There’s no need to be lonely in retirement

By HBH - 27 September 2021

There’s no need to be lonely in retirement

As we enter yet another week of lockdown, it’s becoming apparent that this is a situation we need to get used to. But what does it mean for seniors? If you’re living at home, what can you do to reduce loneliness and isolation? Is it time to consider moving into a ‘ready-made’ community?

Studies have shown that loneliness can be more detrimental to health than smoking. However, for many seniors living at home, loneliness is an unfortunate by-product of New Zealand’s various lockdowns during the past eighteen months.

Those living in their own homes will be having quite a different lockdown experience to those in a retirement village. Even if you have family dropping off care packages, it’s the day-to-day interactions and conversations that add interest and spontaneity to our day and connect us with others.

At a retirement village, daily interactions with others are much easier to achieve safely. Having a socially distanced chat in the communal living room or saying ‘hello’ to someone in the morning when you collect the paper or the post or waving to someone from your balcony door can make a huge difference to your day.

Social connection and mental wellbeing have always been reasons why seniors decide to make the shift to a retirement village but perhaps Covid lockdowns are making these issues even more important. In a way Covid has shifted the goal posts for everyone and the considerations for what you do in the future are different in our new environment. Thought needs to be given to what’s going to be best for your social and mental wellbeing in the long term.

Life in lockdown for HBH’s retirement village apartment dwellers still has restrictions, but it is a life with neighbours, a community, food and meals on hand, regular welfare checks, prescription services and expert medical advice and staff on hand if needed. And perhaps the biggest advantage is that you can ‘keep your distance’ but still enjoy a little social interaction each day – without having to go out of your way.

“We have a laugh, at a distance, and I am so thankful I still get to see people each day,” says Beth, a resident of HBH Senior Living’s independent apartments at 139 on Union. “There is access to library books, puzzles and games and safe places to walk without being worried about who you’ll bump into and places to have a chat. I’m so pleased I’m here.”

To find out more about living in a caring, close-knit community where you can maintain your independence, yet still enjoy social interaction, download our apartment brochure. Or for a personal viewing once lockdown ends, contact Robyn Greer on 538 0800 or 027 494 0344 or email:

Lisa Waldren