Retirement Villages – When Your Time Comes To Decide, Will This Phase Be A Challenge?
Recently I had the opportunity to present laughter yoga to a very large group of over 170 retirees at the General Meeting for the Willow Lodge Retirement Village at Bangholme. Most of the residents were present because there were burning financial issues which are affecting retirement villages nationally.
I love how being a laughter yoga leader takes me into many differing segments of the community, presenting me with an insider’s perspective, as often I am included in part of the meeting. This helps round off my understanding of current trends and issues amongst the different groups that I present to. This particular one raises the question about (I will share my views, raising questions for you, the reader about your own life, as often we can shut out or be oblivious to our own mortality. We can ignore certain things because we wish to avoid pain or confrontation until the time we are forced to face it.
Referring here directly to issues around getting older and wanting to perhaps hang on to things as they are, resist change, remember the past, not wanting to move forward.
This relates to outgrowing our home, downsizing, the difficult decisions to be made about our future as we get older, needing to move on and embrace change.
There is light at the end of the tunnel! There is hope! The first stage may be moving to a smaller house, town house or unit, when we start to slow down, feeling that it is all too much, we can feel a drain on our finances and our physical or psychological energy. Or we may have our children move out and leave us, as they begin their next phase in life, making their own way in life and rightly so. Some of us have then as well lost our beloved partner.
The next option or one after the initial downsize can be a retirement village, prior to aged care accommodation, low care and then high care. This is where hope comes in for many happy and active years, living independently in a retirement village of your choice.
This phase of your life can be extremely rewarding, surrounded by people on your own wave length. It can be as you choose it to be, busy with a life filled with many activities and external excursions or it can alternatively be lived restfully. Living simply in a community, quietly and peacefully in the comfort of your own home or space, as you choose.
These years are extremely rich, an opportunity for growth and personal involvement with friends and family visits with less of the tiresome things such as overheads, loneliness and worry. There is a security to be felt in belonging and becoming involved in the retirement village era. It opens you up to new things, a new way of being and lifestyle.
My visit to Willow Lodge at Bangholme was personally gratifying. I was made welcome and Ray, a committee member was great getting totally involved with the demonstrating laughter yoga, mixing in the audience which was lots of fun for everybody. I was asked to help draw the lucky number prizes and then stayed for a cuppa.
My experience was positive and I found the residents to be vibrant, contributing and leading full lives, showing me when it is my time, nothing is to be feared but rather it will become a period in my life to be welcomed, lived fully and not at all endured.
After all, we take ourselves with us wherever we go. Whatever internal beliefs and structures that have become our foundations, will renew as we pass through these various life phases and changes.
Therefore I say to you. live each day now fully and positively. Laugh more. Breathe consciously, allow others to help you and do good where you can. Who you are today will go with you tomorrow.
Here is an excellent testimonial from Kay Smart, Secretary of the Willow Lodge Village Residents' Association Inc.
On behalf of the Willow Lodge Village Resident’s Association we would like to thank you for entertaining our residents at the recent General Residents’ meeting on 21st November 2013.
It was noted that your presentation followed a particularly serious meeting, with residents showing a lot of concern over a current situation affecting all their finances. However, your exercises and approach, certainly made them forget their problems for a while. The pictures that were taken are a testament to their acceptance of your actions. They couldn’t help but laugh which was the point of the exercise.
Thank you once again for coming to our meeting and “lightening” it up.
Willow Lodge Residents' Association Inc.
Cheerio for now,
Laughter Blessings to You and Yours
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Kay Smart, Secretary of the Willow Lodge Village Residents' Association Inc. is a vibrant retired woman living life to the fullest at the retirement village.