If 2020 taught us one thing, it was how where we live can contribute to our wellbeing. Connection to community has become more important than ever, with many examples of beautiful relationships blossoming among previously unknown neighbours.
Staying at home for the best part of a year also provided an insight into living with less and for many people it was a chance to think about fast-forwarding retirement plans. With time to reflect on what really matters, many over 55s realised work was less important to them than living a meaningful life in the way that they choose.
The idea of downsizing might be financially attractive, but the thought of living a 'downsized' life can also be a daunting prospect. Where apartment style living was once appealing, retirees are now seeking a lifestyle that offers them the chance to live large.
Perhaps that's why settings that provide a rich community experience amongst wide open spaces are becoming increasingly attractive.
Angela Burgess, Manager at Cumberland View Retirement Village, says she has seen a surge in enquiries for properties during COVID. 'People often start looking at villages like ours because they don't want the maintenance associated with a large home. Our beautifully designed homes are what attract people to our village, but once they come here, they realise the really special thing about Cumberland View is the 34 acres of glorious green open space they get to call their own, as well as the wonderfully vibrant village community.'
It is known that the simple act of connecting with people can actually increase life expectancy and so for people living in retirement communities, the support systems can help combat the loneliness that many older people experience.
Angela said, 'I think during COVID a lot of people realised how isolated they were in their homes and it's made them rethink what their retirement is going to look like. I mean, they've worked hard for years and now they want to enjoy the next stage of life, but it's no fun if you are all alone. At Cumberland View, our residents not only have access to high-quality amenities, manicured lawns, picturesque walking trails, and stunning views across the Dandenong Ranges, but they also have the benefit of being part of a close-knit community. We've seen some really wonderful friendships develop among the residents, in fact many of them love it so much they encourage their friends to move here as well. It really is a unique way of living'.
The pandemic has taken a toll on mental and physical health, but it has also offered an opportunity to rethink the way we live. For many, retirement may be a pathway back to the style of community living that we remember growing up, but maybe lost touch with along the way.
For more information on Cumberland View Retirement Village visit www.cumberlandview.com.au