The results of a recent survey indicate that the UK is 20 years behind other nations in terms of Retirement Communities. The survey showed 60% were unconcerned about meeting people and making friends and that 55% believed loneliness would not be a problem.
Loneliness is a real problem in the UK and being lonely can be as bad for someones health as having a long-term illness such as diabetes.
Patients are visiting their GP because they need human interaction, adding a great strain to the NHS.
Another worrying statistic is that an estimated 1.1 million Britons are 50% more like to die prematurely, making loneliness a mortality risk.
There have also been many reports connecting loneliness with the onset of dementia with no stimulation to the senses.
Lets take a look at what a successful retirement community looks like in the USA. Millions of retired Americans, and indeed Europeans, are heading to Florida to set up in a one of many Retirement Communities for the sunshine, the properties but most importantly the lifestyle.
5 Successful Retirement Communities
The Villages – Florida
The Villages in Florida is one of the largest age restricted communities in the world. A community of residents over 55 years enjoy a town community with shops, restaurants, banks, post offices, healthcare centers, and a huge variety of activities to keep those minds and bodies active.
Photos from Ted Eytan Flickr Photo Stream
The popularity of this community draws retirees from all over the world for its reputation as being ‘the friendliest town in Florida’ with endless activities:
There are more amenities per capita in this active adult community than any city or age-restricted neighborhood in the country.
The developers of The Villages designed the community to have several places for people to meet up and socialise with friends and neighbours, so there are 3 town centres with shops, restaurants and outside spaces to gather and enjoy free nightly entertainment.
Free Golf for Life
Residents can enjoy free golf for life! Now that is a good health plan Prime Minister.
Al Kora Ladies Shrine
Breast cancer support
Christian Bible Study
Classical Music Lovers
Country Music Club
Hand & foot
Heart Problem support
Jazz ‘n’ Tap
Kings & Queens
Michigan State Alumni
Model Yacht Racing
Peripheral Neuropathy support
Trap & skeet
Village Theater Company
Weight management support
Lake Sumter Landing Town Square
Spanish Springs Town Square
25 Neighborhood Recreation Centers
17 Village Recreation Centers
8 Regional Recreation Centers
32 Executive Golf Courses (Free)
10 Championship Golf Courses
200+ Retail Establishments
50+ Outdoor Pools
Numerous State-of-the-Art Fitness Centers
MVP Sports Club
Arts & Craft Studios
Aerobics & Dance Studios
3 Movie Theaters
2 Bowling Alleys
Bocce Ball Courts
9 Softball Fields
Lifelong Learning College
Hospitals & Healthcare Centers
9 Worship Centers
RV & Boat Parking
Playground for Grandkids
Walking & Biking Trails
Pennys Farm Retirement Community
Penney’s Farms were established by entrepreneur James C Penney in 1927. He wanted to create a farming community but today Penney’s Farms is now a Town in its own right.
From Allen Forrest Flickr photo stream
Penneys Farm is an active, caring community of Christians in a beautiful setting with real sustainable ethos of conservation, renewable energy and taking care of the land.
Their website shows they care about each other, the land and promote healthy living in a beautiful safe environment.
Stone Creek is a gated over 55’s community with a small town feel and plenty of activities to suit all interests.
This community has its own library, ballroom for entertainment, 2 indoor leisure activities, craft room, billiards room, meeting room and spa.
There is a fishing lake to catch and return fish and miles of scenic walks and bike riding tracks and an 18 hole championship golf course.
Image by Darryl Kenyons Flickr photo stream
Bowling for Fun
Dining out Group
Film Critics Corner
Old Time Game Night
Smile & Breathe
Strength & Conditioning
Wine Tasting Club
State-of-the-Art Fitness Center
Full Service Massage & Spa
Steam and Sauna Room
Arts & Crafts Studio
Tiki Bar & Grill
Tennis Pro Shop
Resort-Style Lagoon Pool & Waterfall
Children’s Water Tot Lot
1/2 Basketball Court
12 Lighted Har-Tru Tennis Courts
4 Bocce Ball Courts
Covered Outdoor Terrace
State-of-the-Art Fitness Center
Aerobics & Dance Studio
Full Service Concierge
Ice Cream Parlor
90-Seat Movie Theater
2 Tennis Courts
Bocce Ball Court
Beach Volleyball Field
Outdoor Pool with Waterfall
Walking & Biking Trails
Member’s Lounge & Bar
State-of-the-Art Fitness Facility
The Classics Golf Course by Gary Player
2 Har-Tru Tennis Courts
18-Hole Flamingo Island by Robert Trent Jone, Sr.
18-Hole The Mustang by Lee Trevino
7 Target Greens, 2 Practice Putting Greens, 1 Chipping Green
Sam Snead’s Oak Grille & Tavern
Full Service Bar
On Top of the World Folk Festival
This retirement community brings residents from across America due to the stunning homes, great lifestyle and world class activities.
Three golf courses, clubhouses, fitness centres, swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants, social hubs for dancing and a theatre for performances.
Photo from Darrel Kenyon’s Flickr photo stream
Retirement Communities in Australia
Australian Unity offers Australians Independent Living but focuses on Lifestyle, Community and Security for the over 55’s.
The developers of these retirement communities have truly created social spaces, they bring people together and keep them fit, healthy and active. All the activities are optional, you can stay in your home and pick and choose what you want to do, but living a healthy lifestyle is at the heart of retirement communities.
It is not about property prices or inheritance, its about living in the here and now, enjoying life to the full by making and spending time with like minded people.
Take me there now xx
Find out more and retirement communities