Your children have left the nest and are busy with children of their own. They have full-time jobs and Yoga classes three times a week. Perhaps you are divorced, or your spouse has left the world far too soon. You were looking forward to retirement, but now that you’ve finally made it, your days just feel empty. You ask yourself- “What exactly am I supposed to fill my days with? Wasn’t this meant to be my reward for working so hard all these years?”. For the first time in your life, you feel lonely.
Not everyone feels this way, but a significant proportion of us do. Research shows that the “Loneliness Epidemic” affects 1.2 million people in England alone. According to The Campaign to End Loneliness, 17% of older people are in contact with family, friends, and neighbors less than once a week, and 51% of people aged 75+ live alone.
Loneliness in older adults is becoming a big problem, not just in the UK, but worldwide. Loneliness makes us less likely to eat well, exercise, and look after our health. It even makes it harder to socialize with other people, the very thing we need to do to not be lonely. It is every bit as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
However, the picture is not as bleak as it appears. Many older adults are living longer, happier, healthier, active lives, in full defiance of the Loneliness Epidemic. Their secret? Shared Community Living.
Maggie Khan, 82 years old, has been living in a shared home for more than 25 years. She tells The New York Times that shared housing has benefits: it brings people together, and it makes loneliness obsolete.
In Kongsberg, Norway, 23 people decided that they did not want to end up lonely and isolated in their golden years, so they made their own retirement paradise. In an interview with NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, they explain that they decide to build 13 detached houses to live in, and a large communal house in the middle. They arrange lunches, dinners and activities in the middle house, as well as parties, and other large social gatherings. It is the main social hub at the Skyttertunet Bofelleskap in Kongsberg.
These residents in Kongsberg believe that they are delaying the aging process by several years by ensuring they socialize with others, and by encouraging each other physically and mentally. Some of them even feel that, despite getting older, they’ve never been in better shape!
At Ambera, we’re building Europe’s first Active Adult Community- an entire town designed to make your life’s next chapter the best one yet. We believe- like Maggie, and the residents of Skyttertunet Bofelleskap- that the key to living a happy life is worrying less, playing a part in other people’s lives, and doing more of what brings us joy.
At Ambera, you are more than just a property owner- you are an active member of a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.
Ambera is the first Active Adult Community in Europe, but similar concepts have been a huge success in America ever since Del Webb’s Sun City opened up in 1960. Today, there are over 900 Active Adult Communities in the USA alone, and more are being built every year. They all offer affordable, high-quality homes with shared facilities and activities available to every resident. People living in these communities are found to be 50% less lonely, and 30% more active than their peers living elsewhere. We think this is inspiring, and we can’t wait to bring this concept to Europe. We think you might like it, too.
How do you think we can prevent loneliness? Join the discussion on Facebook, and join our newsletter for regular updates and a proper introduction to Ambera!
Read more about Ambera here:
– Our vision
– A status update from Amberas founders
– 3 ways to exercise without realizing it
– Secrets from the island where people forget to die
– Resident stories from the miniature Ambera in Norway