Time is precious and understandably, as we get older, we place even greater value on it. For many, the extended period of lockdown will feel like lost time that can’t be reclaimed. However, with restrictions lifted and people free to get out and about once again, let's make the most of the time ahead, rather than focus on the time behind.
We recently commissioned some research and conducted surveys to gain insight into how people over 70 are viewing their priorities now their lives are beginning to open back up. The majority of our findings have been remarkably encouraging, with many respondents seeing the newly welcome freedoms as an opportunity to focus on making changes and improvements to their lifestyles that will have long-term positive impacts on both their physical and mental health.
In this article we’re looking at some of the ways in which our survey respondents are planning to make up for lost time over the coming months, and hope that they may provide some helpful inspiration.
It may seem counter-intuitive to suggest working in retirement, but society is changing and so are we. We’re living longer, remaining in good health until much later in life and therefore, for many, the idea of giving up work entirely isn’t such an attractive proposition anymore.
1 in 10 people aged over 70 are choosing to either head back to or remain in part-time or full-time employment as a direct result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions. It seems that being in lockdown with all too much time on our hands has highlighted how important it is to feel useful and have a purpose to our days.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to turn your hobby into a small business but never quite had the time. Perhaps you’d be keen to put all the knowledge and skill you’ve built up over the years to good use with some part-time consulting. Or perhaps just having a few hours a week in a job which is easy going but provides the opportunity to be around other people would be just what you need.
Whether you’re motivated to earn a bit of extra money, make a further contribution to society, or are simply looking for an excuse to get out of the house and avoid being bored, a new job could be the start of an exciting new chapter.
Being a resident at one of our villages helps to widen your personal network, not just for socialising, but also for inspiration to work and/or kick-start some new hobbies. Being surrounded by like-minded individuals can provide the right motivation to encourage you to explore new avenues, for example many of our residents continue to work beyond traditional retirement age, in a variety of capacities that may appeal to you also. For many, the appeal of community living stems from a desire to be around other people who help keep to them active, entertained, informed and inspired. This is what helps to keep us energised and happy.
For many people aged 70+ the past 16 months has been a time to focus on taking control of their finances, with 1 in 10 claiming to take a more active role in the management of their money than ever before.
Almost a quarter of over 70s have managed to save more money than ever before and many are looking for ways to treat themselves with the extra funds. One fifth of respondents are allowing themselves a spending splurge, indulging their passions and having some well-earned fun. Just over a quarter of respondents claim they’re planning to travel more than usual now the restrictions are lifting, whether it’s venturing overseas or exploring more around the UK, it’s clear that everyone is feeling the need for a treat or two, and why not?
Our aim is to make the opportunities to treat yourself more accessible in your day-to-day lives. For example, if you’re planning to travel overseas more in retirement, or perhaps you have a second home you’d like to split your time at, you may prefer to consider renting as an option. Renting is becoming an increasingly popular option for those looking to create more freedom in their lifestyles and their finances.
We also provide a wide range of activities, clubs and outings to choose from each and every week. Perhaps you always wanted to give yoga a try, or attempt to grow your own food, fancy following the latest trend in hairstyle or would simply embrace the opportunity to get together with friends for a pre-dinner in the week. Whichever way you wish to treat yourself, we can help to make it happen.
One of the biggest learnings to come from the pandemic and the resulting period of lockdown is that, as a society, our personal relationships and connections with others are hugely important to maintaining good physical and mental health.
We were witness to this in our own villages as, despite being in lockdown and adhering to the same national restrictions as everyone else, residents and staff found comfort in the familiar sense of community that village life provides, and although they weren’t able to congregate, residents were still very much aware that neighbours and friends were nearby, and support was there for them if they needed it.
Now that people are allowed back out again it appears that focusing on those personal connections is of great importance to the over 70s. More than half of this age group feel that their community has taken on a new sense of importance from the pandemic and that being integrated with wider society is key to feeling more connected.
There’s also been a big shift in the amount of time the over 70s are spending with their families, with 47% of respondents seeing their children at least once a week prior to the pandemic, compared to 55% now. Also with grandchildren, there’s been an increase from 32% to 41% of people claiming to see their grandchildren at least once a week.
Whoever you have in your life, be it family, friends or neighbours it would seem that spending time in their company and nurturing those personal relationships is a worthwhile way to make up for lost time.
Our villages are designed to accommodate you spending as much quality time with loved ones as possible. We offer a growing range of locations to choose from should you be looking to relocate to be nearer to friends and family, but don’t wish to compromise on quality and comfort in order to do so.
Our Village Teams are incredibly welcoming to visiting friends and family and actively encourage you to spend time with them in the communal areas during their stay, so that they can enjoy the lifestyle along with you. In addition to this, we also offer guest suites within the majority of our villages that can be pre-booked, should you have people come to stay and it makes more sense for them to have their own space during their visit.
To learn more about retirement community life and the range of options available to enable a move to one of our villages, please feel free to contact us.