Securing an active lifestyle
Retirement homes are no longer seen as a place to slow down, writes Tom Bowden.
SOUTH Australia’s premier lifestyle villages are deliberately becoming harder to get into.
With many retirees rating security as a primary factor when choosing a retirement village, lifestyle villages across the state are relying on CCTV, swipe cards, pin numbers and automatic card-only access gates to keep their residents safe.
Lifestyle SA general manager Stephen Norris says security initiatives are as big a selling point as resort-style recreational facilities.
‘‘Living in a safe and secure environment becomes increasingly important as we get older,’’ he says.
‘‘Feeling confident about our safety and wellbeing is vital to our overall quality of life and helps facilitate a healthy and socially active existence.
‘‘Moving into a contemporary village setting alongside other likeminded retirees certainly provides this.’’
On Statenborough at Leabrook development partner David Smallacombe says security is an increasing concern among residents.
‘‘There seems to be more crime around these days and, particularly when you’re retired, it’s a big issue for people,’’ he says.
Mr Smallacombe says there also is a range of services to ensure residents feel safe and secure.
‘‘There’s an on-site manager there to take care of any problems, there’s back-up health-care services, there’s someone to take your rubbish out and there’s a restaurant with home delivery – if you’re not feeling up to going out, people will deliver a meal for you,’’ he says.
While some people associate retirement with slowing down, many retirees see their new-found spare time as an opportunity to socialise, exercise and travel.
Retirement villages have tapped into the activity notion, equipping lifestyle villages with swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, bars, bowling greens and pool tables for people who don’t quite feel ready to slow down.
‘‘Today’s new generation of baby boomer retirees have higher expectations and expect more fulfilment in their retirement than any previous generation before them so we really had to raise the bar,’’ Mr Norris says.
Mr Smallacombe says lifestyle villages are designed to make older residents feel young by providing them with a range of activities and sports to engage in.