Senior Living Spaces – India Catching Up, Slowly

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Most people desire a happy and healthy lifestyle after retirement. Boredom is their major concern and the way the urban ecosystem is evolving, fun and companionship are a premium.

Retired people today are healthier and mentally sharp compared to previous generation. They believe they continue to deserve an active lifestyle. But the traditional ecosystem may not be all that encouraging and perhaps could even stifle their spirit and enthusiasm.

A lot of retired people yearn to begin a new chapter in their lives – making new friends, learning new skills and honing lost talents. One of the ways they can achieve this is by making a smooth transition from their family homes into a community space.

While this trend is a relatively nascent in India, the concept of senior housing became popular in the United States in the 1980s. Today, senior housing has been accepted globally as a legitimate business and is transitioning from a realty-focused sector to a services sector; from constructing homes to providing innovative amenities and services that address seniors’ lifestyles and service needs. Providing value-added services for senior consumers is a significant component of the seniors housing segment – one that is imperative to the long-term sustenance of the sector.

In India, the senior living space is gathering momentum with primarily real estate developers leading the charge. Some prominent players in this space are Primus by Mantri, Ashiana Housing, Serene, Tata Housing, Antara, Ozone and Brigade group. It’s interesting to note that this concept has gained acceptance more in South India than the North with cities like Bangalore, Coimbatore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

There are currently more than 100 million 60 plus Indians. A Jones Lang LaSalle report estimates the current annual demand for senior living at 312,00 units with a projected fresh supply of only 10,000 to 15,000 units.

oldhomesToday, as more and more seniors in India are choosing an alternate independent lifestyle, it is essential for developers to evolve from home builders to creating CCRCs (continued care retirement communities) to providing whole life care to seniors.

CCRCs are of different type
Active lifestyle senior community – designed to enable independent seniors to enjoy a lifestyle filled with recreational and social activities amongst other seniors.

Assisted Living – designed to off er a special combination of residential housing with personalized supportive services and care

Nursing Care – designed for seniors who are in need of 24 hour nursing care

Hospice – designed to provide palliative care for people nearing the end of their life CCRCs allow residents to move seamlessly into different housing choices as their needs change eliminating the need to move out of senior living homes.

How to Select a Senior Home
Important aspects to consider while choosing a senior home are the design and amenities provided – Is the design of the landscape, common areas, furniture and toilets senior friendly? Is there a doctor on campus? Will I be doing my own cooking and cleaning? Is there an elaborate entertainment/activities team? Is the staff courteous and friendly? Has the developer completed and operating other senior living facilities successfully?

Choosing a new home is one of the most important life decisions a person makes. For seniors and their
families, this choice is crucial. It is essential to remember that services, convenience and care are the key to any successful retirement community. And while the developer community works towards this end, the government needs to develop a policy framework to guide and govern senior residences so that they can
ensure the best living options and care.

I’m sure, in the days to come senior housing will be accepted as another mainstream living option in India.