- Tuesday, 23 October 2012
A new report this week from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) claims one in six people in the UK aged over 50 are ‘socially isolated,’ with few hobbies and limited social networks. The report showed that the least well off amongst this age group were the most isolated, with wealthier people in the same age group half as likely to suffer from this problem.
Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals comments, “The issue of loneliness amongst older people is serious. This new report echoes research from Independent Age earlier this year that claimed half of people over the age of 75 are living alone, with one in 10 suffering from ‘intense’ loneliness. According to the ELSA report – those who have greater enjoyment in life are likely to be alive nine to 10 years later. Both reports link loneliness in older age to poor health, with loneliness considered more detrimental to health than obesity and equivalent of a lifelong smoking habit.”
One way retired people can combat isolation is to move into a retirement community where they can live independently, yet still be surrounded by neighbours and friends of a similar age.
Girlings Retirement Rentals, the market leader in retirement renting, offers purpose built apartments designed for the over 55s on assured (life-long) tenancies throughout the UK. These purpose built retirement developments offer people independent living with back up support services included in the monthly rent such as a House Manager available on site during weekdays and a 24 Careline in their apartments in case of an emergency.
One resident who has improved his health and well-being by moving into a Girlings property is 83 year old former professional actor, Robert Stafford. Robert had lived in a privately rented flat at the top of an Edwardian property in Birmingham. The house was located about 25 minutes away from the nearest shops and, as Robert had some difficulty in walking, it was unsuitable. He also fell ill and was hospitalised which was a worry because his family weren’t close by. He moved to Parkgate Court in Woking, Surrey in June 2011, a development which was close to his son and grandchildren.
Robert comments: “I swapped a drafty flat in Birmingham for a roomy and cosy apartment in a development opposite the park my grandchildren visit regularly. The people I have met at Parkgate Court are lovely and I have made many new friends. The house manager keeps an eye on us all and I feel very safe and secure. I am close to shops and everything I need. But most importantly, it is a tremendous relief and a big load off mine and my children’s mind knowing that I’m nearby and safe.”
Another Girlings’ resident, Rosie Morgan recently moved into a one bedroom apartment in Jubilee Court in Western Super Mare. Rosie says, “I have an active social life at Jubilee Court. I’m a member of the local Arts and Craft club and regularly walk into town to meet friends and attend weekly luncheons. Life couldn’t be better.”
Peter Girling, Chairman of Girlings Retirement Rentals concludes, “Many of our residents lived alone before moving into a development and hadn’t anticipated the social benefits of living in a retirement community. The majority of properties are close to amenities and good transport links so people can get out and about easily which is so important in later life. Additionally, there are communal residents’ lounges, gardens to enjoy and a guest room for residents to invite friends to stay or they can even travel to other developments for a change of scene.
“People don’t have to be alone or lonely in retirement – they can live independently, but still be part of a community and this can add to their enjoyment of life and improve their health and well-being.”
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