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A step in the right direction 

Inspired by the insights of others, we take a look at the transformative power of making a walk around your retirement village a regular part of your routine. Foster community, boost well-being, and spark creativity through engaging strolls.

Picture this: the sun is shining, birds are chirping, and you’re strolling through your retirement village, greeting residents and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.  

Recently, I came across an intriguing article in the Harvard Business Review by Deborah Grayson Riegel titled “Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Walk.” (link) 

It got me thinking about how a simple walk can do wonders—not just for getting to know our community and residents better, but for creating a lively, engaging environment that prioritises well-being, connectivity, and learning. 

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking,” said Friedrich Nietzsche, and he might just be onto something. 

Walking provides a natural setting for residents and staff to interact, fostering a sense of belonging and community.  

One of the things I’ve enjoyed in spending time with Village Professionals around the country is learning how each community has its own unique way of interacting. So, why not incorporate walking into your routine office hours? Imagine turning your village rounds into walk-and-talk sessions. Sure, some discussions might need the privacy of an office, but chats about maintenance schedules, gardening plans, or rubbish collection can easily be done on the move. 

Walking isn’t just a way to get from point A to point B. Research shows it is also a mental clarity booster and stress reducer. Regular walks can help both residents and staff maintain a positive outlook and manage daily challenges. Group walks can strengthen relationships and ward off feelings of isolation, turning a solitary activity into a communal experience. 

As managers, your ability to get out from behind your desk and move around your community can be inspiring to your staff and give confidence to your residents that you have your finger on the pulse.  

Through something as simple as getting up and moving, your passion can become contagious.  

Pro tip: To ensure everyone enjoys their strolls, make sure walking paths are well-maintained and safe, with adequate lighting and clear signage to prevent accidents. 

Why not take it a step further and establish walking clubs or groups? These clubs can organise regular walks, bringing a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose to the village. It’s a great way to infuse energy and enthusiasm into the community. 

Walking aids memory, increases attention, and is a fantastic warm-up for discussions in the Knowledge Centre. Plus, it’s a proven creativity booster—many great ideas have been born on a walk. 

So, lace up your Nikes and ‘just do it’.  

Your community will thank you, and you might just find that your best ideas come while you’re on the move. 

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