People that move into villages find that they don't lose their independence but feel more secure
Villages can be a great place to meet new people and develop a strong social network
If you move into a village, you can have a say on how the village is run if you volunteer on the residents' committee.
Many retirement village residents say they have become more active, confident and social since moving to a retirement village, and some go as far as to say they wish they’d done it sooner.
While each village has its own culture, they are based on ‘senior-friendly’ criteria and a community focused environment. You’ll be surrounded generally by like-minded friendly and welcoming neighbours.
Here is what you can expect from life in a retirement village.
Independence without the stress and work
A major appeal of retirement living is that help is at hand if there is an emergency situation and the onsite security in various forms gives you peace of mind.
Furthermore, there management and staff organise additional support and services such as home maintenance and other services, like organising laundry and dry cleaning.
Sense of community
Most retirement villages have a great sense of community and while you are encouraged to participate in activities and join social events, it’s not obligatory to go to everything on offer.
Depending on the village, some of these activities may include aerobics, water/aqua aerobics, card afternoons, Probus, personal training, knitting and sewing circles, craft groups plus outings to galleries, movies, events and places of interest.
Regular ‘Happy Hours’ and afternoons spent watching televised sport are also popular activities among some residents.
Sharing is caring
Communal facilities are common features at retirement villages, and they offer residents a range of services and amenities. There are recreational, service and social communal facilities which, depending on the village, may include:
Libraries and community centres
Barbecue areas, restaurants/cafes or Internet cafés
Gaming areas such as billiards, table tennis, indoor bowls, bowling greens and swimming pools
Medical services such as doctors, podiatrists and physiotherapists
Wellness centres which include hydrotherapy, rehabilitation programs and massage therapies
Other services such as banking and hairdressers, and rooms for hire when catering for large family gatherings or celebrating major events with friends
Happy and healthy
Many residents appreciate the additional rules and regulations particularly if you have a health condition which is aggravated by stress.
Living in a retirement community means you are not subjected to some the less pleasant aspects of regular community living such as loud music late at night and inconsiderate neighbours blocking driveways.
Some retirement living villages do have some regulations regarding the length of time guests can stay and pet restrictions, so check the village handbook before signing the agreement.
Retirement living governance
Villages tend to have resident governance systems in place to let residents have a say in certain areas of the village.
There are some aspects of retirement living governance which you can choose to be involved with on a voluntary basis.
To promote and protect the interests of residents, residents' committees are an integral part of retirement villages.
Committee members are elected by other residents to hold office for a term for a period of time, however, residents can stand for re-election after their term passes.
While participation is optional, residents' committees offer the opportunity to make a contribution to the village and the chance to interact in a supportive way with other residents.
Retirement villages also have finance committees as the administering authority of the village is required to undertake reasonable consultation with a residents’ committee on a number of issues.
This includes items such as the preparation of an annual budget for the village or consulting on village finances.
Retirement Village Associations
Australia’s peak body for the residential village industry is the Retirement Living Council. It works closely with state associations which represent people living in residential communities.
The Retirement Living Council advocates for the industry with Government while also encouraging high-quality village living.
Additionally, each State and Territory has its own members-only retirement village associations which usually assist in Government and Industry policy changes and how they will impact their members, provide information or advice, can mediate conflict resolutions with you and your retirement village, and more.
Where to find a retirement village
If you want to learn more about retirement villages’ services and amenities, visit the AgedCareGuide.com.au to see a comprehensive list of Australian retirement villages.
Also, visit our information section on AgedCareGuide.com.au to find engaging editorial about living in a retirement village that will help you make the right choices for a simpler lifestyle.
What sort of lifestyle do you want to lead in retirement? Tell us in the comments below.