The world has been rocked by the Coronavirus, with almost everyone being locked indoors. Those over 70 have been seen to be particularly vulnerable. Would the existence of better retirement property help to insulate and protect these people?
Being locked down in a retirement village
The aim of a retirement village is to create a community of independent individuals who feel valued and respected, who will be listened to about their care and level of support. To promote a healthy lifestyle in a safe and secure environment.
Retirement homes often offer more than that, they offer access to therapists, podiatry, physiotherapy, optical and dental services, massage and hairdressing and beauty treatments you would never find in living alone in a house or bungalow.
Regular exercise is encouraged such as Tai Chi, yoga and walking and we know this stimulates us physically and mentally. New friendships are formed with neighbours and carers, so the feeling of loneliness and isolation is dissipated.
All these benefits are of course optional, the retirement villages offers retired people a place to call home with the knowledge that there are not alone, that there are things they can do it they want to, people to spend time with if they need to talk and nice safe grounds to take a stroll in the sunshine, with or without company. Nothing is forced or expected, but sometimes just knowing you are apart of a community can be enough.
Inchmarlo Retirement Village, Scotland
Set across 100 acres of land with kitchen facilities for events, community liaison officers and a GP visiting weekly, these are certainly more desirable places to be locked down during a pandemic, than isolated alone.
The price of health and well being in retirement
These facilities may come at a cost and it is not practical to assume that everyone over the age of 65 will be able to afford to live in one of these residences, or more to the point, want to live in one of these residences. However, this sort of set up does lend itself to helping to insulate and protect in the case of a pandemic.
Isolating a whole community of retired people during a pandemic
The point is, unlike a nursing home, most of the residents have separate houses. Theoretically it should be easier to isolate someone in the community, whilst allowing the other residents to maintain their quality of life while isolating. The risks of the virus spreading are minimised and it is easier to keep the risks low as residents won’t be forced to have to leave the site with food delivered onsite.
Creating a new normal in retirement living
Now is not the time to push the agenda, but it is a good time to take time to reflect so next time we will be better prepared. It is important to highlight that residents in these facilities are free to come and go in normal times. It’s just that in times like these, it would be great to have more retirees living in facilities like these.