22 July 2024

How moving into a retirement community can help single women conquer loneliness

On average women live longer than men[i] and they can often find they are alone in later life. Approximately 1.4 million older adults in the UK are lonely, with a further 1.9 million stating they often feel ignored and invisible in their day-to-day life[ii].

 

Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living says moving into a retirement community can be a major lifestyle change for women as they become part of a vibrant and sociable community of people where they can make friends and enjoy social connections.

Dominic said: “Loneliness is a big issue, and for many women who live alone, it can harm their health. Studies show it can be as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Moving to a retirement community can help women beat loneliness. It’s about independent living but knowing there are people close by to talk to and make friends with should they wish.

“Retirement communities have communal areas such as lounges and gardens where people can socialise and enjoy activities including coffee mornings and fish and chip suppers, plus many will organise outings to nearby attractions.  Renting in a retirement community can also bring financial benefits for those that downsize from home ownership.

“It can enable individuals to free up capital from the sale and, when they rent in a retirement development, they no longer have to worry about the cost of the upkeep and maintenance of a home as this is included in the rent. With women’s pensions typically worth a third of men’s[iii] this can be a major draw. On International Women’s Day we’ve asked five of our residents what they think and the benefits for them are clear.”

 

Susan Long has rebuilt her life by renting in a retirement development at Norfolk House in Gosport. She says, ‘I’m a very sociable person and this means that I can suffer from loneliness. That’s what is so wonderful about living here; there is always someone up for a chat or a walk around the grounds. At the development, there are coffee mornings, garden parties in the summer months, birthday celebrations and an annual Christmas lunch.”

Jean Wray

Jean Wray is an active and sociable lady who thrives on the social aspects of retirement life. Her husband sadly died a few years ago but the community around her really supported her. She says, “I love being part of the community and helping get those who want to socialise to get out and about. There is also a communal greenhouse where we grow and share all our produce with each other. It’s a lovely way to get out, keep busy and meet new people.”

 

Margaret James (pictured above) loves her one-bedroom property at Charles Dickens Court in Portsmouth. Being a widow and living alone, feeling safe and secure was important for her. She says, “After my husband died, I knew I was never going to leave here as it offers me everything. It is a safe building with only 25 apartments, and it is in a central location so I can walk or take the bus to my local shops, especially all the good charity and antique shops, and there is a real community that lives here.”

 

Denise Birley lives in a one-bedroom retirement flat in Homerose House Southsea, Hampshire and says, “After many years, this was going to be the first time I would live alone. I’m not a well person and have heart and liver issues, so I was keen to find a place that I could manage on my own, that also offered me safety and security.”

 

Maria Elena Grillo has rented an apartment at Sheridan Lodge in Bromley for over a decade. She is settled and happy in her community which she says, “Living here feel like family. I have a lovely cosy studio apartment which I love. The gardens are beautifully maintained and there is a warm feeling around the development.”

 

To learn more about My Future Living, please visit www.myfutureliving.co.uk.

[i] https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2020to2022

[ii] https://www.britishjournalofcommunitynursing.com/content/care-of-the-older-person/loneliness-in-older-adults/

[iii] https://corporate-adviser.com/womens-pension-worth-a-third-of-mens-at-retirement/