whether you find a club or take a class, the benefits to your health and lifestyle will be huge. And if you want to experience community living at its best, you could consider moving to an over 55s community, such as Village Lifestyle Park in Traralgon, where you can join an active bunch of retirees who are already reaping the many benefits that community living brings.
Over to You
Do you have a favourite way of interacting with your local community? We’d love to hear your experiences.