The importance of community during the festive season
‘It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.’
– Charles M. Schulz
Christmas and the festive season are almost upon us – a time of year most associated with fun, frivolity, and family. No matter one’s culture or background, everyone gets involved in Christmas in some way – whether it’s attending a party, exchanging gifts, or hosting a special family meal. The most wonderful time of year is a time of togetherness for families – but also can unfortunately feel the opposite for people experiencing loneliness. According to the charity Age UK, more than one million elderly people are chronically lonely, with over half of the elderly aged 75 and above living alone, and this sense of loneliness is further exacerbated at this time of year.
Human beings are social creatures that thrive on connections with others, on companionship, in relationships, communities and societies. There are fundamental benefits to social interaction, for all people, but especially for those of retirement age – and this is never more pronounced than during the festive season. Award-winning and internationally renowned retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences pride themselves on providing retirees with vibrant places to live offering a full-spectrum of five-star amenities and services. But what remains at the very heart of what the team at LifeCare Residences strive to achieve, is to provide places to live where a sense of community is paramount. The residents at the LifeCare Residences Communities in Battersea Place in London, Somerleigh Court in Dorchester, and Grove Place near the New Forest in Hampshire all 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 with like-minded, vibrant people. The social side of a LifeCare Residences Community is extremely important, fostering a real sense of community. What is more, all residences operated by LifeCare Residences have guest apartments available for the many visiting friends and family at Christmas time.
The festive season is the most socially active time of year – and the LifeCare Residences retirement communities are no exception as they are brimming with festive fun for the residents, and their families to enjoy. The team at Battersea Place – the first luxury retirement community in London – are putting on a Christmas party for the residents to enjoy, with a champagne evening event. The chef led restaurant will be hosting a festive lunch and will be launching the festive proceedings with a Christmas lights turn on event, together with mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas carols. A Boxing Day brunch will also take place where residents can indulge in mulled wine, mince pies and turkey. Throughout the year, residents enjoy regular live screenings from the Royal Opera House, and to celebrate the festive season, they will be treated to a live transmission of the ultimate Christmas classic, the Nutcracker Ballet. Additionally, residents and their guests at Battersea Place can venture out to enjoy other festive activities right on their doorstep. The recently unveiled Battersea Power Station will be hosting a Winter Village from 4th December, right through until the beginning of January. It will be transformed into an alpine village with a heated, outdoor pergola seated area and there will be wooden huts serving hot chocolate, mulled wine, and other festive treats. All the food and beverage outlets within Battersea Power Station will be providing festive menus throughout this period. Nothing feels more festive than a wintery walk – leaves crunching beneath your feet, cheeks flushed in the cold air – residents can simply step over the road to enjoy the wintery beauty and 200 acres of wide-open space of Battersea Park. Just around the corner from Battersea Place is Battersea Dogs Home, who will be hosting two events on the 2nd and 9th December, where people are invited to sing carols in the company of the Battersea dogs in the stunning surroundings of St Luke’s & Christ Church, Chelsea. The beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden which is a short stroll over the bridge will also host a wonderful Christmas Fair.
Residents at award-winning retirement community Somerleigh Court, set in the heart of the vibrant and historic town of Dorchester in Dorset are also able to enjoy a wonderful festive line-up, whether on site, or a stone’s throw away. The team have invited a professional pianist to Somerleigh Court to play a selection of Christmas classics for the residents. A delicious festive lunch will be laid on as well as a fun Christmas party filled with mince pies and carols. The town of Dorchester itself will play host to the ‘Dorchester Christmas Cracker’ on Sunday 11th December, where the streets will be filled with Christmas stalls, a fancy dress parade, Christmas craft fair, hot food served as well as Christmas gifts and live music entertainment which sounds perfect to attend with friends, and even visiting family. Christmas festivities will be kicked off in the town with a Christmas Light Illumination at Brewery Square on the 28th November, heralding the start of local festive fun! The nearby town of Poundbury, the brainchild of King Charles III, will host a fabulous Christmas Market on 3rd December with over 70 independent retailers in attendance, as well as plenty of festive food and drink to enjoy.
In the heart of the beautiful Hampshire countryside there is Grove Place. The team here pride themselves on the thriving sense of community that emanates throughout, and Christmas time is no exception. A close-knit group of residents have formed a crafting club, and they will be running an in-house Christmas sale for residents allowing them the chance to stock up on fun and quirky presents for friends and family. The festive season will be kick started with the annual ‘Christmas Light Switch On’ which is a hugely popular event, complete with mulled wine, a delicious al fresco hog roast and festive entertainment. Residents will also be able to turn their hand to a wreath making afternoon workshop in the arts rooms at Grove Place. Single residents are warmly invited to a Christmas mixers event, complete with mince pies and carol singing. Grove Place will also host a wonderfully festive carol concert on the 20th of December which will take place outside at sunset around the beautifully decorated Christmas tree. For residents wanting to enjoy nearby Hampshire festive activities with visiting family there are plenty to choose from! Paultons Park, the home of Peppa Pig World in nearby Romsey will be transformed into a winter wonderland which will be popular with the grandchildren. Another exciting festive activity is the Cosmic Christmas at the popular Winchester Science Centre & Planetarium. For those more traditionally inclined, the beautiful city of Winchester will be hosting its famous Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market from the 18th of November. The place will be filled with German Christmas market inspired chalets, carols, festive lighting, and of course mulled wine!
The strong community spirit that forms the backbone to the LifeCare Residences communities means that no one need feel alone – Christmas is the season for bringing people together after all!
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.