Community living

As I now live in what is called a retirement village for the over 55’s I though I would write down my thoughts on this kind of living. This particular village is a complex of one and two bedroom flats. There are two annexes as well as the main building and I believe something like 285 flats in all. That is a large number and could mean around 400 people live in this complex. There is a shop open in the mornings for a couple of hours, a coffee bar open in the mornings for breakfast and a bar open in the evenings. These are run by people who live here. There is also a hairdressers, a charity shop, a games room, a computer suite, a laundry, as well as a small library. The corridors are wide and there are plenty of seats to sit on if you get tired walking somewhere. There are also two atriums where you can sit amongst the plants in comfort and entertain your friends. In the evenings and some afternoons there are quizzes, knit and natter groups, bingo and entertainment at the weekend. Various business people bring stalls at regular intervals so you can buy clothes, jewellery, handbags etc.

This means that you don’t actually have to leave the building at all and I suspect there are some that don’t. Does everyone get on together? Well, like any village there will always be those who complain about others and those who do not like where they live but in general everyone seems friendly.You can stay in your flat all day if you wish or you can go out on the bus to shop elsewhere and you can go for a walk in the small country park a few minutes walk away.

There are several thoughts that have crossed my mind about this kind of living. One is that it could be very easy to do nothing else except what is provided here. Would that make you an introverted person or perhaps dependent on what is provided here? Is this a good thing or not? For me it is fine as long as I can get out in the country park and to other places on the bus. I do wonder if my feelings will change if my mobility goes completely. Is it good to have people of this age range living together? If some residents have children and grandchildren and they visit then that keeps the family ties and the generations mingle together. I am lucky that I have found a few people here who also like the walk up to the pond and that is good. It is early days yet so more friends could be made in the future.

What are your thoughts on this type of housing complex for the over 55’s? Would you live in one when you get older? Are there better ways of living for the older person?


5 thoughts on “Community living

  1. In a way it sounds idyllic. I’m sure that comes at a price that I, and very many others, would not be able to afford. So how do we provide a nice life for our poorer elders would have to be my first question.

    • Hi Kris, It is owned by a housing association so if you can’t afford the rent you can get help via housing benefit; the staff will help you to do this. There are a lot of these villages around.

  2. Well I think “it depends”, my dear mother lived in a similar place for the last 16 years of her life (she was 95 when she died a couple of years ago). She thought it was the best thing she had done, there were people from the village she grew up in there and she made new friends. My brother and his family lived in the next street, there was a craft class that made things for the premature babies in the hospital up the road and she was happy to the end. But mum was a quiet woman who never had been one for going out and about. While I hope I have inherited some of her goodness of nature I wonder if it would suit me? I have been more of an out and about person used to living in a mixed society. I now live at the opposite end of the country to my home town and have no old family or old friends here. I like living surrounded by a mix of ages but possibly when I get nearer to my mother’s venerable age I will be glad of the peace?

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