As 8.94% of the Indian population is above 60 years of age, developers have realised that there is a potential market for retirement homes
The recent trend of retirement homes gaining popularity seems to be catching on as one more such project will start functioning by December this year.
Vivara Residences in Arpora, Goa, is set to attract the elderly who wish to spend their twilight years in freedom. It will enable them to get the best possible facilities, care and attention. Developer Acron Senior Lifestyles Pvt Ltd plans to cash in on this new formula.
Acron is the latest to join the list of developers who have made a foray into living projects for senior citizens. Others already in the list include Sobha Developers, Rakindo Group, Brigade Group, Ashiana Group of Builders, Paranjape Schemes and Riverdale Retirement Resorts Pvt Ltd. Their projects are already operational in major cities such as Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Chennai and Coimbatore.
Vivara has ambitious plans to build more such 'Vivara Residences' in Coorg (Karnataka), Kerala, Pondicherry, Shirdi, Rishikesh and Brindavan.
In a bid to stand out among the herd of retirement homes, Vivara offers to refund the full lease deposit amount it will take from the elderly. The resident will have to pay a monthly rent, which is non-refundable. Besides, if an elderly citizen also selects the capital appreciation option at the time of the agreement, he or she also receives a share of the appreciation of the price of the apartment.
The collapse of India's traditional family support system - and a growing number of nuclear families - is said to be the primary reason for the birth of these retirement homes. As these elderly citizens were left alone to fend for themselves, their only choice was to move to old-age homes. But thanks to their savings in their younger days, elderly citizens can now live their life according to their choice and freedom and get the best facilities, care and treatment in these retirement homes.
As 8.94% of the Indian population is above 60 years of age, developers have realised that there is a potential market for retirement homes. These retirement homes meet the needs of elderly citizens, including their need for security, care, personal attention and craving for companionship. This has contributed to the growth of these projects. Heeron HH Fernandes, sales and marketing manager of Vivara Residences, told Moneylife, "As many of these elderly citizens are financially stable, they want to spend the remainder of their lives with freedom and dignity. Moreover, they receive the companionship they long for in these retirement homes."
Another factor that pulls the elderly to these retirement homes is that they don't have to bother with the day-to-day management of the property while they enjoy the community facilities available to them. In Vivara Residences, facilities provided include multi-purpose community lounges with indoor games and TV, an air-conditioned clubhouse, fully-equipped gymnasium and activity centre, walk-in swimming pool, library & computer room, 24x7 security and meeting & conference rooms. All expenses related to community use of the property are paid by the management. Vivara Residences also provides doctor-on-call services from its panel of specialists and a 24x7 van for carrying patients to nearby hospitals in case of emergencies.
Mr Fernandes explained, "As elderly citizens are prone to specific diseases, a general physician at Vivara would not serve the purpose. Our panel includes cardiologists and other specialists who can meet the needs of the residents. Besides, having an in-house healthcare service centre in Vivara would turn it into a mini-hospital."
The focus is to make these retirement homes a place for leisure and enjoyment. In their twilight years and free from all family obligations, elderly citizens choose a lifestyle of their choice in these retirement homes. Unlike old-age homes which are generally the last option for needy and abandoned elderly people, senior citizens choose retirement homes out of their own will.
In a survey conducted of households with senior citizens, more than 60% found the concept of a senior citizens' club or a senior citizens' association as a viable and practical one. Dr Sheilu Sreenivasan, founder-president of Dignity Foundation, said, "Retirement homes are different from old-age homes; in retirement homes, the freedom, choice of food, lifestyle and service standards provided are much higher."
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