Thriving in Retirement
Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.
There is no doubt that reaching retirement is a milestone and for many retirees it can also represent a chapter in life where they can focus on health and well-being. But, facing retirement can be complicated and daunting. When moving from working every day to a more sedimentary lifestyle, everything about your daily schedule changes. You may be more relaxed, and your life may slow down, but losing the daily structure and even work relationships can also be stressful. According to the British Psychological Society, retirement is ranked 10th on the list of life’s most stressful events, and one of the most significant challenges faced by retirees is loneliness. But on a more positive note, one recent study showed that retirement can lead to improvements in self-reported health due to the benefits of more exercise, less stress and greater sleep, with an improvement in mental health also reported. Indeed, it’s interesting and important to note that the largest and most in-depth poll ever conducted of UK Retirement Community residents and prospective residents found that people who live in retirement communities have healthier, more active, more social, more secure, and happier lives than those who have not yet moved to a retirement community. The report found that residents in retirement communities stay healthier for longer, are more active, are less lonely, feel more secure and enjoy life more.
Social connections and independence to thrive and survive
The team behind the multi-award-winning retirement communities, LifeCare Residences, wholeheartedly believes that retirement should be a time of discovery, growth, and fulfillment. LifeCare Residences communities provide welcoming places to live with a wide range of activities and five-star amenities on offer, as well as a strong sense of community at their core. Moving into a retirement village gives retirees the time and space to focus on meaningful relationships with family, friends, and their newfound community. LifeCare Residences communities offer opportunities to connect with others and engage in social activities, which in turn, can help alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Human beings are social creatures – our connection to others enables us to thrive and survive, yet, as we age, many of us are alone more often, leaving retirees vulnerable to social isolation and loneliness – and the related health problems such as cognitive decline, depression, and heart disease. Research has shown that loneliness can be a bigger killer than obesity and should be considered a major public health issue. The sense of maintaining one’s independence is one of the key drivers for retirees moving to a retirement community. Residents and family members alike are reassured to know that across LifeCare Residences communities, a caring team is at hand, 24-hours a day. Living in communities like Grove Place in beautiful Hampshire, Battersea Place in London or Somerleigh Court in Dorset allows residents to keep their independence by living in a home they love but being surrounded by friendly, like-minded individuals that help create a real sense of community. All residences have guest apartments available for visiting friends and family. Tricia Caffyn and her husband Neville made the move to Grove Place, a LifeCare Residences community in the heart of rural Hampshire, and now relish the sense of security that comes with such a supportive community and a sense of newfound independence. They still enjoy running their own lifestyle but with the added knowledge that they can choose between entertaining friends in their apartment for example – or popping out to enjoy a meal at the restaurant with other residents. Tricia comments, “We are still very much in charge of our own routine. Grove Place has enabled us to enter the next stage of our lives with the confidence that our lifestyle doesn’t have to be compromised.”
The benefits of a sense of community
It is widely recognized that people are happier and more satisfied with life when they have a greater sense of community belonging – and retirement communities provide the ideal alternative to living alone as you age. Living in communities such as those provided by the LifeCare Residences team allows retirees to pursue lifelong interests and explore new ones. Staying socially active is as important to health as staying physically active. Studies have shown that older adults who are socially active handle stress better which leads to important increases in cardiovascular health and an improved immune system. Positive social interactions on a consistent basis keep one’s brain stimulated, mentally sharp and intellectually engaged which in turn can help prevent general cognitive decline. Moreover, staying socially active and feeling part of a community empowers self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. Across all LifeCare Residences communities, residents benefit from the services of a lifestyle co-ordinator who organises local excursions, talks from visiting speakers on a variety of topics, on site activities and functions. Many new residents find their social circle expanding once again, as they have an opportunity to meet and make friends in the comfort of their own home. Day-to-day living is made as easy and maintenance free as possible in a community, as well as providing peace of mind that future healthcare needs will be met when necessary, and with numerous opportunities to socialise, including during meals, leisure experiences and outings, many residents find a restored sense of purpose and joy in their social lives once they move in. Grove Place, a beautiful retirement community operated by LifeCare Residences set in the rural Hampshire countryside is now home to retirees, Elaine and Philip Gaussen, who made the move to Grove Place to begin the next chapter in their lives and have never looked back as they thoroughly embrace the buzz and sense of community. Elaine adds, “We hadn’t realized how strong the Grove Place community was before we arrived. It’s so lovely to have nice friends and neighbours to socialise with. Everyone is so kind, and we feel at home here.”
Fitness and wellbeing in retirement
Staying physically active in retirement is also key to long-term wellness. Keeping bodies and brains active in retirement could potentially save years of ill health and help those in retirement to continue to appreciate living independently and enjoying life for longer. There are numerous ways to remain physically active during retirement and award winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences recognises the importance of staying physically active for the wellbeing of their residents. Both Battersea Place and Grove Place boast well-equipped indoor gyms and heated indoor swimming pools which are only available for the exclusive use of residents and their families. Residents at Battersea Place can take part in onsite physical activities such as Pilates, ballet, reiki, and meditation classes which are held in the gym. At Grove Place, near Romsey in Hampshire, residents can benefit from the services of a dedicated fitness trainer. Residents at Grove Place, Battersea Place and Somerleigh Court also have plenty of outdoor space to stroll in and explore – whether it’s Borough Gardens in Dorchester, leafy Battersea Park, or the 27-acres of landscaped gardens in Hampshire.
Peace of mind
In addition, all LifeCare Residences communities offer a full range of support services to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents. The team is available 24/7 to assist with anything you may need, whether it’s help with daily tasks or medical support. Transportation services are offered too – so residents can continue to explore the surrounding areas whilst maintaining their independence. Many residents don’t rely on the care facilities that are in place at LifeCare Residences communities, but simply knowing that option is available and can be easily factored into their daily lives is something that gives residents greater peace of mind. Resident Elaine Gaussen concurs; “We knew when we came here, we were planning for the lives we live now – but also for the changing needs or circumstances that might arise in the future. It feels like Grove Place can cater for all eventualities.”
Moving to a retirement community really can play a significant role in improving the health and well-being of retirees; providing opportunities to battle loneliness, increase independence, foster a sense of community, take part in activities, as well as providing a sense of safety and peace of mind.
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.