For many of us the festive season is a highlight of the year, but new research from Age UK shows a massive 1.4 million older people are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas, and worrying numbers are feeling depressed and anxious about the prospect of spending it alone.
Those effected by loneliness later in life is a problem for several reasons. Not only does this pose a negative impact on a person’s mental health, but it can also affect their physical health too. Studies have shown that lonely individuals are more likely to develop heart disease, high blood pressure and weakened immune systems. Plus, older adults, who may be less likely to seek medical help when they need it are more at risk from home accidents and mild illnesses, as they are less likely to have someone checking in on them.
Of course, there are lots of things you can do to combat feelings of loneliness, including taking up a new hobby, regular exercise, volunteering or joining a local community group. However, where feelings of loneliness are severe it is always best to consult your doctor to help identify the best course of action.
At McCarthy Stone we understand the serious implications loneliness has on older people’s wellbeing, which is why we are so proud of the warm and friendly communities that our developments help create. All our developments offer welcoming communal lounges, providing an ideal space for homeowners to meet and take part in regular activities including coffee mornings, knit and natters, movie nights or themed events.
Most of our developments boast stunning landscaped gardens which offer fantastic open social spaces for homeowners to enjoy garden parties and barbeques in warmer weather. Whilst all our gardens are maintained, gardening clubs have become increasingly popular at some of our developments, with many green fingered homeowners coming together to plant vegetables and flowers in raised beds within the communal grounds.
There’s never an obligation to take part in any of the activities- homeowners are welcome to dip in and out as they please. However, these social gatherings and sharing of pastimes are what makes our communities so vibrant and helps our residents stay connected.
Another big part of what helps make these communities so special is the brilliant staff that serve them. House and Estates Managers play a vital role in offering all our homeowners support when they need it, meaning there’s always someone there for a chat or to check on them if they’re not feeling well.