How Lifecare Residences Communities Help Combat Loneliness
It is a well-known fact that when we stop working to retire, we leave behind the pressure and stress that goes along with it. However, on the flip side it’s well documented that by leaving the workplace, we also leave behind social contacts and important relationships. This can cause a level of loneliness that can be damaging to our physical and mental health. Indeed, a study published by the University of California, San Francisco, revealed that 43% of those surveyed, aged over 60, reported feeling lonely regularly. Older people may also become lonely after losing a spouse, having reduced mobility and being unable to participate in the activities they enjoy. Whilst feeling lonely is a common human experience, it doesn’t have to define one’s retirement or indeed, later years. It has often been reported that being socially active is as important to health as staying physically active and creating a positive and fulfilled retirement is at the heart of what LifeCare Residences offers for residents. Socialising not only staves off feelings of loneliness, but also helps sharpen memory and cognitive skills, increases your sense of happiness and well-being, and may even help you live longer, as well as lowering the risk of dementia. LifeCare Residences champions health, enjoyment, a strong sense of community and mental well-being which is also underlined by their ethos, ‘We care about living life’. Combatting retirement loneliness has never been more important or relevant, as recent research by Age UK highlights that following the Coronavirus Pandemic, there are now 1.4 million chronically lonely older people in England, with 225,000 often going for a week without speaking to anyone at all. The LifeCare Residences team is dedicated to creating the optimum environment to help retirees prosper by providing exceptional living environments, services, and amenities as well as a strong emphasis on supporting residents in achieving their health and lifestyle goals.
Not to be confused with ‘care homes’, the communities operated by award-winning LifeCare Residences provide vibrant places to live, offering a full-spectrum of five-star amenities and services that not only make day-to-day living smoother but also help to free up time, allowing retirees the luxury of time to appreciate the pastimes and hobbies they’ve longed to enjoy. What is more, it has been proven that indulging in activities and hobbies can help to slow the ageing process. This is corroborated by resident Anne Hobson who made the move to Battersea Place – London’s first luxury retirement community –who says upon observing residents when they first arrive; “What’s incredible is they come in looking sad and withdrawn, and suddenly you see them, three or four weeks later, sitting playing Scrabble with somebody, or they are outside reading a newspaper in the sunshine and there’s always a sense of happiness. I have never walked into any room at Battersea Place, and not seen happiness, which is quite something!”
The LifeCare Residences communities are run by a dedicated and compassionate team who provides ample opportunities for residents to banish loneliness, meet like-minded people and even get involved in a range of activities and clubs on offer – be it board games, crafts, ukulele, cards, falconry, archery, bridge, or music. Award-winning Battersea Place in London not only provides a full spectrum of five-star amenities and services for its residents, but the on-site events coordinator is dedicated to helping facilitate a wide array of clubs and classes to get involved in, such as the popular Theatre and Opera Supper Clubs, a Book Club, and a Gentlemen’s Discussion Club. In addition, Musical Dinners, Murder Mystery Nights, and live screenings from the Royal Opera House as well as residents’ talks and lectures from visiting film and art historians. It doesn’t end there – residents at Battersea Place can join a Bridge Club as well as turn their hand to Scrabble or even an art class. At Somerleigh Court, there is a revolving calendar of events, talks and excursions for residents, such as Gardening and Baking clubs. One such resident, Barry Rutherford, a retired policeman, who moved to Somerleigh Court, agrees that moving to a retirement community provides the ideal opportunity to feel part of a community, stave off loneliness and make new like-minded friends. “I didn’t know anyone before I moved in, but now I have plenty of like-minded friends to chat to. I’m literally surrounded by friends. There is a full programme of events to enjoy such as interesting guest speakers and visiting musicians and a regular pianist comes in and plays on request which is delightful. In fact, there is a wider and more interesting cross-section of people here at Somerleigh Court than there were in my old village!” At Grove Place, in the heart of the Hampshire countryside, residents can enjoy a wide-ranging plethora of activities set up by the dedicated team. Weekly activities on offer include a Gardening Club, Craft Club, an art class, a Creative Group, Bridge, and a Choir. Residents find their social circle expanding once again, while day-to-day living is made easy and as maintenance-free as possible with numerous opportunities to socialise, including during meals, leisure experiences and outings.
The lockdown period during the Coronavirus pandemic was a very lonely time for many older people, however, the caring LIfeCare Residences team were on hand to ensure that residents were reassuredand fulfilled during this difficult time. This is exemplified by a family member of a Battersea Place resident, who commented on the commitmentthe team provided during lockdown; “The team at Battersea Place is invaluable, especially at a time when neither my brother or I could be there with Mum physically.” To stave off lockdown loneliness, the team ensured that social events and coffee mornings continued. At Grove Place, for example, a planned indoor VE Day celebration was not cancelled in 2021, instead, an alternative plan was made to ensure the residents had a full day of enjoyment, reflecting a strong community spirit. The LifeCare Residences team worked tirelessly throughout lockdown to introduce new initiatives and practical on-site services designed to not only lift the spirits of the residents during such a disheartening and dispiriting time but also to make life under national lockdown run a little smoother. For example. residents at Battersea Place who were unable to see their families were given practical help in the form of assistance with their videoconferencing accounts in order that residents were able to combat loneliness and able to continue to communicate with friends and family.
Living in a retirement community such as the ones operated by LifeCare Residences provides residents with a rich and varied retirement as exemplified by the reasons above. But another reason residents feel less lonely is because of the fantastic locations of these communities. Battersea Place, the first luxury retirement community in London, sits a stone’s throw away from Battersea Park and the bustling heart of Chelsea with The Kings Road mere moments away. Somerleigh Court in Dorchester is right on the doorstep of Borough Gardens, a beautiful 19th-century park, and a short stroll from the town centre where there is always lots taking place. Grove Place residents, in Hampshire, are able to enjoy unfettered access to the 27-acres of land with the market town of Romsey nearby and Southampton a short drive away.
Well-documented ways of tackling loneliness include staying social and exploring new interests – both of which can be found in abundance at LifeCare Residences Communities.
If you would like to learn more about our offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call 0800 009 6950. For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.
LifeCare Residences. We care about living life.