How moving to a retirement community can rid feelings of loneliness and isolation

Loneliness is now widely recognised as a major issue in society which can severely impact health, well-being and confidence.

Written by

Jane Slade

Research has shown that social isolation or loneliness in older adults is associated with a 50 per cent increased risk of developing dementia, a 30 per cent increased risk of coronary artery disease or stroke, and a 26 per cent increased risk of all-cause mortality.

According to the charity Age UK an incredible 1.4 million older people are often lonely.

Of course there is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. And no retirement operator understands that better than Beechcroft, which designs retirement developments for those who want to live independently but feel connected to the wider community.

Beechcroft has been building developments in Oxfordshire, Kent, Surrey, Hertfordshire and Berkshire for the past 40 years, and has more on the way. They are the experts when it comes to understanding what it takes to create happy communities of like-minded downsizers, who don’t want to be burdened with expensive monthly charges and exit fees.

Beechcroft only builds in carefully, chosen locations, such as delightful market towns with lots of restaurants and leisure facilities nearby, and charming areas that offer a blend of town and country.

Photos of some cakes at Beechcroft's coffee morning
A group of people celebrating with tea
Outside Castle Gardens, Watlington

There’s little chance of feeling lonely or isolated when you have wonderful facilities on your doorstep; a full programme of social activities and an Estate Manager on hand to offer help and advice.

“The sales team and the Estate Manager here are really friendly and helpful,” says Anne Inglis who has recently moved into a two-bed ground-floor apartment at Beechcroft’s Pinewood Place, a gated community near Windsor in Berkshire

“Having an Estate Manager is a good idea when growing older,” she adds. “It means there’s a point of contact and someone to help when you need a hand with something.”

“There’s a great sense of community here too.  I met my neighbours at a recent garden party and some of us got together for drinks afterwards.”

Being close to vibrant towns ensures those living in retirement developments feel connected to the wider world in ways you may not have imagined.

There is having the chance to sing in a choir, perform with an amateur drama group and even become a volunteer helping in schools, assisting in libraries, working for a local charity and even sitting on a parish council.

 “If I was giving someone tips on moving in retirement, I would say location is very important,” adds Anne. “Of course, Windsor is a lovely place to live – there’s so much to see and do and places to pop in for coffee and cake. 

Anne is anything but lonely. She attends the local branch of the U3A, convenes ‘French for Improvers’ sessions and is also a member of a book group. 

She also sings in a Rock Choir which meets in Windsor on a Tuesday morning, and even has time to enjoy amateur dramatics. She recently performed and directed a local production of Noel Coward’s Blythe Spirit.

Living in a stylish Beechcroft gated community in a sought-after part of the country also offers peace of mind when it comes to safety and security.

This is particularly important to those who are single or have found themselves alone through divorce or widowhood.

It can be difficult adjusting to life alone if you have had a long, happy marriage.

Suddenly the home you shared with a loved one that used to ring with fun and laughter is quiet and empty.

Rather than wondering how you will manage, and fearing that every creak and noise is someone trying to break in, why not think about moving to a Beechcroft retirement community where you can feel safe, reboot your later life, make new friends, and pursue new interests.

Some say you are never lonely if you have a pet. Beechcroft welcomes pet owners at all its developments. There is no better way to make friends and meet fellow animal lovers, if you have a good-natured pooch. Many developments have dog-walking groups and some residents will even offer to look after your pet if you go away.

Feeling independent is key. If you drive then that’s fine but if not or you are having to face giving up your wheels you will always find a friendly Beechcroft neighbour willing to help out; offering you a lift, run errands etc.  At some developments, there’s even a shuttle bus for shopping and trips out.

Beyond that there are even cases where Beechcroft buddies have bonded to the extent of going on holiday together enjoying cruises and short breaks. An exciting new life awaits.

This article was written by Jane Slade, the founder of the retirement property website

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