A Happier, Healthier Lifestyle in an Integrated Retirement Community

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4th Oct GeneralHealth

Belonging to a supportive and supported community helps keep you healthier and happier for longer. Don’t just take our word for it, though – there is research to back us up. A recent study from ProMatura International and ARCO (Associated Retirement Community Operators) has shown that people who live in Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs) in their later lives are happier, healthier and live more fulfilling lives when compared to people living on their own, or in only a small group of people. 

The research included nearly 3,000 residents of retirement communities, as well as more than 1,000 who were considering making the move. This made the research one of the largest of its kind into the IRC industry. The joint study found that 90% of IRC residents thought they’d made the move at the right time of their lives, and 6% wished they’d moved in sooner. As many as 71% of respondents thought that moving into an IRC would benefit them in making friends.  

So, how does moving into an Integrated Retirement Community help you in your later life? You could: 

Stay healthier for longer 

Being healthy in later life is not just about physical illnesses and long-lasting aches. It’s also about mental well-being, which comes much easier when you are a part of a community. People living in Integrated Retirement Communities have access to ready-made, welcoming communities, that are key to building lower stress lifestyles.

People living in managed communities don’t have the worries that come with maintaining a larger house, with help to deal with all the jobs that they might have needed to do themselves. The research found that more than 70% of respondents felt their health had stayed the same or got better since moving in. With an average respondent age of more than 84, this is a significant improvement on the usual patterns of health in older people. 

Be more active 

Staying active is an essential part of staying healthy and happy in older age. This is much easier to do when you don’t have the worries of working, or of all those little jobs around the house. IRCs are great places to get involved with a wide range of physical activities – from a simple walk in the beautiful private gardens to joining a tennis club or dancing society. Being part of a club or group is a great way to stick at an activity when you’re new to it, and to maintain the benefits of being active for longer.  

Be less lonely 

Older people who don’t have access to a social safety net have worse health outcomes than those who do. Loneliness can be found to be linked to higher risks of a range of conditions, including: high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s and more. People in Retirement Communities are much less likely to feel lonely, with a ready-built community of similar age people waiting for them when they move in. Only 5% of residents said that they felt lonely often, compared to 12% of non-residents. Furthermore, 64% of residents said that they never felt lonely, compared to 53% of non-residents. 

Have a greater sense of a safety net 

Worries about your health and the future are damaging to your overall wellbeing. When you need to worry about what will happen if you have a fall, or there is an emergency, you can’t relax into your retirement. An Integrated Retirement Community like Adlington allows you to live your life without worries, as you know you have access to a safety net of support when you need it. Whether it’s emergency alarms for falls, or assistance with potentially tricky tasks like changing light bulbs, living in an IRC helps give you that greater sense of a safety net.  

Feel more secure 

Feeling safe and secure in our homes gives us the chance to be comfortable in getting started with a new stage of our lives. Knowing that you can pack up and leave your property to go on holiday without fear of break-ins or damage to your property enables you to go on those adventurous trips you’ve always been thinking of. Having that sense of security also gives you the comfortable position to start from in your new stage of life that gives you the confidence to try new things.  

Enjoy life more 

The ARCO-sponsored study found that a clear majority of IRC residents (55%) found that their quality of life had improved, compared to a year ago. Compared to non-residents, who were more likely to disagree that their quality of life had improved, residents generally find that they are enjoying life more after moving into an Adlington location. Freedom from worry, and a new focus on living a happier, healthier life allows you to start enjoying life more now that you have entered a new stage of your life. Our homeowners find that when they move into an Adlington Community, they have the time and opportunities to get started in new things and enjoy their lives more.  

Enjoy more privacy 

Finally, it is important to discuss the ways in which living in an Integrated Retirement Community is different than the preconceptions that many people might have. An IRC apartment is exactly that – a self-contained, private apartment. While most of our homeowners enjoy being part of a larger community, it is important to note that you are under no pressure to do so, and you still have the facilities to enjoy plenty of private time. Privacy is as important to your future health and wellbeing as community. With Adlington, you get plenty of both.  

Just Getting Started 

Moving into an IRC is a big decision. However, we believe (and the evidence suggests we’re right), that our communities offer a way to be healthier and happier in your older years. While the perception of retirement communities might incorrectly be that the residents are coming to the end of one stage of their lives, that isn’t how we like to think of it. Many of our homeowners start new, healthy and happy lives only after they move in. Indeed, we’ve heard on more than one occasion that a homeowner isn’t coming to the end of anything. In fact, they’re just getting started.  

If you’re ready to learn more about retirement communities, there are a few steps you can take: 

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