Posts Tagged ‘senior living’

Senior Living In India: Integrated senior-citizen townships are offering tailor-made and hassle-free living for retired Indians

July 12, 2010

Every morning, 72-year-old Mani Bharucha likes to go for a walk with her friends. A single woman, she’s chosen to live 90km away from the hustle and bustle of busy Mumbai life at the Dignity Lifestyle (set up by Dignity Foundation) Retirement Township in Neral near the hill-station Matheran. After the walk she tends the plants in the small garden attached to her cottage. She particularly loves the monsoons in the hills when the landscape turns a verdant green. “The quality of life is much better and there are absolutely no restrictions on our lifestyle,” she gushes.

Bharucha is among the growing number of senior citizens who are opting to stay in senior-citizen townships coming up in different corners of the country. And no, these are not old age homes but integrated townships for people aged 55 years and above, where the key selling point is senior living.

The living conditions are specially tailored for older folks with ultra-spacious, wheel-chair friendly rooms with anti-skid flooring and touchscreen systems. In addition, there are multi-cuisine restaurants, libraries, club houses, golf courses, wellness centres and spas. Of course, there’s geriatric care at hand and trained staff for housekeeping.

So you can perk up with a brisk walk, or enjoy an Ayurvedic massage, sweat it out at the fitness centre or engage in community development projects.

Who are the target buyers? Anybody who is looking at retirement (young retirees 55 years onwards) or the already retired or those who need assisted living can choose to stay in these homes.

Nestled in the hills of Matheran, Dignity offers breathtaking views

Perhaps, it’s little wonder that the elderly parents of NRIs, retired bureaucrats, bankers and businessmen are increasingly finding their space in the protected environment of a retirement home.

“Senior-living homes have immense potential. Though it’s a western concept, and still in its infancy in India, developers need to take it to the next level complete with ultra-modern and hassle-free facilities,” says Saumyajit Roy, assistant vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

According to a recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM), in India there are over 81 million elderly people. The figure will rise to 177 million by 2025 and by 2050 it will be about 240 million. Adds Roy: “After you retire from the frenetic pace of life, there’s no need to feel left out. Retirement townships are increasingly being favoured by elderly people whose children settle in different parts of the country or abroad and cannot visit them too often.”

Here’s looking at some of the places where the elderly can retire to.


Nestled in the hills of Matheran, Dignity offers breathtaking views
This is an integrated township in Bardhaman, developed by Bengal Shrachi Housing Development, spread across 254 acres out of which 30 acres are earmarked for the development of a retirement community. The real estate group has big plans for its development which will include a state-of-the art 100-bed hospital within half a kilometre of the township and a clubhouse inside the township where one can unwind.

On offer are two options — semi-assisted living (in this there’s no full-time attendant) and assisted living (targeted at elderly people suffering from ailments who need constant care).

There will be 250 small bungalows which will vary in size from 1,000sq ft to 1,500sq ft. These will be priced between Rs 15 lakh and Rs 25 lakh depending on the model chosen. Says Rahul Todi, managing director, Bengal Shrachi: “We are trying to run it like a resort where everything is taken care of from day-to-day administration to maintenance.” Features on offer include grab-rails in bathrooms and balconies, wheel-chair friendly space, no steps, bigger doors and hi-tech security systems.

Status: The project will be launched in a month’s time. It will take about 20 months to complete.


Shrachi Renaissance aims to be run like a resort with the administration taking care of daily assistance and maintenance; the senior citizens of Ashiyana Utsav love the daily activities like swimming and yoga, and the apartments come with security system, medical assistance, a restaurant, clubhouse and more

This is a retirement township at Arpora in Goa, developed by the Mumbai-based Acron group which will have 52 apartments with age-friendly features. The key features include a lounge area, a state-of-the art clubhouse, swimming pool, a wellness centre, library, conference hall and landscaped gardens. Says John Britto, director, Acron group: “Earlier senior living meant old-age homes run by charitable institutions but today retirement living signifies staying in self-sufficient communities and integrated townships away from urban centres. They can stay in safe environment with the nitty-gritty of their lives taken care of.”

The company has tied up with the Australian Retirement Village Association to ensure best standards. The first phase has rolled out in June this year and has 1 BHK (spread over 775sq ft), 2 BHK (1,300sq ft) and 3 BHK (2,000sq ft) apartments. The USPs are 24×7 emergency staff, hi-tech security systems, smoke detectors and alarms in the rooms.

Up next is another project in Coorg to be launched soon. Britto explains, “In the past, cities like Bangalore and Mysore were viewed as good locations for senior living but these have become highly overpopulated and increasingly unsafe for older people, especially those living alone. Increasingly people prefer scenic locations where they can stay with likeminded people in a vibrant community.”

Vivara operates on a lease model (you take the house on lease for a certain period) and not freehold. “With a lease, seniors have all the advantages of possessing and enjoying the benefits of real estate without them or their legal heirs bothering about dealing with brokers,” he says.

You can choose from a range of affordable combinations on the lease deposit and monthly rent. For a typical one-bedroom 775-sq-ft apartment, you could, for example, pay a lease deposit ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Suppose, you paid a deposit of Rs 10 lakh, then the monthly rent would be Rs 24,000. If you paid a deposit of Rs 20 lakh, the monthly rent would be Rs 12,000 and on a deposit of Rs 25 lakh, the rent would be Rs 6,500. The monthly rent will increase by 5 per cent every year.

Monthly expenses on utilities like electricity, gas and water are extra. Community expenses like security, maintenance, repairs, and property taxes are included in the price of the home. The deposit is returned when you vacate the property.

Again, there are two options. One, you can choose to take only the deposit back when you leave the property. Two, you can choose the capital appreciation option under which you will not only get your original lease deposit back but also a percentage of the capital appreciation in the lease value of the property. Vivara’s management will publish the expected lease value of the property twice a year.

When you vacate your property, it will lease it out to another senior citizen who will pay the lease deposit at the rate that is prevailing then. The difference between your lease deposit rate and the new deposit rate is the capital appreciation in the property’s lease value.

According to an illustrative table worked out by Vivara, if you pay a deposit of Rs 30.4 lakh (and a monthly rent of Rs 9,000) for a 1BHK apartment today, you will get an 80 per cent share of the capital appreciation whenever you leave the house. If you pay a deposit of Rs 26.6 lakh (and rent of Rs 13,000), you will get 70 per cent of the capital appreciation and so on and so forth.

Status: The first phase of the Goa project will be completed in September this year.


The laid-back Goan lifestyle is what the seniors in Vivara Residences in Goa will get a chance to indulge in. Nestling in the hills of the Western Ghats, the Dignity Lifestyle Retirement Township in Neral is the brainchild of the Mumbai-based chairperson of the Dignity Foundation Dr Sheilu Srinivasan. There are 62 small cottages with gardens spread across 25 acres. There are two types of fully furnished cottages — premium (500sq ft) and the economy (180sq ft) — which come with anti-skid floorings, grab bars in bathrooms, puja corner and trained staff to attend to the residents.

Says Dipti Nigudkar, hospitality manager: “The homes are designed keeping in mind the comfort of the seniors. They get to interact with like-minded people and participate in festivals and even can take up jobs in primary schools nearby to keep busy.”

You can buy the cottages outright. The premium cottages cost Rs 13 lakh while the economy ones cost Rs 9 lakh. Plus there are monthly charges for utilities.

Status: Operational since 2006. Currently work for second phase has started to add more cottages and to build a 100-bed medical unit in the township.

UTSAV, Rajasthan

From a game of chess to riding a golf buggy — trivial pursuits give seniors a much needed sense of companionship

A 30-minute drive down from Gurgaon will take you to Bhiwadi where Ashiana Housing has come up with Ashiana Utsav, a Rs 65-crore retirement home project for old people on a 15-acre plot. The 442 senior citizens who live here can look forward to various activities — entertainment programmes, spiritual discourses, medical camps and yoga.

The key features include one-, two- and three-bedroom flats complete with security systems, a clubhouse, jogging track, landscaped garden, restaurant, medical assistance and a library. In the project’s second and third phase, there are plans of building more than 200 housing units.

Apart from Bhiwadi, Ashiana Housing has retirement homes in Lavasa (31 acres) and Jaipur (10 acres). While Lavasa will have 475 units (1, 2 BHK and 3 BHK villas), Jaipur will have 350 (1, 2 and 3 BHK) apartments. You can buy the homes outright. While in Jaipur, prices start at Rs 11.8 lakh, in Bhiwadi, the flats are priced from Rs 17.4 lakh onwards. In Lavasa, expect to shell out between Rs 27 lakh to Rs 82 lakh.

Status: While Ashiana Bhiwadi is operational, the Lavasa project will be completed in October 2011 and work on the first phase of the Jaipur project is on.


This centre attempts to offer a blend of modern retirement living and a comfortable semi-rural lifestyle. It’s 35km from Coimbatore (spread over 9 acres) in the foothills of the Nilgiris. It is being developed by Chennai-based Alternative Lifestyle.

There are ownership cottages with freehold and transferable titles, which is similar to owning an apartment in the city. “It is a gated community constructed specifically for senior citizens who want the relaxed ambience of a rural setting with all the comforts of modern cities. Residents can feel free to live with family and have visitors just as you would in an apartment. Guest-house accommodation facilities also will be available for visitors,” says Major P. Sathyanarayanan, owner of Melur Meadows.

In the first phase of the project, there are 32 cottages and 24 more cottages are being added in the second phase. These come fully furnished with a kitchenette and a private sit-out area. Prices at Rs 8.5 lakh (381sq ft) and go up to Rs 25 lakh (1,200sq ft).

Status: The first phase of 32 cottages is functional. Booking for the second phase has started this year.

RAKINDO, Coimbatore

Set on 850 acres of lush landscape out of which 50 acres is earmarked for retirement homes, this project is being developed by Rakindo Developers in the Kovai Hills, Coimbatore, with an investment of Rs 150 crore. The township will have an 18-hole golf course, state-of-the art clubhouse, 300-bed hospital, and multi-cuisine restaurant.

Says Prashant Koneru, director, Rakindo Developers: “The idea is not to segregate old people but to offer world class facilities so that they can enjoy the luxuries of life without feeling secluded.”

The senior citizens community will have at least 400 villas. These will have features including blue-tooth enabled security systems and pre-set ovens in the kitchens, touchscreen telephone system, care for those suffering from dementia and aqua-therapies.

There will also be three schools and four engineering colleges within the township. Up next are three other projects — Kumarakom Wetlands, a high-end backwater 18-hole golf-cum-retirement resort, Chennai Marina on the Palar River estuary and a dedicated senior living township in Hyderabad with a nine-hole golf course.

Status: While the Kovai Hills retirement community will be launched in December this year, the Kumarakom project will be launched in December 2011. The Chennai Marina project will be launched three years from now and the Hyderabad retirement township five years from now.

India’s elderly make a move for freedom

July 5, 2010

At first glance, Ashiana Utsav in Bhiwadi, two hours drive from Delhi, could be any of hundreds of gated communities that have sprung up across India in the last decade.

Sunny-coloured, low-rise apartment blocks surround a perfectly manicured communal garden and immaculate roads steer you gently through security posts where the guards salute every incoming car.

But come early evening and the difference is obvious.

As the sun becomes low in the sky and day starts to cool, the residents of Ashiana Utsav emerge from their apartments to mingle and take exercise.

There is Mr S Bhatia – a matter-of-fact 64-year-old whose evening routine includes a 6km walk around the central park and often a game of chess.

Then there is Mr S C Kanwar, 80, an intellectual who can be most often found near the fountain reading a book, and Mrs Bhalla, a youthful 61-year-old who makes a bee-line for the table tennis room every evening, or the lawn where she tends to her Bonsai trees.

Everyone here is over 55, they have to be – that is the rule.

Ashiana Utsav in Bhiwadi, is a retirement community and it residents are among a new wave of Indian senior citizens who have broken with tradition and are living separately from their children.

“There is no question that 30 years ago a community like this would not have existed,” said Saurabh Sharma, the manager of Ashiana Utsav.

“It took time for the concept to take off. You could say there was a stigma surrounding the idea of allowing your parents to live separately at first.”

Yet take off, it has. Ashiana has just finished building a second “utsav” – which means “celebration” in Hindi – in the northern city of Jaipur and a third in the south-western city of Pune. Combined, they comprise of 800 apartments and houses.

And Ashiana is not alone. In the last seven years – since the first such community was built in Pune – a dozen other developers have built similar projects and most are in the process of constructing more.

“It’s a trend that’s only going to increase,” said Saumyajit Roy, vice president in charge of social infrastructure at the Delhi office of Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj, a real estate firm. “We estimate there is an immediate need for 200,000 units across the country.”

There are currently 90 million people in India over the age of 60 and though they currently only account for eight per cent of a 1.13 billion strong population at the moment, that percentage is set to rise as people have fewer children and senior citizens live longer.

By 2025, it is estimated there will be 177 million Indian seniors, a figure which is forecast to increase to 240 million by 2050. 

“Soon one in five Indians is going to be a senior citizen, they are going to need somewhere to live,” said Mr Roy.

Traditionally, senior citizens in India have lived with their families – most commonly with the eldest son who considered looking after his parents a duty almost as weighty as caring for his own children.

Indian culture held the perfect household to be one where several generations lived harmoniously under the same roof with the grandparents assuming the role of keeper of family ritual and lore , as well as part-time child minder. Now, however, two decades of breakneck economic growth have undermined this centuries-old tradition.

The introduction of western work models means that many young middle class Indians have to spend more time focusing on their careers in order to get ahead.

Often that means moving away from their home city or overseas to pursue opportunities.

Children are marrying later, and women – who traditionally carry the responsibility of caring for their in-laws – often continue working after marriage.

“We no longer have the time to spend with our parents,” said Gitanjali Prasad, author of The Great Indian Family, a book examining the dynamics of Indian family life. “That feeling of reverence has gone. There is still love and respect but that feeling that the old were the custodians of culture and tradition has gone.”

But the same economic growth that put the extended family unit under pressure also means that this generation of retirees is richer than any generation before them.

Many upper and middle class seniors have travelled abroad and to some extent they have adopted some of the same western concepts of personal freedom and space as their children.

Many of them baulk at the idea of becoming a shuffling presence in their children’s homes reliant on them for transport, food and a social life.

“Today, people in their 60s have money, there are in good health and they have a different mindset – they are not so traditional, they are willing to try new things, new ways of living,” said A Gongopadhyay, vice president of Ashiana Housing.

The first few Indian retirement communities stuck closely to the Florida model and were aimed at the wealthy.

But an increasing number of developers, Ashiana included, are targeting their products at the middle classes. At Ashiana Utsav Bhiwadi, prices range from US$38,000 (Dh140,000) for a one bedroom apartment to $68,000 for a three room unit – well within the budget of many retiring civil servants, military and business men.

To help give it a more Indian feel, the developers built a Hindu temple on site and there are even yoga pavilions in the communal green spaces, where there might be a bowls lawn in the West.

Such was the demand for places at the Bhiwadi Ustav that they sold all 640 of their apartments a year ahead of schedule.

For people like Mrs Bhalla, a former social worker who had stayed in retirement communities in the US when she and her husband visited their son, the concept was not a hard sell.

“We were waiting for something like this to come in India,” she said. “Our son asked us to go and live with him but you become reliant on them for everything,” she said. “Here, you get to do what you want with out any limitations. I have taken up my old hobbies again.”

Retirement complexes gain ground in India

June 9, 2010

  • Harpal Singh, mentor and chairman emeritus of Fortis Healthcare, and Deepak Nirula, the erstwhile managing director of restaurant chain Nirula’s, have set up Impact Senior Living Estates (ISLE), a company that develops specialised housing for senior citizens at Amritsar, Rajgarh (Himachal Pradesh) and the NCR.
  • Chennai-based realtor Baba Shankar has founded Clasic Kudumbam, a retirement community development in Chennai.
  • LIC HFL Care Homes operates a retirement village in Bangalore and plans to take it national.
  • Mumbai-based NGO Dignity Foundation has developed a retirement township over 25 acres at Neral (an extended central suburb of Mumbai).
  • Delhi-based realtor, Ashiana Housing, operates a chain of retirement resorts christened Utsav in Bhiwadi, Jaipur and now at Lavasa in Pune.
  • Goa-based diversified entity Acron Group, with interests in realty, infrastructure, hospitality and retail, will launch a 56-appartment retirement complex at Baga beach in three months.
  • All these examples show that the idea of having retirement homes, which is a popular concept in developed countries, is catching up with corporate India, particularly real estate companies.

Such a move makes economic sense, considering the rising number of the aged who are financially sound.

A recent report by Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) said there are over 81 million elderly people in India. “It is expected that by 2025 this figure will be 177 million and by 2050, about 240 million, or more than one in five persons, will be senior citizens,” the report said.

Saumyajit Roy, associate vice-president (senior living), JLLM, said senior citizens are no longer considered withdrawn, risk averse and financially dependent. “The immense potential of this segment, with its unique needs and promises, offers an array of opportunities to the Indian real estate market,” he said.

John Britto, director, Acron Group, said there’s a big market for companies catering to the retired provided they have a right mix of housing products and specialised support and lifestyle services.

“While there are old age homes run by charitable institutions / NGOs catering to the particular strata of the society, the concept of a lifestyle senior living community is still in its infancy in India. There is a significant percentage of the existing and would be senior citizens who are accustomed to a certain way of living and would want to maintain that quality lifestyle minus the routine hassles,” said Britto.

The company plans to invest Rs 150-200 crore to set up retirement complexes in 10 locations, including Kerala, Coorg and Pondicherry.

Pranay Vakil, chairman, Knight Frank India, said parents living separately is no longer being considered a stigma. “Companies are targeting people who believe in lifestyle living. These are elderly citizens whose sons and daughters are well-settled in their personal and professional lives and are living separately (within India or overseas). These are people who are financially well-off and would want a more comfortable life with the same age group,” he said.

Most of these retirement complexes offer the best of healthcare, security and wellness features, with a focus on the elderly. For instance, there are grab rails in bathrooms, hallways and stairs, seats near lifts, anti-skid tiles in bathrooms and kitchens, and emergency alarm buttons within the dwelling unit.

But these facilities do not come cheap. For instance, Utsav’s Lavasa project costs between Rs 27 lakh for a 915 sq ft (chargeable area) 1BHK to Rs 82 lakh for a 2,430 sq ft (chargeable area) for 3BHK duplex villa. Maintenance and parking is over and above the cost of the apartment.

Companies also offer lifetime lease option. The new entrant Acron is pursuing the long-term lease model. Its apartments can be leased for 20 years with a minimum lock-in of 12 months. The one-time deposit for a 1BHK apartment is Rs 20 lakh (fully refundable with an option of capital appreciation). There is also a monthly rental charge of Rs 8,000 towards maintenance and upkeep of the residential community.

However, industry experts caution that there is a need to innovate in the set-up of such retirement complexes, particularly in post-handover care systems and facility management. “Although the real estate/ design/ financing aspects are crucial for the success of such projects, finer aspects such as access to quality and continuous healthcare, end to end convenience and support systems, activity planning and entertainment, and financial flexibility will differentiate successful companies,” said Roy.

Opportunities galore in senior housing sector, says Saumyajit Roy of JLLM

May 14, 2010

Of late, the Indian market is witnessing a sea-change with respect to the status of senior citizens. They are no longer the solitary, risk-averse andeconomically-dependent class. Growing population, financial independence and change in attitude have given birth to a new and lucrative market segment in Indian real estate—the senior housing sector.

In recent times, the earlier concept of old-age homes have been successfully replaced by 
retirement homes, which allow senior citizens to spend the sunset years of their lives in a peaceful and secured environment. The social stigma of abandonment is no longer attached to these kinds of properties. A recent survey reveals that more than 60%senior citizens have given thumbs up for senior citizens’ clubs and associations. Therefore, the concept of‘senior living’ is catching on in India.
Recently Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) has come out with a striking report, ‘Senior housing sector in India: Key trends’, which highlights the huge potential of the segment, along with its unique needs and promises.  
The report points out that the disintegration of the Indian traditional family support system (joint family) has triggered the growth of nuclear families, which at present stands at 60% of the total population. Besides, 8.94% of the population is aged 60-plus. Such figures clearly indicate that there is a greater need of support for the country’s elderly people.
Getting the priorities right
While tremendous opportunities exist in this segment, it is imperative for developers to comprehend the ecosystem in which the seniors live and acknowledge their unique requirements, points out the report. 
According to the report, increasing physical disability, difficulty to access transport and need for quality healthcare and geriatric care are some of the numerous issues that the elderly face during their sunset years. These, along with factors such as poor insurance coverage, legal aid and government support systems immobilise them completely. Therefore, the realtors need to address these nuances, while developing such projects.
Multitude of amenities
Realising the demands of the elderly, developers who have already made a foray into the senior housing segment are striving hard to offer the occupants with superior quality retirement homes at competitive prices. Most of the current senior housing projects provide host of amenities such as timely medical treatment, various recreational activities and strict security system, among others. Most of the senior housing projects comprise 50-100 units, which are usually categorised into 1 BHK, 2 BHK, 3 BHK and studio apartments.
To address medical emergency, the projects have arrangements for doctor-on-call, ambulance and tie-ups with nearby hospitals etc. Moreover, some senior housing projects offer continuing care units for ailing residents. In addition, some projects have charitable organisations so that the elderly can actively participate in social work.
Shobha Developers, Ashiana Group of Builders, LIC HFL, Rakindo Group, Riverdale Retirement Resorts Pvt. Ltd, Brigade Group and Paranjape Schemes are some of the real estate builders who have tried their hands in senior housing projects. Chennai, Pune, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Coimbatore are the major Indian cities witnessing such developments.
Saumyajit Roy, associate vice-president (senior living) of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a global real estate advisory firm

LIC Housing Finance to focus on projects for senior citizens

May 10, 2010

New Delhi: LIC Housing Finance Ltd (LICHFL), the housing finance arm of state-owned Life Insurance Corp. of India (LIC), plans to enter the retirement home business with the launch of two projects in Bhubaneswar and Jaipur.

“Every year, LICHFL plans to develop housing projects for senior citizens who are 50 years and above in age. The first project at Bhubaneswar is at the approval stage,” said R.R. Nair, LICHFL’s director and chief executive officer.

The company, which has acquired 7 acres and 5 acres of land in Bhubaneswar and Jaipur, respectively, will launch one such project in each state every year. The cities will be selected on the basis of their demography.

“We would select only those cities that have significant population in that age bracket. For instance, Kolkata is such a city,” he said. “Places of pilgrimage such as Rishikesh or Haridwar could also be of interest as these attract the elderly in huge numbers. However, capital cities will be our first choice.”

Prior to the announcement of this plan, the firm developed such a project in Bangalore that was launched in 2006.

“This is not an activity under any corporate social responsibility, but it is a fully commercial venture. Apart from the sale value, buyers are charged Rs1,500 per month for amenities,” he said. “Spread over 7 acres, the Bengaluru project houses 98 units with community facilities.”

Between 600 sq. ft and 800 sq. ft in size, the units were sold at Rs6-8 lakh. “The pricing for the upcoming projects has not been decided, but it will be quite reasonable,” he said, declining to give details.

The firm, awaiting the Reserve Bank of India’s approval to start its banking arm, expects to disburse loans of up to Rs20,000 crore in the current fiscal. Nair said the firm had given loans worth Rs15,000 crore in the last fiscal, registering a growth of 70%.

The LIC unit’s plans come as other real estate developers and financial institutions have also entered the field of homes for senior citizens. Chandigarh, Dehradun, Pune, Udaipur, Indore, Jabalpur and Ranchi are ranked the highest among tier II cities for post-retirement living because of cheaper land rates and livable infrastructure, according to a recent report by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry, or Assocham.

Real estate firms such as Impact Senior Living Estates Ltd and Rakindo Developers Projects Ltd have already started developing such projects in Amritsar and Coimbatore, respectively, on a lease model. Rakindo Developers is a joint venture firm between Rakeen Group of UAE and Trimex Group of India. Another realty firm, Ashiana Housing Ltd, plans to develop retirement homes at Jaipur, Jodhpur and Lavasa. It has already developed one such project at Bhiwadi near Gurgaon.

“These homes are economically packaged to service the old around healthcare, hospitality and wellness,” according to Saumyajit Roy, assistant vice-president, senior living, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

The homes will come with monthly charges that will pay for specialized services for its residents.

“With associated services, these houses are higher in value compared to regular housing,” said Ankur Gupta, joint managing director, Ashiana Housing. “Retirement homes are lifestyle products that have got a business value.”

But unlike the US and other developed markets, India does not have any regulation on title ownership after the senior citizen’s death, raising the prospect that the nature of the property could change.

“Once the second generation starts living, the project will no longer remain a senior citizen’s project,” Roy said.

Senior Housing Sector in India: Key Trends

April 26, 2010

Saumyajit Roy, associate vice-president (senior living) at Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, told TOI, “Five years ago, there were only about 3 to 4 developers focusing on senior living sector to any degree. Moreover, their focus was diffused and their approach was not as well-researched and need-based, as it is today. In the current context, there are around 14 developers actively exploring this segment.”

Houses for senior citizens

April 26, 2010
Saumyajit Roy

The standard of living of senior citizens has undergone a sea-change in the last few years. With their growing numbers, increased financial independence and change in mindset, the elderly, these days, have started living life on their own terms and not at the mercy of their children and family. They are no longer considered as a withdrawn, risk-averse and financially-dependent section of the population. The immense potential of this segment, with its unique needs and promises, offers an array of opportunities to the Indian real estate market.
Need-based product development

While opportunities exist, it is important to understand the ecosystem in which seniors live in India. The aged population faces numerous issues, therefore, it is imperative that real estate developers understand and acknowledge the unique requirements of this sector. A growing sense of insecurity, absence of companionship, fear of getting obsolete, loss of relevance within the family, increasing physical disability, difficulty to access transport, a need for quality healthcare and geriatric care, and complexity in conducting the daily chores of family life are some of the several issues that this population faces today. These, compounded with poor access to the government and other support systems, insurance and legal assistance, simply immobilises them. These nuances of old age need to be thoroughly recognised by India’s developers.

Collapse of support systems

The fast collapse of India’s traditional family support system has given rise to an increased number of nuclear families in the country. In India, more than 60 per cent of households are nuclear and 8.94 per cent of the population is aged above 60 years – indicating that the aged are in greater need of support than ever.

Social stigma

Though the concept of old-age or retirement homes still has a social stigma of abandonment attached to it, this retrograde mindset is slowly changing. Today a large number of seniors are adapting themselves to the idea of ‘senior living’. Elderly, now, prefer spending their sunset years with similar-aged companions and share facilities in settings of enablement and security. Interestingly, a recent survey of households with senior citizens revealed that over 60 per cent found the concept of a senior citizen’s club or a senior citizen’s association as a viable and practical one. Contemporary retirement homes or resorts have replaced the earlier concept of old-age homes, which symbolised the last option for needy and abandoned elderly.

Advanced facilities

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. These living spaces are designed for the aged and their day-to-day needs.

Existing projects

Private entities who have already made a foray into enabled senior living projects are Shobhaa Developers, Rakindo Group, Brigade Group, Ashiana Group of Builders, Paranjape Schemes and Riverdale Retirement Resorts. Their projects are already operational in major cities like Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore. LIC Housing Finance Ltd has made an entrance in the sector with Care Homes at Bengaluru as a part of the social responsibility. Apart from these, there are charitable organisations working in this area of real estate development. A majority of these developments have 50-100 units in the resorts or complexes. The typology of units varies from 1 BHK to 3 BHK units, resorts and studio apartments.

The author is assistant vice president (senior living) Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj.

Senior citizens’ homes emerging as a serious segment of real estate: JLLM

April 26, 2010

Indian real estate scene is witnessing the emergence of senior citizens’ homes as a new market segment as the number of projects and housing stockdirected at this section of population is rising fast, a report by real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj (JLLM) has said.

The observation is highlighted in a report Senior housing sector in India: Key Trends,’ which JLLM released on Friday. “The status of seniors in Indian market is experiencing a sea-change, owing to their growing cohort size, augmented financial independence and change in mindset. They are no longer considered withdrawn, risk averse and financially dependent. The immense potential of this segment, with its unique needs and promises, offers an array of opportunities to the Indian real estate market,” the report said.

Saumyajit Roy, associate vice-president (senior living) at Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, told TOI, “Five years ago, there were only about 3 to 4 developers focusing on senior living sector to any degree. Moreover, their focus was diffused and their approach was not as well-researched and need-based, as it is today. In the current context, there are around 14 developers actively exploring this segment.”

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

The report pointed out that 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 the developers,” the report has elaborated.

The report underlines that there are rising numbers of seniors who are adapting to the idea of senior living’ spending the sunset years of their lives with similar-aged companions and sharing facilities in settings of enablement and security. The report also points out to a recent survey of households with senior citizens which revealed that over 60 per cent found the concept of a senior citizen’s club or a senior citizen’s association as a viable and practical one. Contemporary retirement homes or resorts have replaced the earlier concept of old age homes, which symbolised the last option for needy and abandoned elderly, it said.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 270 other followers

%d bloggers like this: