Homeowners at Lifestyle Communities generally feel safe, enjoy a sense of belonging, and believe that community members look out for each other. They also enjoy higher levels of wellbeing compared with the wider Australian population of the same age group. These are just a few key findings uncovered within a recent study conducted by the Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health.
The research surveyed 145 homeowners at 7 different Lifestyle Communities upon moving into their community and then again 6 months later, with a particular focus on daily activities, attitudes towards community living, and overall wellbeing. Dr Suzanne Mavoa, from the University of Melbourne, highlights that Lifestyle Communities’ homeowners generally feel safe and trust their neighbours in the community when they move in, but she also notes that these positive sentiments of trust and belonging significantly increase over time, as homeowners settle into their environment further. This is particularly relevant given a further finding of the research, that “safety from crime” ranked as the second biggest driver for homeowners deciding to move to a Lifestyle Community and “sense of community” another significant factor.
The lure of enjoying state-of-the-art, multi-million-dollar Clubhouse facilities, was the top ranking motivator for those making the move to a Lifestyle Community, with “recreational facilities” not far behind in fifth. In keeping with these priorities, the study illustrated that Lifestyle Communities’ homeowners undertook greater levels of exercise, social and recreational activities within their communities, rather than doing so elsewhere. The most popular exercise activities among the surveyed homeowners were swimming, visiting the community gym, yoga, tai-chi and bowls, whilst social activities such as cultural and sporting events, playing billiards, cards and board games all grew in popularity as homeowners became more embedded in their communities.
According to the dedicated Lifestyle Wellness team, who deliver extensive wellness programs to all Lifestyle Communities throughout Victoria, a well-rounded approach to wellbeing is a product of four main dimensions, centred around one’s health, fitness, mind and soul. Dr Mavoa’s research provides some positive feedback that Lifestyle Communities homeowners are enjoying the genuine wellness benefits of regular physical activity and exercise, mental stimulation through active social engagement, and the sort of emotional wellbeing that comes with being part of a trusted, safe and secure community of friends and neighbours.