The happiness formula: why community living is key to avoiding loneliness in later life
With the pandemic, the past 12 months have reinforced just how important feeling connected to others is for our health and wellbeing and it is now more important than ever to take steps to avoid social isolation.
It goes without saying that feeling lonely and isolated doesn’t feel great, but what you might not know is just how much of a health risk it can be.
Research has linked experiencing loneliness to an increased risk of different health problems such as heart disease and depression.
On the other hand, research also confirms that people with strong social relationships are more likely to be healthier and live longer.
According to the Australian Loneliness Report, the coronavirus has left a lot of older Australians feeling that loneliness, with a survey showing that almost one in three people aged between 60 and 85 felt isolated during lockdown.
It was, however, quite a different story for residents of Ingenia Gardens communities. A separate survey conducted around the same time, not only found that 82 per cent of Ingenia Gardens residents had a positive outlook on life, 90 per cent were moderately to extremely satisfied with the sense of community they felt.
It takes a village
Nicole Jentz, portfolio manager residential communities at Ingenia Communities puts such positive survey results down to several things.
“Our residents are able to draw on the strong sense of community and belonging that has helped them navigate the past 12 months of ups and downs,” she explains.
“Simply knowing that they were surrounded by like-minded people, in a community where they’d already established relationships, has made a big difference.”
Coping with life’s transitions
It’s not just during these challenging times where community living protects against social isolation.
“Our residents are from all walks and different stages of life and our weekly program of social events really reflects that,” Jentz said.
“Residents tell us that being able to access these clubs and activities at their fingertips makes life easy.
Find out more by contacting Ann, community manager, on 5248 5011 or go to ingeniagardens.com.au.