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The social benefits of retirement villages

Retirement villages are hubs of social activity. From hobby and sport groups to community events and volunteering, retirement villages support an active, enriching lifestyle.

The social benefits of living in a retirement village are significant. Maintaining an active social life is essential for mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, especially during retirement.

Living in a retirement village provides:

  • A sense of belonging
  • Frequent social interaction
  • Reduced risk of loneliness
  • Physical and emotional wellbeing
  • Opportunities for personal growth
  • Intergenerational connections

Read on to find out more about these benefits, plus read some stories of friendship and connection from village residents throughout New Zealand.

A sense of belonging

After a lifetime of work and responsibilities, retirees often find themselves longing to connect with like-minded people who share similar life experiences. Retirement villages provide a supportive environment where residents can easily form friendships and feel a strong sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Social activity women cafe

Frequent social interaction

Retirement villages make it easy for residents to participate in social activities by providing a range of on-site events and experiences. Most villages have an activities coordinator whose job is to facilitate recreational activities tailored to the interests and preferences of residents.

Reduced risk of loneliness

Loneliness and social isolation are significant concerns among older people, which can lead to a decline in physical and mental health. Retirement villages reduce the risk of loneliness by seamlessly integrating social opportunities into daily life. Shared spaces, communal dining areas, and organised events all provide an in-built support network for residents.

Physical and emotional wellbeing

Staying social is strongly correlated with better overall wellbeing. Retirement villages, with their emphasis on social interaction and engagement, indirectly promote healthier lifestyles. Engaging in group activities and forming friendships can lead to increased physical activity, better emotional wellbeing, and a more positive outlook on life.

Opportunities for personal growth

Retirement is a time for personal growth and exploration. Retirement villages encourage residents to pursue new hobbies, develop skills, and embark on fulfilling experiences they might not have had time for during their working years.

Intergenerational connections

Many retirement villages actively engage with the local community and encourage intergenerational interactions. From welcoming local school groups to participating in community events, there are plenty of opportunities to socialise with people of all ages.

Conclusion: Retirement villages are more than just places to live!

They are vibrant communities that enhance the lives of residents in numerous ways. By fostering a sense of belonging, providing opportunities for social interaction and engagement, reducing the risk of loneliness, promoting wellbeing, and encouraging personal growth and intergenerational connections, these communities play a crucial role in supporting people as they navigate the journey of ageing.

Stories of friendship and connection

These stories of belonging, friendship, joy, and laughter offer a window into retirement villages around New Zealand, including Arvida Te Puna Wairoa, Parkstone Retirement Village, and Epsom Village.

Liz and Jan

Liz and Jan Arvida Te Puna Waior

When Arvida Te Puna Waiora resident, Liz Philip was in a leg brace with a broken kneecap - the challenge was getting back from neighbour, Jan Mac’s villa after enjoying delicious meals and more than a few wines!

I think my wheelchair nearly tipped in the garden one night. We’ve had some funny times together where we’ve had a good laugh,” Liz says.

Jan explains the neighbours have been supporting each other, and their husbands, ever since they met when she moved in early last year.

Liz suddenly arrived with fruit cake and an allen key for our furniture. It made everything so much better.

Read Liz and Jan’s story

Paul and May

Paul and May Parkside village

Husband and wife Paul and May have been living in Bupa’s Parkstone Retirement Village in Christchurch for close to five years.

May recalls how vibrant and welcoming the environment was the very first time they walked into the village.

When we walked in the door that day, everyone looked at you and smiled and they seemed to be full of life.

They both love living among like-minded people.

If you start feeling a bit down in the dumps, you just need to go for a wee walk, and you’ll run into somebody in the corridors and have a good old natter, and it just makes you feel so much better.

Watch Paul and May’s video interview

Pink Ribbon breakfast

Pink Ribbon breakfast Epsom Village

Real Living’s Epsom Village hosted a Pink Ribbon breakfast, raising more than $2800 for the Breast Cancer Foundation — at providing a wonderful social event for residents.

It was the first time for Epsom Village and the Lounge was at full capacity with residents inviting their family and friends to the event.

Read the full story

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