Nobody deserves to be alone in later life

Step into retirement with us

More than one million people over 75 don’t speak to another person for a month at a time.1 The numbers are shocking. How is it that 87% of us own a smartphone yet one million people are going so long without speaking to another soul?2

This is the reality for so many people. But why?  

Life is like a dance. School, work and family life drum out a beat that keeps us dancing familiar and consistent steps, without us paying it much thought. But soon, the kids are grown up, the house falls empty, and we retire. Partners can get sick or pass away, and we can find ourselves out of step, and increasingly at risk of loneliness.  

This is how an entire group can become invisible, and far too easy for society to ignore. Out of sight truly becomes out of mind. 

None of this is necessary or inevitable just because we grow older. We all know that loneliness isn’t a choice. No one – and certainly not one million – is choosing to go weeks at a time without contact. Some people are naturally more social than others, but all of us, at every stage of life, need other people around. We need community.   

At our villages we see that reaching retirement age doesn’t simply call an end to the dance of life, it rather strikes an altogether different beat. We know from years of experience that after retirement, nothing stops our residents embracing life as much as they ever did – in their own time, moving to their own rhythm.


Resident Bob at Austin Heath


After a few years living on his own, Bob lost his spark and his zest for life, almost without noticing. Accustomed to being sociable and outgoing, he started finding it hard to be around groups of people, and even struggled with going on holiday as coming back to an empty house was so difficult. Bob moved to Austin Heath with hopes of making a fresh start.  

“This really was the start of a new chapter of my life.” – Bob, Austin Heath 

What Bob discovered was something we’ve seen time after time: that his loneliness wasn’t a natural, inevitable development he just had to accept. After he settled into Austin Heath with the support of our dedicated staff, he threw himself into village life: joining clubs, going to the gym, and even taking on part-time work at the village.  


Resident Bob at Austin Heath gym


“I think what's helped me is that I've got my confidence back, I was beginning to become isolated and finding it a little bit more difficult to be in groups. That's gone. As a lot of the residents will testify.” – Bob, Austin Heath 

Before he knew it, he was back to his old self again. The rhythm of his life had simply been interrupted for a while – and he was back stepping to a groove that felt right to him.  

Bob’s story, and his feelings, aren’t unusual at all. It doesn’t need much imagination to see that things could have spun out of control, leaving him more isolated and lonelier than ever. Many of our other residents could tell similar stories. But by joining a community that doesn’t accept invisibility as an inevitable consequence of ageing, He  stepped out of the shadows.  

Inspired Villages are places where everyone is visible, whatever their age or stage of life. As Bob says, “it just gives you a greater confidence because you’re feeling part of something bigger.” Words for us all to live by. No matter our age.  


Step into our retirement community. Because later life should never be lonely. Get in touch via  0808 281 0058.

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1 Source: Age UK via NHS Loneliness in older people - NHS (

2 Source: Ofcom via Mobile phone and internet usage statistics in the UK (

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