October symbolises the fourth national Older People’s Day – a Government appointed event, dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions that older people make to society and the economy.
The theme this year is ‘getting and staying active in later life’ with the emphasis squarely on persuading the over 60s to discover for themselves the benefits of physical activity.
This week this Government initiative was supported by fresh evidence from research in America that says regular walking has many positives including benefits to the heart and brain, it may possibly even help the brain to fight dementia.
Without sounding patronising about our own residents, I have to say I’m not sure there is more they can do to stay active. There are approximately 120 clubs, societies, interest groups, sports teams and hobby groups now running from our 11 villages. We don’t organise these, residents do.
The motivation is a multitude of reasons – to make friends, meet newcomers to the village, simply have a chat, to learn new skills, or refresh an old and forgotten hobby, to keep fit, to broaden their thinking and keep themselves challenged and alert, to simply get out of their house, and so the list goes on.
One thing is certain – whatever the reason behind it – it works.
Village life is a social life. With clocks going back shortly, winter approaching and curtains closed mid afternoon, the hours of darkness become longer than ever. This can be an extremely lonely time for people who may not have friends or relatives close by.
This is what makes a social life and staying active so important.
But for anyone still unconvinced with this theory, dip into some of our villages and see what residents get up to and what they have to say. It’s an inspiration especially to someone like me who is half the age of a large majority of them and only finds time to do a fraction of the activities they get up to!
Sales and Marketing Director