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Life in a Village

Living in a Retirement Village can offer a supportive environment and encourage independence, as well as the ability to enjoy social and leisure activities, if you choose.

(Source: Shutterstock)
Many retirement village residents say they have become more active since moving to a retirement village (Source: Shutterstock)

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 home maintenance and other services such as 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.

(Source: Shuttertsock)
(Source: Shuttertsock)

Retirement living governance

There are some aspects of retirement living governance which you can choose to be involved with on a voluntary basis.

Resident Committees

To promote and protect the interests of residents, Resident Committees are an integral group at Retirement Villages.

Committee members are elected by other residents to hold office for a term of one year, however residents can stand for re-election after their term passes.

While participation is optional, Resident Committees offer the opportunity to make a contribution to the village and the chance to interact in a supportive way with other residents.

Finance Committees

Retirement villages also have finance committees as the administering authority 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.

State Retirement Village Association

Australia’s peak body for the residential village industry is the Property Council of Australia – Retirement Living. It works closely with state associations which represent people living in residential communities.

Where to find a retirement village

If you want to learn more about retirement villages’ services and amenities, visit RetireRealEstate.com.au. With engaging editorial, up-to-date contacts and a guide of more than 1,000 villages and communities in Australia, it will help you make the right choices for a simpler lifestyle.

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