As National Friendship Day throws light on the importance of forming friendships at all stages of life, we take a look at how moving to a luxury retirement apartment can help to boost your social life and help you to forge new relationships. We also examine the importance of keeping a wide circle of friends as you get older, for both mental and physical wellbeing.
FRIENDSHIPS IN LATER LIFE
Friendships are a hugely important part of life. Our friends help us through the bad times and rejoice with us in the good. And there’s nothing better for the soul than a good catch up with a friend. Yet so often as we age, our circle of friends becomes smaller. It’s easy to lose touch with friends for all manner of reasons. Leaving the workplace brings some friendships to an end. For some it is through illness or lack of mobility (physically not being able to see friends as often as we’d like). For others it may be logistical factors such as moving house or not being able to drive any more. Some drift apart naturally when busy lives just get in the way.
title=”Five Ways Retirement Living Can Widen Your Circle of Friends”There are so many studies that hail the benefits of having strong friendship bonds – advantages that are not just about mental health, but physical too. And it’s important to remember that it’s never too late to make new friends, which is why at Burghley Retirement Living, building luxury retirement apartments that encourage social interaction is a cornerstone of our philosophy.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE FRIENDS AS WE AGE?
title=”Five Ways Retirement Living Can Widen Your Circle of Friends”Numerous studies have been conducted into friends in later life and it’s hard to find one that doesn’t promote friendship as a key factor for staying happy and healthy.
Age UK and the Global Council on Brain Health, advise that “keeping up ties to friends and family and taking part in social activities may help people stay sharp as they age.” Research in Texas found that having a wide circle of friends and acquaintances keeps seniors active and healthy for longer. Having meaningful social connections has also been linked to longer lifespans.
On the flip side, experts warn that 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 and the same study also outlined how loneliness is also associated with smaller brain size and poorer executive function skills (such as the ability to plan, focus attention, and remember instructions). Crucially, loneliness is also thought to increase the risk of death, chronic disease, and negative behaviours like drinking, smoking, and over-eating.
Perhaps the worse statistic though, is that 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.
BENEFITS OF RETIREMENT LIVING COMMUNITIES ON FRIENDSHIPS
A person’s housing situation can have a huge influence over their social life, with many over 60s stuck in homes that leave them feeling isolated and alone. It can be hard to take the leap to a new way of living, but purpose-built retirement communities can provide a brilliant opportunity to meet new people and forge new relationships. Here are just some of the ways retirement living can encourage friendships new and old.
Built to be social – Luxury retirement apartments such as those developed by Burghley Retirement Living are built with social connections in mind. All our premium retirement communities have bright, airy lounges and communal areas where luxury retirement apartment owners can mix and mingle with other residents.
Very often retirement housing attracts a very similar sort of personality, people who want to enjoy the time and freedom that a luxury retirement apartment gives them. When likeminded people are involved, friendships forge. At Burghley Retirement Living we see it time and again.
Regular social activities – what’s the point in creating beautiful, welcoming, homely lounges and communal spaces if they sit empty? At a Burghley Retirement Living retirement community, residents will experience a varied and vibrant social calendar, tailored to the community living in the development. From Pimm’s afternoons to Bridge nights, murder mystery nights, cooking classes, arts and crafts or sporting activities, there’s something for everyone.
If you have a hobby and you’d like to share it with others, then simply speak with your dedicated events and social coordinator.
Removing isolation, retaining independence – Burghley Retirement Living is selective about the location of our retirement communities so that our resident owners can continue to be a part of the wider community. We build our developments near to towns and villages, with excellent public transport links, making access to amenities, social groups, and sporting facilities, and thus an active social life, as easy as possible. We ensure that the access routes to the local community are flat, so that even if mobility deteriorates, our owners will always be able to stay independent. It isn’t called independent living for nothing!
Keeping active – working out isn’t just about keeping fit, it’s a brilliant way to make friends too. Each Burghley Retirement Living retirement community has a fully equipped gym, so why not find a new work out buddy and keep active together?
Room for guests – One of the biggest concerns people have about downsizing is not being able to have friends and family over to visit. At Burghley Retirement Living, guest suites are always available if you have people coming to stay and are worried that your apartment won’t accommodate them. Each guest room has an en-suite bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, fresh towels, and clean bedlinen.
Stress free living – the time and financial burden of keeping on top of a house that’s too big, too cold, or no longer suitable for your changing needs can be a longstanding, low-level stress that you may not even realise is weighing you down. Those who ‘right-size’ to luxury retirement housing often say that peace of mind is one of the main benefits. There are no security or maintenance worries. Your apartment will be just the right size and tailored to your needs, with no hazards that can cause trips or falls. And when you’re in a better frame of mind, it’s easier to be sociable and make new friends.
Burghley Retirement Living is passionate about encouraging a sense of friendship and belonging among our residents and the wider community, because we understand how important that is for living a happy, healthy, and fulfilling retirement. When you move into a Burghley Retirement Living retirement apartment you have 50+ new neighbours and potential friends; encouraging ways for that to happen is something our staff are 100% dedicated to.
But don’t just take our word for it. Hear how owners Pamela Ward and Judith Hall have already made an immediate friendship.
Why do we elevate romantic love over friendships? Are friends not just as important and if so, why is it hard to find the right words to express what these bonds mean to us? In Friendaholic: Confessions of a Friendship Addict, Elizabeth Day embarks on a journey to answer these questions.
HOW TO MAKE NEW FRIENDS IN ADULTHOOD
It isn’t just the over 60s who can struggle to make new friends. Making new relationships can be tricky at any stage of life, but it really just takes a leap of faith. Here, the Guardian gives a range of tips to make new friends as an adult.
DID YOU KNOW?
Half of Britons believe they are introverted, and nearly 60% say they have 10 or fewer friends. Read all the results of this YouGov survey into friendship.