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Indian Real Estate News : Bangalore
Care homes: Silver lining for SENIOR CITIZENS
Source: The Times of India Apr 11, 2014
Senior citizens are emerging as a large market for care homes.  Financially well off buyers in this category are increasingly looking for premium senior-living residential units that cater to their emotional,  physical,  and lifestyle needs and developers are up to the challenge.  NAMRATA KOHLI writes, "With the life expectancy of people increasing dramatically owing to modern medicine and other healthcare facilities,  the retirement years of the average citizen often stretches to two three decades.  Thus, this is a period in ones life that one cannot ignore and must plan and prepare for it."

Also, the needs and necessities in this age bracket are dramatically different and call for enhanced planning, support and care.  Along with the obvious financial aspect, the emotional, social and physical security of these citizens is also of paramount importance.

These were some of the interesting findings of Age Ventures India (AVI), a non-profit organization that seeks to persuade developers to include a retirement wing in their residential developments.
With longevity becoming a norm rather than exception AVI did a segmentation of the old age.  If we take 60 years to be the beginning of the retired life, then 60-75 is early old age, 75-85 the middle old age,  and 85 plus as the real old age when one usually needs assistance in day-to-day living.  

Arun Gupta, the director of AVI, says: Old age is generally the time when people have big houses but empty nests, rise in wealth but fall in health, have fat bank account but are lonely on personal account. But Indians carry a lot of emotional baggage, the so called attachment to our homes. Its time to be practical and silver citizens should make use of alternatives like senior housing, which give dignity to life and living.  

Increasingly, retirement homes or senior living communities are drawing the interest of developers across the country, and the model is evolving and improving with every other project. Real estate developers like Ashiana Housing, Paranjape Schemes, Disha Direct, Mantri Developers, etc. have presented innovative ways of designing these homes keeping in mind the needs of the 60 plus population. Demand in senior housing has even triggered the growth of high-end to luxury senior living products in the range of Rs 60 lakh to Rs 1 crore and upwards.

Sensing the dire need for special community-based residential offerings conceived, designed and built specifically for financially-settled senior citizens many real estate developers in India have made a foray into the segment of care homes, which have replaced the earlier concept of old-age homes. While old-age homes symbolizes the last option for the needy and abandoned elderly, contemporary retirement homes or care homes, on the contrary, are believed to be a pleasant concept which promise to make ones life after retirement not drab but a celebration,  says Ankur Gupta, joint MD of Ashiana Housing Ltd, the pioneer of retirement resorts in India.

Ashiana Housing was one of the first developers in Bhiwadi and the group has already completed and delivered more than six projects like Ashiana Aangan, Ashiana Rangoli, Ashiyana Utsav, etc. Ashiana Utsav is a remarkable project that brought the concept of retirement homes to the town. Senior citizens get a complete experience of homeliness in a resort-like ambience with lush-green landscape all around. Vishal Gupta, the MD of Ashiana Housing, says: The retirement resort is a resident community of senior citizens only. We also provide round-the-clock security and medical assistance to all the residents.  

Dr Murlidhara Ayurveda, psychologist and assisted living expert says, Presently, we have only a limited number of facilities which can match the quality of care homes abroad, like Utsav Care Homes by Ashiana Housing in north India, care homes by Paranjape Builders in Pune, and Dignity Lifestyle in Mumbai, among others.  

Silverglades just launched a senior living project, First Citizen, as part of a bigger project at Gurgaon Extension. Anubhav Jain, the director of Silverglades Group, says: This is an exclusive community for our urban elite in the heart of Gurgaon and not in a back of beyond location. Today’s urbane elderly are not happy with just anything and want the best of everything they are indeed our first citizens and we must create a product befitting their needs and expectations.  

The project has 156 exclusive apartments spread over 17. 5 acres in 1- and 2BHK format and each unit is designed with international senior living specifications.

Riva Homes by Tata Housing is another recent project in this segment. Brotin Banerjee, the MD and CEO of Tata Housing, says: Gone are the days when Indians after retirement thought of sitting at home and lead a passive life.

Todays globe-trotting Indian is aware of international standards and is demanding an active lifestyle after retirement. The demand was clear to us we received more than 4, 000 inquiries from various locations in the first month that Riva was launched at Bangalore.  Tata Housing plans to invest around Rs 1, 200 crore on 12 projects across eight cities by 2018. Golden Estate is another senior citizen home, promoting luxury lifestyle for senior citizens in NIT Faridabad. Low mortality rates, higher standard of medical assistance, increase in literacy and income have enhanced the life expectancy of people as a whole,  a spokesman of the firm says.

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