Good neighbours become good friends
- Over one in ten (11%) millennials admit to never speaking to their neighbour, compared to just 2% of over 55s and 4% of 35-54-year olds
- It’s the older generation maintaining the UK’s sense of community: while seven in ten (69%) over 55s have spoken to their neighbour in the last week, millennials (18-34) interact with their neighbours far less frequently with just a quarter (23%) saying the same
- But almost one in ten (8%) over 55s stated that no one at all comes to visit them at home
Friendly, neighbourhood communities could be dying out, as over one in ten (11%) millennials (18 – 34s) admit to never speaking to their neighbour. On the flipside over 55s seem to value community far more than their younger counterparts with just 2% saying the same thing.
Research from Mayfield Villages shows that there are generational differences in the way people connect with their local community. Two thirds (69%) of over 55s have spoken to their neighbour in the last week, while just under a quarter (23%) of millennials (18-34) say the same thing.
These generational splits could put communities as a whole at risk, unfortunately for those older generations who rely and place greater importance on them. Less than a third (29%) of millennials know their neighbour’s full name, compared to two thirds (66%) of over 55s.
Older generations are also much more likely to place trust in their neighbours. Over 55s are twice as likely (55%) to leave a spare set of keys with their neighbour than 18-34-year olds (23%) or ask them to look after their property when away (57% vs 26%). And even amongst the over 55s trust increases with age: 61% of those aged 65 – 69 and 71% of those aged 81+ are likely to leave their keys with a neighbour.
Community is particularly vital for older people: a lack of interaction with neighbours can translate into isolation and loneliness for older people. Over a quarter (27%) of over 55s say the postman comes to visit them at home more anybody else, versus just 17% of millennials or 35 – 54s. And almost one in ten (8%) over 55s stated that no one at all comes to visit them at home.
There is clearly more to having a neighbourly relationship than just borrowing a cup of sugar. As previous research from Audley Group and the International Longevity Centre has shown, communal living in later years can have a major impact on quality of life and reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Mayfield Watford features a village hall, gym, swimming pool, wellbeing suite, bar and bistro at the heart of the village, all designed to bring people together.