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Featured image: Reflections on the Bay by Ozcare – Independent Living Units

Wellbeing in the Retirement Village

According to the 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics Census indicate nearly one in four older Australians live alone. This is a huge number of people at risk of social isolation, which can then lead to a number of mental health issues.

Loneliness and social isolation; mobility and access to transport; lack of independence; and insufficient money are the top issues of concern to seniors; while their top health concerns are dementia and memory loss; mobility; frailty; and mental health (including depression). Retirement villages are especially designed for older people and can help alleviate these concerns.

Fostering a sense of place, community, and belonging: the design of the retirement village can encourage social encounters, increase community interactions, and build trust and civic engagement.

Reflections on the Bay retirement village design considers how the residents can SHARE public and common spaces, amenities and services to facilitate social connections with neighbours, friends and family.

The emphasis is on encouraging companionship and group activities, to get residents involved in contributing to a community spirit. Maintenance and other services provided by Ozcare allow more time and opportunities for the residents to socialise, make new friends and explore new interests. Fences between the courtyards of individual units have been intentionally excluded from the design to encourage a greater community atmosphere, safety overlooking and neighbourly discussion.

Featured image: Reflections on the Bay by Ozcare – Independent Living Units

The design of Reflections on the Bay fosters a sense of community and support. Residents are encouraged to engage with and CARE about the wider community and people outside their immediate social spheres.

Because our behavior and lifestyle are intrinsically linked to our built environment, the design of a Retirement Village should foster a sense of place and a neighbourhood feeling. A strong community satisfies a fundamental human need to connect with other people and to feel a sense of belonging. The design and operation of the retirement village should encourage a culture and lifestyle for wellbeing in the community to GROW.

Featured image: Reflections on the Bay by Ozcare – Community Centre

During retirement, one concern that crosses many people’s mind is ‘How am I going to fill my time now?’

Retirement Village Communities should also encourage residents to actively behave in ways that promote holistic health, such as walking and cycling as transport, exercising regularly, gardening and composting, keeping a pet, socialising with neighbours, and participating in community activities. It is from this active engagement and participation that residents will truly feel that they connect with one another.

Reflections on the Bay Retirement Village will offer many opportunities for residents to interact, through on-site recreational facilities including lawn bowls, swimming pool and gym, craft room, library, community meeting centres and social activities. The wellbeing benefits that come with moving into a retirement village is often as simple as giving someone the chance to try a new activity or LEARN a new skill.

We are excited to be collaborating with Ozcare to develop wellbeing in the Retirement Living and Aged Care community at Hervey Bay.