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Overcoming loneliness in old age

Published: 19 November 2015

A million older people in the UK haven’t spoken to anyone for a month, according to Age UK

Moving into a retirement home can be an incredibly effective tonic against loneliness for single people

Getting old can be a lonely business. As children grow up and leave home, and partners and friends move on or away, it can be hard to find new people to fill the gaps they have left behind.

According to Age UK, the charity for older people, a million older people in the UK haven’t spoken to anyone for a month, while an estimated five million older people consider their television to be their main form of companionship.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a solution. As many single people have already discovered, moving into a retirement home can be an incredibly effective tonic against loneliness. Living there can provide company and friendship that can be difficult to find when you live on your own.

Instead of spending their days alone, barely talking to anyone from week to week, older single people are able to enjoy the company of other like-minded people with similar interests. Indeed for many people, moving into a retirement home can herald a whole new wonderful lease of life.

New friendships 

It is not hard to see why. Retirement properties are safe and secure places to be, and provide a warm, friendly atmosphere where it is easy for new friendships to flourish. All the residents are of a similar age and stage in life, and in contrast to the bustle of their earlier lives, they have time to stop and chat. New residents soon discover that they have friendly neighbours to invite round for a cup of tea, or to go for a walk with. Its easy to make new friends when you move in. Learn more about the social aspect of living in a retirement development.

Many retirement properties also offer an active social events programme, with activities to suit many residents’ interests. These might include coffee mornings, fish and chip suppers, games evenings, day trips, craft workshops and even talks by visiting lecturers. Malpas Court in Northallerton has a fantastic social community with lots of activities going on to suit all tastes. Find out more about the activities at Malpas Court.

The fact is that many single people moving into a retirement home discover that they are able to form wonderful new friendships that last for many years. Indeed some even find something more than friendship.

Amanda Tomlinson, marketing manager for retirementmove, the UK’s specialist national property agents for retired living, says that Retirementmove has already seen two marriages amongst the single people they have helped move into retirement homes.

“Retirement properties are really well suited for single people because there is an immediate social group of people who are of a similar age. There are lots of people who move into retirement homes who have lost their other half, and they are able to make a new life for themselves and be happy for many years,” she says.

As the saying almost goes, it is never too late to make new friends, and it is never too late for love. You just have to make sure you are in the right place for it to happen. 

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