Renting in a retirement community is helping older people beat loneliness

One in 10 people aged 65 or over feel lonely some or all of the time and say feelings of loneliness have made them feel worried or anxious, according to a poll in May by the Mental Health Foundation[i].

The ITV soap, Coronation Street[ii] has also been raising awareness of loneliness and mental health with a storyline around character Audrey Roberts admitting that she tried to take her own life after struggling with loneliness.


Dominic Stead, Property Director at My Future Living said that loneliness is a common issue for many older people; but highlights the benefits of living in a retirement community to combat loneliness.

He said, “Living in a retirement community can bring many benefits, including having neighbours of a similar age to socialise with. Our apartments based in retirement developments are designed for independent living, but also have this social element that many people thoroughly enjoy.

“There are communal lounges and gardens where people can have a chat over a cup of tea or coffee, and many developments organise activities, events and outings that people can get involved with. For people living alone or those who maybe don’t have family close by living in a retirement community can be a real lifeline for them.”

Rick by the sea

One retiree who enjoys the social side of living in a retirement community is 77-year-old Dutch-born retired stockbroker, Diederik (Rik) Schmull, rents a two-bedroom apartment at Homecove House, a retirement development in Westcliff-On-Sea in Essex.

Rik was attracted to renting in a retirement community because it’s flexible, plus he has an assured tenancy which means that as long as he sticks to the terms of his agreement he can live there for as long as he wishes.

Rik enjoys being part of a community and has made friends with people in the development. He never feels isolated or alone, and highly recommends renting in a retirement community.

“For me it’s worked out really well and I’m very happy. It’s all about independent living but with the reassurance there is help available should you need it,” he adds.


Another resident, 62-year-old Denise Birley, who has rented a one-bedroom retirement flat in a development called Homerose House in Southsea, Hampshire since July 2021, is living alone for the first time after leaving a former relationship.

Denise has quickly embraced living on her own and has made lots of friends, even needing to buy a diary to keep track of her social life.

She says, “One of the best things about moving here is I’ve met lots of new people. The development organises events like coffee mornings which I go to. Even going to the laundry room means I meet people for a chat, so I never feel lonely. I feel I’ve got my life back and can enjoy the rest of the time I have happily.”

Homecove House’s Communal Lounge

My Future Living offer apartments in purpose-built retirement developments throughout the UK. They are designed for independent living, but have a 24-hour emergency alarm system in each apartment and an onsite manager on duty.

Most are available on assured ‘lifetime’ tenancies, which aren’t commonly available in the private rented sector, which is reassuring for older people who want to settle and not have to move again.


To find out more about renting a home in a retirement development visit: