Belonging somewhere is a basic human need that remains true throughout our lives, from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. Creating an environment that fosters acceptance and respect is crucial for building a happy community. This is particularly important for older adults who may be struggling to maintain their homes or health and may choose to move to retirement villages for the many lifestyle and practical benefits they offer.
One major selling point of retirement villages is the strong sense of community that residents can enjoy, which helps to combat social isolation and loneliness.
Therefore, it is essential and a top priority for retirement living staff to build and nurture a sense of community, as it is the very essence of what makes retirement villages so appealing to residents.
Here are some tips for how you can build a sense of community within your retirement village:
Plan lifestyle and wellbeing activities for residents
It is important to make sure that there are always frequent and regular activities that residents can get involved in; it could be anything from group sports, movie screenings, arts and crafts sessions, or mindful exercises. The point is to get residents together to meet one another, socialise, be active, and develop friendships with other residents and staff, which naturally builds a sense of community.
When creating different activities for residents, villages could use an activities management system such as Centrim Life’s Lifestyle Management module to plan, manage and view all the activities offered in one platform. This tool can also make it easier for residents to book activities and get an automatic calendar invite sent to their diaries as a reminder.
Enable residents to share their stories
Just like being in a Facebook or WhatsApp group chat or a private online forum that you are subscribed to, having a space to share your stories and also hear other people’s stories is crucial when building a community. For example, the feeling you get when someone shares about their birthday milestone, what they got up to and where they went and being able to look at the photos they took naturally brings you closer to them; it is as if you were there celebrating with them. Being able to leave a comment and engage with the story they’ve shared is equally as important as that brings people closer together.
Centrim Life’s Lifestyle Management tool helps to create a space for residents and staff to share stories amongst themselves, enabling them to attach photos and leave comments on people’s stories if they so wish. There is also a capability to create newsletters to keep them informed of events or feature stories for the village in a safe environment.
Easy communication between residents, staff, family members
It's important to acknowledge the value of being able to contact and communicate with other residents as required.
While it's convenient to communicate with others through popular messaging platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, Text Messages, and Facebook Messenger, having a dedicated, secure, and safe communication tool exclusively for residents, staff, and family members within the retirement village community is crucial for staying connected. Such a platform allows for seamless and efficient communication among members of the community, and helps to maintain a sense of belonging and togetherness.
Centrim Life’s Communications Management tool allows residents to search for other residents in the village and send private messages to one another. In addition, residents are also able to chat with staff and their family members.
Getting regular feedback from residents
Retirement living providers are there to provide exceptional services for their residents. Therefore, it is vital to gather feedback and suggestions from residents to understand how services provided can improve.
Residents feel part of a community as their voices and suggestions are heard and acknowledged, ultimately building a stronger sense of trust and community.
Centrim Life’s Feedback & Quality Management tool enables providers to create surveys for residents as well as generate a QR code to scan and input their compliments, complaints or suggestions. All the information can be automatically extracted into a report, and staff can assess the service improvements required.
There are many ways to build a sense of community within your retirement village, but having the right digital tool to do this efficiently and on one platform is key. So, speak to our friendly team to find out how Centrim Life can support you and your organisation today!