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?