“Only old people live in Retirement Village” and 7 myths

Uncovering the truth about retirement community living!

Now that you have a few years of life experience under your belt, you’ll recognise that your attitude has a huge effect on your experience. It’s easy to find horror stories about retirement living if that’s what you’re looking for!

Yet it’s just not an accurate picture. We all know that the media thrives on “bad news stories”, when in reality the retirement village industry as a whole is filled with great people, doing a wonderful job and providing excellent facilities to their residents.

That got us thinking… what are some of the other retirement living myths that are commonly put forth as facts? In this post we’ll look at some of the most common misconceptions in the retirement industry.

And of course – yes, there are always exceptions to the rule. So do your research and take a close look at a retirement village before you decide to pack up your world and move in.

Myth 1) – A retirement community is just for sick old people!

Let’s start with the big one: there is a world of difference between a retirement village (for independent, active seniors who are mostly able to care for themselves) and an aged care home (formerly known as a nursing home).

That’s the case even though these facilities are sometimes located next to each other in the same community. People of all ages are attracted to retirement living. Some can’t wait to make the move to a relaxed, resort-style retirement community once they hit 50. Others are happy to stay in the family home until their 70’s or 80’s. It’s a personal decision.

If you choose to move into a retirement village when you’re fit and healthy, you’ll be able to fully enjoy all the facilities and activities that are available. And although you don’t need them yet, you’ll still find support services available such as 24/7 emergency buttons, visiting practitioners and a range of optional in-home care and support if required.

This means you can enjoy living the retirement lifestyle longer before transitioning into residential aged care when that time eventually comes.

Myth 2) – You can only live in a retirement village if you’re retired

You can see where this myth came from – after all, the name ‘retirement village’ suggests you have to be retired to live there. But that’s not the case!

It’s entirely up to you how much work you do. There’s no warden with a big stick saying “You have to stop doing everything if you want to live here!”

Some retirement village residents continue to run a business or work full time, while looking forward to coming home to a relaxed and vibrant environment. You’ll find others on committees or volunteering in the wider community. This is your life, so yes you can spend it in a retirement village whether you want to work or play – or both!

Myth 3) – There is no privacy, and you have to socialise all the time

Contrary to popular belief, at a retirement village there’s no bubbly little activities officer knocking on your door at 6am to take you for ‘walkies.’

Everyone is entitled to enjoy peace and quiet; and even if you do love socialising, you’ll no doubt want to take it easy and recharge from time to time. Make sure you choose a retirement village where you know your independence and privacy will be respected.

And of course, if you do love to fill your calendar with activities, you’ll never be short of things to do in a retirement village!

Myth 4) – It’s expensive to live in a retirement village

While costs do vary from village to village, you’ll probably find you can actually save considerable money by moving from your large family home into a slightly smaller, more modern home in a retirement community.

Of course, every retirement village is different, so it pays to gather all your information, do the figures, and work out what it’s costing you to stay and what it will cost to downsize and move into somewhere more manageable.

Myth 5) – It’s difficult to leave your home and go on holidays

Another myth! In fact, you’ll find it’s often much easier and safer to leave your home in a retirement village than your suburban family home.

Living in an engaged community who tend to look out for one another, you’ll be far more confident simply to simply lock up and leave. And of course, with the lawn and common garden maintenance taken care of, you won’t return to find an out-of-control mess that makes you forget you ever went on holiday!

Myth 6) – You can’t keep a pet when you live in a retirement village

It’s rare these days to find a village with a strict ‘no pets’ policy. Most retirement communities realise the benefits of residents bringing their furry (or feathered) family members with them… and the heartbreak when they can’t.

When you’re comparing villages, make sure you’re clear on what’s acceptable… and what’s not. There will be very clear guidelines on how pets should be looked after and how they need to behave.

If you’re thinking about taking your pet with you to a retirement village, make sure you tour the community in person and see exactly what facilities are available. Are there walking paths and open spaces close by? Is there a vet service within easy reach? Do many other residents have pets?

Myth 7) – You’re not allowed to maintain your own garden

You can perhaps see where this confusion came from – one of the undoubted attractions of retirement living is that much of the maintenance of your home and the village is done for you.

But does that mean you can’t tend your own garden? No! In most cases you are welcome to continue your green thumb pursuits.

As you’d expect, there will be guidelines to follow. There is a certain ‘image’ every village must maintain, so you probably won’t be allowed to plant just anything in your front garden.

Myth 8) – You can’t have people over to stay, or to entertain

Definitely not true! A retirement village is your home… not a prison! You’ll find that your family and friends are always welcome to visit and stay with you in your home.

You can cook and entertain, and your guests can usually enjoy all the community facilities as long as you’re with them. In fact, retirement communities these days are so inviting, you might find it hard to get them to leave!

Discover what retirement living at Leederville Gardens is REALLY like! You’re welcome to come and visit us to tour our facilities, see our vacant villa’s and get a feel for our retirement community and/or meet our welcoming and friendly residents and ask them what they think of village life!