Untitled design - 2023-08-11T093028.089

“Bring them in”

Last week I had the great pleasure of joining more than 80 executives from around the country tour LDK’s community ‘Greenway Views’ in Canberra.

Consisting of over 300 units, LDK’s private aged care model was a new product in a new market and has successfully sold down within 3 years.

When asked about the immediate success they’ve had establishing themselves in Canberra, their response was quite poignant.

“Bring them in.”

The ‘them’ the team spoke of is groups within the wider community. The LDK team spoke of engaging with groups such as RSL, Rotary, Probus and more.

So, how do you bring these wider community groups into the fold? We’ve put together a short guide to help Village and Community Managers get started:

  1. Identify Your Partners: Look around your wider community and start a list. Is there a social group which attracts people of similar age to your residents? What about a school for some international activities? Is there an art studio or theatre group which speaks to the creatives in your village? What about the local Men’s Shed? These are potential partners waiting to be engaged. Reach out to them and express your interest in collaboration.
  2. Make Them Feel Welcome: When community groups step foot into your retirement village for the very first time, make sure they feel like part your community. Introduce them to your residents, or your Committee or Sub-Committees depending on the interest of the group. Allow them to feel at home and appreciated.
  3. Amenity sharing: If your retirement village has facilities like a community centre or a library, consider opening them up to these groups for meetings or small events. This not only promotes inclusivity but can also activate areas of the village at times of the day when it is typically quiet.
  4. Collaborate: Organise events that involve both your residents and the community groups. Think about intergenerational storytelling sessions, joint art exhibitions, or even a gardening day where everyone can get their hands dirty. This creates a sense of camaraderie and shared experiences. Likewise, these events allow you to show case you and your community to their members.
  5. Skill-Sharing Workshops: Your residents have a wealth of knowledge and skills, so why not share them? One of the interesting comments on the LDK tour was that any Community Group who uses their spaces, and visits, must include their residents. This is a great way to encourage residents to participate in these groups – and share their skills.
  6. Community Projects: Collaborate on projects that benefit the wider community. It could be a charity drive where residents collect good or knit items to be donated, or a fund raiser for a worthy cause in the local area. These projects show that your retirement village is invested in the greater good.

Embracing community engagement doesn’t just impact your retirement village; it creates a ripple effect that extends far beyond your front gate. When your residents mingle with people of different ages and backgrounds, they gain a renewed sense of purpose and belonging. They stay mentally and socially active, which is essential for healthy aging.

Moreover, the connections you build through community engagement can lead to lasting relationships and partnerships. It’s not just about one-off events; it’s about fostering an ongoing sense of community and unity that benefits everyone involved.

What is stopping you at your village? Bring them in.

Share this post