Retirement Homes Acquire A New Meaning In India
Retirement homes, a concept that emerged a few years back, has over a period of time gained a new meaning and, hence, greater traction. In times when better access to education and varied career opportunities, has led the youth to move to different cities or even countries, the new-age retirement homes emerged as a boon for the senior citizens ensuring them comfort and safety.
A new arena in the real estate, which is being explored by developers, is a housing society that is specially developed for senior citizens keeping in mind their needs and comfort. To ensure that this type of housing reaches new heights it is important to understand and be sensitive to their needs. So, it is important to design a product that meets their expectations.
"The concept of retirement homes is very much successful in India as more and more people are looking for such options. The sole reason being the desire to live an independent life and free from any restrictions among a community of similar aged people," says Rupesh Gupta, Director, JM Housing.
Serving them well
It is important for these projects to offer a comfortable and healthy community living for the senior citizens as their needs are specific. Agreeing to this, Kushagr Ansal, Director, Ansal Housing points out, “The key requirements that serves as the basic needs for the senior citizens are medical care, food and the feeling of being at home. One must ensure that all these facilities are kept in mind while planning such projects." He further adds, that just the availability of these facilities will not fulfil the requirements, rather the comfort of using these facilities, knowing that these are designed specifically for them will to serve them better will.
Dwelling in harmony
Retirement homes can be segregated into two. “In general, there are two types of senior living concepts, independent living and assisted living. Independent living is usually suggested for active senior citizens who can take care of themselves but in the case of assisted living, there is 24x7 availability of services because they may need help. Generally, these concepts exist in togetherness in any project meant for senior citizens," explains Gupta.
“Although there are restrictions that children can't visit over a certain allowed limit and the maintenance charges are not enough but the facilities are apt for old age living. You would be living in a serene environment in the company of people of the same age group allowing you to live your own lifestyle rather than adapting to a new lifestyle at such a later stage of your life,” Ankit Aggarwal, CMD, Devika Group says.
Emerging as a category
There was a time came when people opted to buy another property as their second homes, of which retirement homes were a part. But with growing popularity, this concept has become so big that it has become a category in its own. “Second homes can serve varied purposes, say as a holiday home or a retreat home but in case of retirement home, it clearly explains the sole purpose of the house wherein you would be shifting close to your retirement age which is generally 55 years of so,” Aggarwal points out .
The challenge the market at present faces is how the people in India will accept this newly emerged concept of retirement homes. To this Rakesh Yadav, Chairman, Antriksh India says: "The current retirement model is not right for India. People in India don't have enough purchasing power to buy. Retirement homes are more of a money making venture in the country.”
He says the need of the hour is for the government should come up with a plan similar to 'Housing for All' where in they could promote more affordable housing for the ageing population as well. “India is currently known to hold the youngest population in the world right now and slowly when this major chunk moves towards retirement, it would be hard for the government to support them through the existing infrastructure,” Yadav adds.