Many people search far and wide for the answer to the question "how can I live a long and healthy life?". Low stress, enough sleep and good nutrition are all vital but did you know that social interaction is becoming the main determinant of health in later life?
Loneliness is becoming such a problem these days. Many elderly people, especially those who lose their mobility, become disconnected from their community. Our society also has a major problem with disempowering elderly people by taking away their opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. In societies that are famous for having a large number of people living to over 100 years old, a key factor is that everyone in the society contributes. All people, no matter what age they are, can contribute in a way that is meaningful and valued. This is one of the great things about eco village life. There is always some way to contribute whether that be through art, caring work, building, gardening, organising or being a good listener. Life in apartments has caused us to be separated into little boxes. The apartments in Brisbane for example, are designed for isolation not for community.
We can do things differently by designing for connection, helping every person to find their own way to contribute, valuing others and reaching out to others so we can all build a more caring and healthy society.