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Retirement villages now offer all the bells and whistles – Editor’s Letter

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Our last retirement supplement saw us inundated with letters from readers, and was one of the most well-read supplements of the year.

With a large number of people either entering retirement or having parents who are, questions often come up regarding the best place in which to live. With people as young as 50 now able to buy into some retirement villages, it’s obvious that the developers have to create full-on communities equipped for those from any stage and age, ensuring that people get a one-stop-shop with all the bells and whistles.

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The needs of a 55-year-old are different from those of a 90-year-old – and so we are finding developments that cater for both, with perhaps a tennis court as well as a frail-care unit. With the rise in cases of dementia, I am also glad to see dementia units being built into some developments.

Another factor hastening the move to retirement villages is the increase in early retirements, or people wanting to live in a place with a village feel in times of lockdown. One of the letters we received after the previous supplement came from Julian Carter, 85, a retiree living in a retirement village in Pinetown who writes a newsletter and is very active in his community.

The letter was charming and in-depth and gave insight into life for our many retirees. It also shows the camaraderie that can build up in a community. “Even in a large village, one of the most dreadful things to cope with (particularly in these times of Covid-19 lockdowns) is loneliness,” Carter wrote.

“In our frail care and assisted living areas people are still confined to quarters and for a single person, this can be dreadful. Both my wife, Maureen, and I make it a habit to phone people there on our internal phone and try to cheer them up.”

On another aspect of retiree living in a retirement village: “…one of the very best things about this life is that people do not try to persuade you to do anything that you are not entirely happy with. A suggestion may be made to you, but the ultimate decision on your participation is entirely up to you, with no pressure brought to bear.

Having said that, there is always something on the go for the active, or even fairly active, resident who wishes to partake.” And Carter’s recipe for longevity?

“A smile, keeping active and – even more, important than the smile – is the regular use of ‘thank you!’ and an expression of appreciation when it is earned.”

Wise words. Happy retirement village hunting readers, do keep us posted.

Warm regards

Vivian Warby



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