Around 32,000 New Zealanders live in a retirement village. In a paper published by the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development, it was reported that retirement villages are a relatively new concept to the country. However, the demand "for this style of living by a small, but increasing, proportion of the older population suggests these places provide a viable alternative lifestyle to that in the broader community."
We look at some of the health benefits of moving into a retirement village
1. May help you live longer
A Swedish study found that following a healthy lifestyle - being sociable, physically active and participating in leisure activities - could add up to five years to women's lives and six years to men's. "Encouraging favourable lifestyle behaviours even at advanced ages may enhance life expectancy, probably by reducing morbidity," concluded the authors.
Which is great news as all Bupa retirement villages offer a range of daily activities and communal areas where residents can be social and physically active.
2. Help you be healthier
Bupa retirement villages offer a range of activities from movie screenings, bingo games, gardening programs and regular outings. Which may be good news for your health. According to research conducted at Rush University Medical Center, higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. It was found that a person who reported a high level of social activity was about twice as likely to remain free of a disability.
3. Hobbies can help make you healthy
When you move in to a Bupa retirement village, we go to great lengths to encourage and support you to continue on with your hobbies or start a new one which may be beneficial to your health. A study by Columbia University, New York, found that engaging in hobbies such as arts and crafts, music and reading could help reduce the effects of stress-related diseases and slow down cognitive decline.
4. Ready made friends
A retirement village can provide you with a ready-made circle of friends. Studies have found that as we get older it's important for our overall health to maintain and make friendships. Not only can it help you live longer, but if you do fall ill, it can help you recover quicker.
5. On site support
Knowing that a health professional is nearby can help put your and your family’s mind at ease, especially as we get older and are more susceptible for falls or becoming ill.
Retirement village living is a positive way to help you stay happy and healthy during your later years.