In the comfort of a retirement home

TRENDS

In the comfort of a retirement home

FOR THOSE SUNSET YEARS  Retirement homes developed by Suvidha.

The status of senior citizens in the Indian market is undergoing a sea-change, owing to their growing numbers, augmented financial independence and change in mindset. They are no longer considered as a withdrawn, risk averse and financially dependent class of citizens. The immense potential of this segment, with its unique needs and promises, has meant an array of opportunities to the Indian real estate market. Retirement homes, a popular concept in the west, is beginning to find a market in the Indian context as well. Changing social dimensions, fading joint families and financial independence are some factors that are contributing to the trend.

Needs of the elderly

In India, more than 60% of households are nuclear and 8.94% of the population is aged 60+, indicating that the aged are in greater need of support than ever.

While opportunities exist, it is important to comprehend the ecosystem in which seniors exist in India.

“It is imperative that real estate developers understand and acknowledge the unique requirements of the elderly while catering to the sector. The aged population faces numerous issues, typical of the sunset years of their lives. A growing sense of insecurity, craving for companionship, fear of getting obsolete and loss of relevance within the family, increasing physical disability, difficulty to access transport, a need for quality healthcare and geriatric care, complexity in conducting the daily chores of family life are some of the several issues that the aged face today. These, compounded by poor access to government and other support systems, insurance and legal assistance, immobilise them. These nuances of old age need to be thoroughly recognised by India’s developers,” opines Saumyajit Roy, AVP - Social Infrastructure Practice (Education, Healthcare, Senior Living), Strategic Consulting, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

Interestingly, a recent survey of households with senior citizens revealed that over 60% found the concept of a senior citizen’s club or a senior citizens’ association as a viable and practical one.

Contemporary retirement homes have replaced the stigma attached to an old-age home. Today, retirement homes offer a multitude of facilities to their occupants.

“The residents no longer have to worry about minute details of daily household errands, paying bills, security issues and timely medical treatment. Rather, they can opt for an active lifestyle and utilise their time in recreational activities, suitable companionship and participation in social work. There are arrangements for prompt response to medical emergencies by way of doctors, ambulances and tie-ups with nearby hospitals. Some projects also offer continuing care units for ailing residents,” adds Roy.

Projects

Suvidha promoted by Sushruta Vishranthi Dhama Ltd, a company formed by a group of doctors from The Bangalore Hospital is a retirement home concept with a difference. The retirement village offers quality homes which are old age friendly, for comfortable living to senior citizens with all the amenities under one roof. 

This retirement village, aimed for senior citizens, is offered in the form of cottages at ground level.

A standard cottage is about 900 sq ft built up area (840 sq ft carpet area) and offers a bedroom, lounge, kitchenette, two balconies and two bathrooms. It also offers another bedroom at an additional payment of a nominal amount, but the total area of the cottage does not change.

Solar water heaters are part of every cottage as a standard. There will be 24 hours access to water and electricity in the village along with pure drinking water using the reverse osmosis technique.  A state-of-the-art membrane bio-reactor plant is being installed in the village which is the most eco-friendly mechanism for waste and sewage disposal.

“Special permission has been obtained from the Government of Karnataka to build this village in the green belt area. The land cannot be sold piece-meal, hence cannot be registered in the names of the individuals. Each resident has to buy 15,000 shares of the company at market price to have exclusive use of the cottage. The share holder also has the option of selling the shares after the lock-in period of five years or shares can be transferred to nominated heirs. What is important is that this company is not into real estate business and no real estate company is involved. It is a self-help co-operative venture owned and managed by the residents themselves.

“There is no registration of property in the name of the individual, but by virtue of buying shares in the company, an individual is entitled to use a cottage,” says Dr Srimani Rajagopalan, Director.

Space for private players

Private entities have also made a foray into the space. Their projects are already operational in major cities like Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore. LIC HFL has made an entrance in the sector with Care Homes at Bangalore. Apart from these, there are charitable organisations working in this area of real estate development. Builders in Gurgaon are offering various features to woo the elderly population.

“A major portion of projects are in locations like Golf Course road, Golf Course Road Extension, Sohna Road , Newly planned Sectors on NH8, Pataudi Road, Sec 37 C and D, 108, 109 etc. These units (properties) typically include enhanced features that can make living for the elderly far more secure and comfortable. Advanced medical facilities in and around the area, high-tech security systems, recreational choices especially designed keeping this clientele in mind and other superior facilities are a part of these communities,” says Shashank Agrawal, Director, IndiaCube.com.

A second home as a retirement home option is another option that is becoming increasingly popular. Also, theme-based second homes which focus on retirement and the typical needs of a retiree is in vogue.  Companies have come up with innovative concepts that can cater to the needs of a typical retiree.

To add to it, the properties are located and built in such a way that they make sense to live and also double up good investments as the investments are liquid.

There is a huge demand for such properties. One of the projects recently launched by Disha Direct is ‘Raanwara’ meaning ‘Forest Breeze’. Located at Mandangad on the Mumbai – Goa Highway, it is situated right next to a thriving village, which has all the conveniences and facilities required for day to day living. The project shares a common boundary with a hospital which provides all kinds of medical treatment. Retirement homes are certainly offering a lifestyle that is close to nature and help make a big difference in the years that matter. It is little surprise then if you Google for retirement homes in India, you get about 329,000 results in 0.09 seconds!

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