If you have ever considered moving into a retirement village, you need to read this report.

This week, the industry’s peak body, the Retirement Living Council (RLC), released a new report ‘Better Housing for Better Health’, which underlines the benefits of retirement living.

The first-of-its-kind report sends a strong message to governments about the value of the sector, the affordability it provides in an otherwise unaffordable housing market and why its residents live healthier lives.

Its research shows that residents in retirement villages are:

  • 15% more physically active,
  • 41% happier, and both physically and mentally healthier,
  • Five times more socially active,
  • Twice as likely to catch up with family or friends, and
  • Have reduced levels of depression and loneliness.

“Retirement communities enable older people to easily engage in physical activity by minimising barriers that prevent people from being active when living alone,” states the report.

“These communities provide access to facilities that promote physical health, including fitness centres and bowling greens. Close to 50% of retirement communities have onsite gyms or swimming pools. These facilities are available in closer proximity to residents with little to no barriers to access.

“Organised physical activity, such as walks and aerobics further support an active lifestyle for residents. Additionally, retirement communities enable residents to better connect with same-aged peers, which can encourage greater engagement in physical activity together. This contributes to higher levels of physical activity for people living in retirement communities.

“Almost one third participate in fitness programs, over two thirds participate in moderate activity at least once a week, and they are more likely to report higher frequencies of moderate activity overall.”

The findings also outline the benefits of retirement living’s purpose-built housing. With nearly one third of people over 65 experiencing a fall each year, villages are designed to reduce hazards by featuring single floor units, ramps and handrails.

The message?

Retirement living not only offers an affordable housing option, it can also deliver significant health and social benefits – and there is a village in every community in Australia.