It’s a dream for senior citizens to retire to a place like Italy, where they can enjoy wonderful weather, food, and a slowed-down way of life. One risk of this, however, is isolation – as the New York Times highlights, social isolation is already prevalent in seniors, and can be deadly. Moving to a foreign country, and an entirely new community, can enhance that risk further, whether due to shyness or the language barrier. Italy does a lot to break down these challenges, whether that’s through the naturally welcoming nature of its people or the close-knit nature of local communities – but there are steps senior citizens can take to make sure they land happy.
Finding a community
The steps to building links with a new community begin with purchasing a property. This is true whether opting for a housing association-style development, which in their current form in Italy do bring communities together, or residential and community-based senior care. The latter is widely available in Italy, despite, as one Springer-published journal notes, being under significant pressure. Given the community spirit that is maintained across much of Italy, these opportunities are invaluable for senior citizens who want to retire peacefully, but with strong social ties – they will enable proper care to be given while still developing true bonds.
Settling in style
It’s also important to look at where these potential candidates exist. Italy is a hugely diverse country, with the most notable divisions being between the cultures found in Lazio, Lombardy, Tuscany and Sicily. However, these differences simmer down right into the towns and villages that dot the coast. For this reason, Idealista recommends communities such as Apulia and Abruzzo, offering the coast and the mountains respectively. Through these smaller, tight-knit communities, seniors can find like-minded and peaceful friends to form strong bonds with. The slower pace of life, and the lack of distractions from the hustle and bustle of cities, makes this all the more compelling. This creates a strong foundation to go on and grow from.
Developing outside ties
Life at home is one thing – how can senior citizens develop a wide range of contacts outside of their own small sphere? Like many countries, Italy was forced to change how it develops social contacts due to the coronavirus – but the options have been made and presented to the public. As The Local highlights, there’s huge opportunities to be found with just a little internet access. Often, groups and events can be found through senior-friendly platforms such as Facebook, which are geared towards all generations. This includes senior communities, many of which use the internet to organize or use young relatives to act as liaisons.
A little bit of technological acceptance is useful, then, for senior citizen communities in Italy. That being said, there are huge opportunities both in housing and communities to get involved with. Italy remains one of the best places on earth to retire to, and it’s vibrant communities are a huge part of that.