Keeping connected

Maintaining a busy social life is not often high on the agenda when looking at retirement options but it should be. Loneliness and isolation are common concerns among older Australians.

Many retiring baby boomers and elderly Australians have found their families have either moved too far away or can’t make regular get-togethers so that opportunities for social engagement are few and far between.

The new breed of retirement living residences are busy changing that by prioritising lifestyle amenities for residents, Olga Sales and her husband Michael began socialising with the Cranbrook community even before they moved into their new apartment at Cranbook Residences at Kellyville.

The Cranbrook facilities include a centrally-located café with water views, a purpose-built cinema, well-stocked library, craft room and supervised gym plus landscaped gardens, and barbeque areas. Before moving into their three-bedroomed apartment in July 2018, the couple met existing and prospective residents by attending monthly barbeques and social functions while their house was on the market.

“This meant when we finally moved in we felt like we were already part of the community,” said Olga.

She is delighted that friends and family of residents are encouraged to be part of the community too.

“My local library mah jong group now takes advantage of the fabulous facilities and plays here on Wednesdays. I’m also starting beginner classes so more residents can join in.

“A group of residents has also started meeting up on Tuesday evenings to play cards, and my husband and I are both loving the weekly Wednesday movies and big screen sports such as rugby and grandslam tennis matches at the cinema.”

While she is a big fan of the craft room her husband loves the library. “(He is) even considering taking up golf lessons for the first time after watching so many residents having a hit from our apartment’s balcony,” she said.

“The funniest thing is that despite the fact that he said he wouldn’t move to a retirement village, Micheal absolutely loves it! We both do – it’s amazing.”

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A Noble Arborist