One of the great advantages about moving into a retirement village is the ability to socialise.

It is a sad fact of life that as people age they lose outlets to socialise: they leave the workplace, their children move out of home and friends suffer serious illness or death.

Retirement living encourages being social. Friendly, lively social interactions can improve nutrition and overall health in older adults too.

Now a study of more than 28,000 Chinese people, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, has found frequent socialising may extend the lifespan of older people.

Overall, more frequent social activity was associated with significantly longer survival. The greater the frequency, the greater the likelihood of living longer.

Up to 5 years from the start of the monitoring period standardised death rates were 18.4 per 100 people monitored for a year among those who never socialised; 8.8 among those who did so occasionally; 8.3 among those who did so at least monthly; 7.5 among those who socialised at least once a week; and 7.3 among those who did so nearly every day.

Retirement villages have been architecturally designed to benefit being social.

A 10-year longitudinal study of Australian retirement village residents, commissioned by the DCM Group (the publisher of found 83% of residents felt safer in the age-friendly community than in their previous home, with 94% of residents confirming they were “glad to be living in a retirement community during these uncertain COVID-19 times.”

Residents reported long-lasting benefits through optimised quality-of-life, including remaining physically independent longer; feeling safe and secure; remaining financially independent; having a sense of self control over life; and ageing with grace, dignity and joy.