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The social benefits of independent living

If you or a loved one are seeking out retirement options, it’s important to know what’s out there before making a choice.

With an increasing number of seniors seeking out more active options, retirement villages have had to evolve, providing different levels of care for the changing demographic.

Referred to as “self care”, independent living gives residents the freedom to live safely in a purpose-built home within a community, allowing them to be as active, or as private, as they’d like to be. With staff and neighbours encouraging interaction, Strategic Operations Manager of Retirement Living for Aveo, James Wiltshire, says there are many health and social benefits to independent living.

“Social isolation is one of the biggest contributors to dementia,” James said. “In living with folk of a similar age, residents often find they are more inclined to participate in the social side of community living, engaging in events which may be coordinated by village staff or residents.

“The benefits of this cannot be underestimated, especially as more and more research suggests social isolation contributing to depression and dementia.”

While independent living is not a new trend, consumer directed care is, encouraging older Australians to stay in their homes for longer. “Delivering care into someone’s homes does not address issues of social isolation and the associated condition,” James adds. “Moving into independent living when you are still active and able does not exclude you from accessing these services. Rather these services can be delivered to your independent living unit to keep you independent while still living in a retirement community.”

Aveo residents, Eva and her husband Alex, moved into Aveo Bayview Gardens with their small Jack Russell / Mini Fox Terrier in 2013. According to the couple, they chose Aveo Bayview Gardens for its layout and ambience, easy location to both Mona Vale and Warriewood Shopping Centres and adequate bus services.

“We have easily made new friends and had no problem joining in the various activities on offer in the village such as aqua fitness, Scrabble, table tennis, croquet, bowls and social game days, as well as knitting and arts and craft groups. “Movies are shown twice a month and trivia nights are also on offer along with various other monthly entertainment activities. Residents have their own committee with monthly open meetings with they can air their problems or requests.

“There is as much or as little to do as you want here at Aveo Bayview Gardens.”

Original story was published on

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