G-Sec Yields Up

The 10-year benchmark G-Sec yield, which sets the tone of the fixed-income market, increased...

Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital+Print Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MSSN member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation
‘Insurers are aware of mis-selling, but there is no worthwhile attempt to arrest it’
Insurance Ombudsman, Mumbai, AK Dasgupta, has been making a valiant effort to speed up...
Premium Content
Monthly Digital Access

Subscribe

Already A Subscriber?
Login
Yearly Digital+Print Access

Subscribe

Moneylife Magazine Subscriber or MSSN member?
Login

Yearly Subscriber Login

Enter the mail id that you want to use & click on Go. We will send you a link to your email for verficiation
Regulating Retirement Homes
Ministry of social justice takes note of the issue raised by 80-year old S Krishnamurthy
 
There is good news for senior citizens who have moved to retirement homes. The government, it appears, is finally going to listen to their issues. A month ago, I wrote about a PIL (public interest litigation), filed by the 80-year old S Krishnamurthy, in the Madras High Court (WP No. 22967 of 2015) seeking a regulatory authority for senior citizen homes in the state. I had pointed out that the happy life and superb facilities promised to well-to-do senior citizens by those running retirement homes, sometimes, end up disastrously. Mr Krishnamurthy is among several such victims who moved to a retirement home, in scenic Coimbatore, only to realise that the reality was vastly different. A division bench of the High Court, on 21st September, took his plea seriously, rejected the government’s initial attempt to shirk responsibility and asked for a proper response. This has triggered an interesting chain of events that hold a lot of hope for proper regulation of retirement homes.
 
On 13th November, TP Madhukumar, a deputy secretary of the ministry of social justice & empowerment, wrote to the additional solicitor-general of Tamil Nadu asking him to seek time to file a response in court, since “the matter is being re-examined in consultation with the Department of Housing, Ministry of Urban Development.” This seems to acknowledge a regulatory lacuna that needs to be remedied. The letter also repeats the Court’s concern that “privately run Old Age Homes were squeezing the Senior Citizens.” Our only quibble is with the terminology ‘old age homes’, which have a different profile from retirement homes; but so long as the government puts in place a regulatory framework that holds private developers to the services promised in their agreements, and ensures supervision, audit, redress and a fair exit option for seniors, the rules may work for all categories of senior citizen facilities. 
 
Retirement homes are also attracting affluent women seniors who do not want to be dependent on their families and seek the companionship of people of their own age and interests. A retirement resort in Kasauli says that 10% of all its bookings were from ‘well-heeled’ single women, mostly widows whose children are settled far from home. It is well-documented that women tend to outlive their spouses by an average of seven to eight years and, often, end up alone.
 
Retirement homes are a good option for them; but the high-end facilities with limited resale value or price appreciation, could end up as a trap for those who don’t fit in and want to move out. Some retirement homes cost between Rs1.5 crore to Rs6 crore plus monthly costs for food, maintenance and use of amenities. Since the concept itself is new, there is little discussion on long-term maintenance, security and continuation of services (especially promised medical help) or the legal options and remedies, if things go wrong. Mr Krishnamurthy’s petition has achieved a breakthrough by drawing the attention of the ministry of social welfare and empowerment. 
 
With the number of seniors in India expected to go up to 143 million in five years, it will need many more Krishnamurthys to push the government to think seriously about developing geriatric care and assisted-living facilities and to promote well-regulated retirement homes as an option for affluent seniors as domestic help and home-care becomes increasingly scarce, unaffordable or unsafe. Unfortunately, this development offers no immediate relief to Mr Krishnamurthy for his personal situation. 

User

COMMENTS

Ramakrishna Iyer Seshan

12 months ago

Thank you, Ms. Dalal. I had aready posted a comment on your previous article on the same subject and the current one only endorses our belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
True, ther is a lot of diifference between Old Age Homes and retirement Homes Nd I hope that is kept in mind, if and when, the Government, reacts.
Thanks once again and regards,
Air Commodore R I Seshan (Retd.)

B Pugazhendhi

12 months ago

The concerns expressed are genuine. But is there a solution? If your own home cannot provide what you want can a retirement home provide it, at whatever cost? Money cannot buy everything.

How can we expect any organisation to provide for unforeseen health issues of the senior citizens? Even health insurance firms are not forthcoming. Medical care cannot be an open-ended care. At best they can shift the most hopeless patients to the government hospitals.

Peruvemba Subramanian Ramachandran

12 months ago

It is in the fitness of things that the Madras high court suo moto appoints a Scheme wirh a retd Judge to head it and draft a suitable law after studying the issue in detail; as one cannot expect the TN Govt to act appropriately in this respect.

T V

12 months ago

It is unfortunate that Judiciary has no process in place to take into account public opinion except PIL regarding launae in law as well as judicial pronouncements. This itself is a serious issue and needs correction.
Many judicial pronouncements based only on lawyer's arguments are flawed and do NOT take into account available options.
Why judiciary should NOT set up mechanism to include public opinion for improving judiciary?

Amar Sehmi

12 months ago

I salute moneylife for educating current or would be senior citizens by publishing such news articles, which is no where to be seen or heard in any media given its importance. I hope GOI puts in adequate controls and measures to streamline these homes.

For quite sometime I was exploring the possibility of moving into a Sr citizen home and the same concerns as raised in your news articles held me back. Resale value, but more importantly what happens when a lone Sr citizens becomes totally incapacitated at certain point of time has never been properly answered by any of the developers leave aside adequate medical attention and famous Indian lacuna in providing maintenance services.

Peruvemba Subramanian Ramachandran

12 months ago

Thanks Suchetaji for once agin taking up the cause of the hapless seniors and brining it to the National limelight through your paper.

This would serve as a security check for all seniors intending to invest heavily in these ventures in the hope of peace and security.

It is also nice to note that that GOI has taken note of the issue and sought time from chennai hc to file its reply.

Hope something meaningful comes out of your great efforts; for which all the neglected seniors would be indebted to you.

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)