With the advancing age of our population and increasing demands on healthcare services, community participation has become an essential consideration for healthy ageing. Imagine if you could have access to all of this at home.
Professor Sunil Bhar, director of the Wellbeing Clinic for Older Adults at Swinburne University, leads a dedicated research team focused on the emotional wellbeing of older Australians.
“We know from the work we have done that loneliness is not cured by busyness and activities. It’s cured from the resident feeling visible and feeling that their values, preferences, and identity are all taken into account.”
Which is why staying connected and finding your community is so important. So, how do you find a community within your living environment?
You might do a bit of soul-searching or self-analysing when defining your sense of connection. For Taringa Parkside resident, Wendy, community means not being alone.
“Community is knowing that someone out there cares and there’s always someone there if you need it. That’s what Aveo gives me."
For Wendy’s neighbours, Beryl and Arnold, the new friendships they’ve made is one of the things that makes their retirement living experience so special.
“When we arrived five years ago, we felt as though we’d been wrapped in a big blanket of friendship. Everyone was so caring and friendly, without being too nosy. It was just a lovely warm feeling to be here. I think this is a village in the true sense of the word, it’s such a friendly place to live.”
Beryl & Arnold, Residents
Moving to a retirement village provides an opportunity to help seniors stay connected as they get older.
Community Manager, Antonio Peluso, has seen countless times how becoming part of the community connects residents to one another and the team.
Antonio Peluso, Community Manager
“The residents will often talk about their friends and their neighbours because they’ve gotten to know them really well over time and they see them as family. That’s what community living is about. You know that there’s someone there. There’s people that are looking out for you. They really value that, so they do talk about that a lot.”
Community matters because it creates a sense of purpose, builds social connections and offers a support network you can connect to at any age.
Readers will find a community of others who like to read; golfers will spend time with other golfers; pet lovers will meet to enjoy time with other pet lovers and so on.
Being an active participant in your community helps all to be bonded by values, attitudes and in some cases, goals, which are all the ingredients to enjoying a fulfilling life.
For Bruce, playing cards with his crew on Thursdays helped him connect with community.
“Everyone’s really friendly. The other option for me was to move into a set of flats, and I just don’t think there would be the same feeling, you would get to know the people in the same way as you do here. With the main centre, you can go up there and meet people and do things. It’s nice knowing that there’s always someone there.”
Bruce, Wendy and Graham, Residents
An Aveo retirement community is more than just your home.
It’s your community. Retirement living promotes a culture of engagement, wellbeing and support.
Resident-centred and requested programs, activities and events encourage participation and help everyone explore new interests, meet neighbours and build a strong community.
If you’re not sure if retirement living is right for you, then Antonio says the best thing you can do is come and have a look.
“Come in, come to an event, come and see the staff. Just walk through the village and experience what it’s like to be here. Talk to some of the residents, talk to the family members because they’ll bump into family member too. And you can sort of say “How is your mum finding it?” and that gives them that sense of reassurance.”