Retirement living does not mean negative living

Blog posted

17th June 2014

Why does society automatically associate old age with deterioration? Apart from some of the obvious physical aspects which may naturally decline due to wear and tear, there is plenty that is actually on the up!

I wanted to share this BBC article with you. It’s a fascinating account of the ageing game and some of the recent research which really does provide contradicting evidence to the belief that hitting retirement is the beginning of the end.

The fact that our genetics are only 25% responsible for determining how long we live, suggests that the other 75% is down to us and how we choose to live and lives and what we do with each day.

I would welcome the opportunity for the research teams to study Retirement Villages. Put any one of our 14 villages under the microscope and the sentiments and feelings shared in this BBC article ring so true. Our resident diary pages illustrate just this, here’s an example from Blagdon Village in Somerset.

There isn’t a ‘typical’ retirement village resident but having shared hundreds of conversations with our residents over the years, I can say with some accuracy that life does begin at 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and beyond.

A ‘get up and go’ attitude, a positive ‘can do’ approach, a desire to look on the bright side rather than always see the negative are all characteristics I see firsthand every day. This manifests itself in a desire make new friends and acquaintances, to learn more, try new things, continually broaden horizons, keep in tune with latest technology, be creative and more energetic.

I was also interested to read in this article about the study by Aston University’s research centre which talks about the time spent with friends and the huge impact this has on ageing well.

I couldn’t agree more. Friendship has so much value whatever your age but in later life, lack of friends can sometimes lead to loneliness and isolation which is a very worrying scenario.

My favourite resident quote that will stay with me forever and underpins retirement village living was the day I introduced myself to a resident and his wife who had moved into Lime Tree Village (village link) a few weeks earlier. This man shook my hand, said he couldn’t believe how welcome they had been made to feel, and said quite genuinely he had made 50 new friends!

Friendship is such a tonic in so many ways and if it can be directly related to aiding a more fulfilling and potentially longer life then it has to be encouraged and celebrated.

And finally, if anyone really doubted that we are all a lot healthier, keeping fitter, maximising our social lives and generally having more fun as we get older, then read this recent piece from the Daily Mail which clearly states ‘you aren’t old until you’re 80!’ and says the Queen is among those we should thank for this.

I think we can all become negative and paint a bleak picture of the prospect of getting old if we really want to but retirement villages such as our and the growing bank of evidence illustrated in this blog, are just two of what will be scores of very clear indicators that there is much to look forward to. Bring it on!

Sarah Burgess
Sales and Marketing Director