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Retirement Living: The Doorway to a New Social Circle


Retirement living is much more than just a relaxed, more carefree way of living, it’s also a driver for retirees to forge friendships with like-minded people in later life. And retirement communities provide an ideal environment for socialising with those at the same life stage and with similar interests. It’s not just the joy of newfound friendships that makes this aspect of retirement living so rewarding. Companionship in later life can significantly enhance a person’s overall well-being too. Sharing experiences, offering support, and enjoying each other’s company can bring a sense of belonging, but studies consistently show that strong social connections are linked to better mental and emotional health as we age.


  • Some 3.8 million individuals over the age of 65 live alone in the UK, 58% of whom are over 75.6. Half of the over-80s live alone.
  • By 2032 there will be five million people over eighty living in the UK. According to latest government forecasts, the number of people aged over 80 is set to rise from around 3.2 million today to 5 million in 2032.
  • Persistently feeling lonely is one of the major risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • A Harvard Study found that lonely people aged 60 to 79 were three times more likely to develop dementia than their counterparts who did not report feeling lonely.
  • A quarter of older people would like to make new friends but have no idea how to do so.
  • Around 1.5 million people aged 50 and over are always or often lonely. Projections from Age UK suggest that this could rise to two million people within the next 10 years.

Loneliness makes it harder for people to regulate behaviours such as drinking, smoking, and over-eating, which in turn have their own significant negative outcomes.


Talking of her experience of the importance of friendships in retirement and how it contributes wholeheartedly to happiness and retention of mental and physical capacity for her owners, Marie Buckingham, development director for Burghley Retirement Living said:

“As people age their circle of friends gets smaller, and the loneliness creeps in. We want our owners to be active in the community, making and maintaining friendships, because we see first-hand how important this is in later life.

Countless numbers of our retirees move to our properties and make lasting bonds with like-minded people, and that contributes to their overall happiness and well-being. It’s so important; with links not just to physical fitness but slowing cognitive decline and conditions such as dementia too.”

She continued: “Owners of Burghley Retirement Living properties often highlight that one of the most valuable and unexpected aspects of moving to a luxury retirement property is the new friendships they have made. It’s wonderful to see the bonds that quickly form when people live close to one another and share a similar outlook on life.

Friends made in retirement living often become more than just social companions; they become an invaluable support system – there to lend a listening ear during challenging times and are there to celebrate life’s joys together. It’s a hugely important aspect of enjoying a healthy and fulfilling retirement.”


Burghley Retirement Living developments are designed to actively encourage owners to widen their circle of friends.

  • All properties are built with comfortable and sociable lounges / communal areas that encourage people to mingle.
  • A comprehensive programme of social events brings people together.
  • Moving to a community gives you instant neighbours.
  • Some contain gyms where apartment owners can work out together.
  • Communities offer use of guest suites, so owners can have friends from further afield to stay, when otherwise these relationships may dwindle.
  • Developments are positioned with close links to local amenities and facilities, so that either by public transport or a flat pedestrian route to the town, owners can interact with many people and stay an active part of the community.

But why just take our word for it? Here our Royles Lodge retirement living owners Pam and Sue describe how their friendship blossomed when they took the leap to retirement living.


I wanted to live in the area to be near to my daughter and I watched them build Royles Lodge. I wanted to move here for a long time because of the location. You don’t need a car as there’s a good bus route to Fleetwood and Cleveleys. It’s also near the doctors and dentist. So, it’s ideal for me.

Moving here has lifted the pressure of owning a house. There’s no maintenance; it’s all done for you. There’s a communal lounge where lots of us meet up for a sit, chat, and glass of wine. And Kerry, our Lodge Manager, is brilliant. She sorts everything!

I didn’t know Sue before I moved here, but now she’s my friend and neighbour. She’s got a lovely sense of humour, and I liked her straight away. We meet up here at in the communal lounge a few times a week and also go to Harmony and Health together – a singing group.

I like the independence of having my own home, but also being with others. I really have the best of both worlds here.



Moving to Royles Lodge is the best thing I have ever done.

I used to go to a beautician opposite the development, so I watched it being built. It made me realise it was time for a move, which was a big decision for me. But it was the right one. I wanted to stay in this area, so I came to look around.

I now have a beautiful apartment and Kerry [Lodge Manager], is absolutely wonderful. When I came to visit and moved in, Kerry made me feel so comfortable. She is so special and can do anything!

I was worried about being on my own at first, but I realise now that I never need to be lonely again. I met Pam and we got on so well. She is good company; we talk about anything, and she lives right next door to me which is wonderful. We take part in the activities that Kerry organises in the lounge such as our Christmas party and Chinese New Year event. And we often meet other people in the lounge for a glass of wine or cup of tea and a natter.

I feel so happy that I made the move to Royles Lodge and new friends like Pam make it a happy place to live.

Royles Lodge Manager, Kerry Edwards


Kerry is the popular Lodge Manager at Royles Lodge, and she added: “We encourage socialising between our retirees because we know there are so many benefits, but very often it just happens naturally, as it has with Sue and Pam. It’s so lovely to see.

“Watching people come together at Royles Lodge is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

“I think that starting up a conversation and building connections is less daunting in a retirement living situation, because there is no pressure on our owners and there are lots of opportunities to mingle. Whether it’s over a game of cards, during a fitness class, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee together, there are so many opportunities to meet new people and cultivate meaningful relationships.”

To find out more about how you could join a supportive retirement community in Shipley, Derby, Thornton-Cleveleys, and Brighouse, Click here to download a brochure or call 0800 999 1989 arrange a personal tour.


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