We all want to live well – to be healthy and happy. Well-being is at the heart of an approach to retirement living that we're developing at Curo.
Our new Livewell service is connecting older people with their communities through a growing range of events, activities and services all designed to boost wellbeing – from days out, shopping trips and lunch clubs to craft groups, computer classes, health workshops, Tai Chi and even a talking book club.
Curo’s Independent Living Service Manager, Ian Byworth, says: “We know that as social creatures we’re happier when active, out and about and meeting people – when we’re connected.
"Getting older doesn’t have to mean becoming isolated or staying in. That’s why we’re building a network of 12 hubs which are becoming the heart of our over-55s communities – places where residents of B&NES can get together and take part in all kinds of activities, events and clubs.
“Our Livewell Officers are busy arranging new activities, designed in response to what our customers tell us they’d like to see. Because we’re all different what we offer is variable and adaptable to each community’s needs.”
Curo resident Evelyn makes good use of her local Livewell hub: “I love going to the activities at the community hub. It gives me the opportunity to meet up with friends who I wouldn’t usually see. I look forward to the next session, it keeps me going.
She added: “We’re about to start a monthly shopping trip to the supermarket, so I’ll be able to do a proper shop which is something I’m unable to do at the moment. I’m so grateful they’re starting it up.”
There is a lot of support already provided locally by other organisations and Curo’s Livewell hubs are tapping into this, bringing these services closer to those who need them. Curo has teamed up with organisations like the Goldies singing group and St John’s Foundation who are extending their services for older people through the hubs.
A partnership with visionPLUS and RNIB is helping Curo to bring a talking book club to one of Curo’s Livewell hubs. “Listening helps stimulate the brain and it’s a great way to stay engaged and increase our wellbeing,” said Livewell Officer Jo Salisbury. “The talking book club is not just for people who
are blind or partially sighted; anyone who wants to listen to audiobooks is welcome.”
“There’s a lot of evidence that learning and maintaining an active mind keeps us healthy and happy,” said Ian, “so Livewell has a strong emphasis on trying new things.
“For example we’re running first aid clinics at our hubs so our older residents can gain new skills which could even save a life one day.
“We’re also helping older people to get online using iPads so they can stay in touch with friends and relatives via social media.”
Curo also offers grants to help local groups and activities that benefit Curo customers and their communities.
“We’ve helped various groups to buy equipment like sewing machines, cooking equipment, and a projector for film nights,” said Ian.