There are many myths about retirement village living, but they don’t do anyone any favours…
Retirement takes you away from the hustle and bustle of working life. At first, the quiet lack of co-workers can feel refreshing and peaceful. However, for many, after a while, the peace turns to boredom and the feeling of isolationーparticularly if you live alone. Studies show that isolation and loneliness can have adverse effects on your health. Getting out and about in your community can improve all aspects of your health. Here are our top four ways to beat retirement loneliness.
Find What You’re Passionate About
What are you passionate about? Finding something within your community that you are excited, or enthusiastic for is the easiest way to get involved. Brainstorm what you enjoyed to do while you were working, and what you would like to do more of. From this, have a look at what jobs or volunteering opportunities there are in your community. This could include anything from planting trees, mentoring kids, to helping out at your local op shop. By identifying what you love to do, and participating in that realm, you are going to find a host of other people who share your passions. Volunteering New Zealand is a great place to start.
Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tokーit feels like the list of social media sites never ends. Social media is a great way of getting involved when you know where to look. Bringing together retirees from New Zealand and abroad, you can connect over shared interests or locations. Facebook groups are one great option. There is a group for every hobby, area, and occupation where enthusiasts come together to share ideas and questions. Joining some groups is a great way to feel involved, and can keep you in the loop for real-world events.
Similarly, MeetUp is a global app where individuals can host meet-ups for a certain topic. Everything from coffee groups, to writing courses, to hiking adventures can be found online. You can also see who else is planning on attending and talk to them beforehand so you feel more comfortable. It is a great opportunity to engage with people you may never have met, and discover a new hobby.
Learn Something New
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Perhaps you swore you’d one day learn French (zut alors!), or wanted to master cooking Asian cuisines. Join a class! Not only do you have the opportunity to learn a new skill, but you will be surrounded by like-minded people, eager to try their best. It can be nerve-wracking to put yourself in unfamiliar situations, like a class, but you can rest assured knowing that everyone is in the same boat as you.
Recently I joined a Street Latin dance class. Not only were my fellow fledgeling dancers far more diverse than I imagined, but quickly a sense of comradery developed between us all. We shared sympathetic glances as our teachers spun quickly and taught us complicated steps. Now, I can adequately butcher a bachata and stumble through a salsa, while having a laugh with surprising friends. Joining a class can be a wonderful addition to your life, and benefit your fitness, cooking abilities, and social circles!
Living alone can be quite isolating, especially if you are used to a house full of kids or chatty co-workers. Retirement Villages such as Highgrove Village are built on having family-like community. Perfectly balancing socialisation with private and luxurious apartments, you have the best of both worlds. Extroverted, introverted or somewhere in the middle, you have the complete flexibility to live as you like.
The benefits of village living extend past the convenience of living in proximity to like-minded individuals, there are also numerous activities and groups. Join your friends for Zumba, board games or our Sunday Roast. Alternatively, you retain the ability to go and join community groups or explore your community.
Getting involved in your community is one of the best ways to beat retirement loneliness, improve your quality of life and find activities and people you love. If you would like to hear more or are looking for advice, we’d love to get in touch.