Bengaluru-based Gopalkrishna Vishwanath (aged 69), and his wife (aged 64), moved from their three-bed-room apartment into a two-bedroom apartment in Parkside Senior Living, Brigade Orchards, Devanahalli.
Says Vishwanath: “We convinced our children this was the best option so that they didn’t have to worry about us con-stantly. We own the apartment and pay for the support services, which are excellent.”
Rising number of seniors
India adds about five-six million senior citizens to its population every year.Improved health care has led to life expectancy rising from 41.4 years in 1960 to 68.8 years in 2018. This “silver
tsunami” has led to an increased demand for retirement homes.
“By 2026, India is expected to have a population of over 173 million seniors, making retirement homes a promising and underserved market,” says Shaan Zaveri, partner, Collated Ventures, IKARIA. IKARIA is a joint venture between Adani Realty and Collated. It is situated at Shantigram township, located between Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
Need for greater support
Post-retirement, senior citizens experience difficulty in finding and supervising domestic help and other service providers for maintaining their often-large houses. As health-related issues grow, they require regular medical checkups and supervision. Senior citizens often also suffer from increased loneliness.
These issues get compounded by the fact that their children often live in other cities, or abroad. A retirement home tries to take care of all these needs. “We strive to design retirement homes that promote active ageing, foster social connections, and offer a wide range of amenities and services that enhance the residents’ quality of life,” says Ankur Gupta, joint managing director, Ashiana Housing, which recently launched its seventh senior living project, Ashiana Amodh, in Pune.
Pay heed to service standards
Before you buy an apartment within a project meant for senior citizens, ensure that the services are of a high standard. Says Zaveri: “At IKARIA, our service-led approach is rooted in three aspects: care, community, and convenience. We understand that seniors require a range of specialised services like house-keeping, maintenance, nutritious food options, and emergency medical coordination.”
The apartments and, in fact, the entire project should have a design that is suited to the needs of senior citizens: larger hallways, adequate radius for wheelchairs to turn, grab bars, sensory lighting, and anti-skid tiles. Says Sanjay Bhatia, senior director, com-munity development, Antara Senior Living, which operates retirement homes in Dehradun and Noida: “At Antara, we are careful about the intricate details in design such as configured rooms, rounded walls and corners to avoid injuries from fall, emergency buttons that are easily reachable, and ramps for easy wheelchair access.”
Proximity to a high-quality hospital should be a major criterion while select-ing a project. It should also not be too distant from the main city.
Rent or buy?
People planning to move into a retirement home must evaluate whether they would like to rent or buy a house within such a project.
“Renting offers greater flexibility. In case the senior citizen couple finds it difficult to adjust in the new commu-nity, they will have the option to move out,” says Vishal Dhawan, chief execu-tive officer and founder, Plan Ahead Wealth Advisors. The decision to pur-chase should ideally be made after liv-ing within the project for some time.
Dhawan adds that senior citizens should also not sell their current dwell-ing place before they are completely sure about moving into a senior citizens’ project. Rules regarding access and stay by friends and family members should be examined closely. “Also remember that selling a house within a retirement project may not be easy since the target segment is limited to people above 55,” says Dhawan.
Evaluate the cost
Factor in the overall costs of moving into a retirement home. Besides the cost of purchasing the house, there will also be costs related to maintenance, care giving, and other services.
Says Colonel Achal Sridharan, founder, CovaiCare, “There is a fixed monthly maintenance cost (MMC).
In Coimbatore, this is around ~6,500-7,000 (plus 18 per cent Goods and Services tax) per dwelling. In addition, there are variable costs which depend on the services that a person opts for, such as caregivers, housekeeping staff, and so on.”
PRICE TAG ATTACHED TO RETIREMENT HOMES
|2 BHK villa
|2/3 BHK apartments
|Starts from 1.36 crore
|2/3 BHK apartments
|Starts from 2.35 crore
|1, 2 and 3 BHK
|57 lakh to 1.27 crore
|1 BHK (only resale)
|23, 34, and 40 lakh onward
|1, 2, 3 BHK villa
Source: Company sources and their websites