November 11, 2013

Retirement Homes in India

The trend of constructing retirement homes is catching up in India as many senior citizens in India are opting to live in retirement homes. Currently, there are around 30 completed retirement homes in India, out of which 7 are in Bangalore, the highest in India. Apart from this, around 30 projects are in the pipeline across India.

Many elderly people now want to spend their life comfortably with not many physical activities and mental stress; that is, with the daily chores such as housekeeping and cooking taken care of. There are many factors that drive retirement homes in India:
  •     The finances of senior citizens are better compared with earlier days
  •     The stigma that was associated with retirement homes is gradually reducing
  •     The joint family system is giving way to nuclear families
  •     The expectancy of life is getting better
  •     The need of companionship of the same age
Types of retirement homes

retirement homes

    Independent living: As the name suggests, independent living is for senior citizens who can take care of themselves. Most of the retirement homes in India provide independent living. Independent living is again divided into three models:
  •     Outright buys
  •     Long lease
  •     Rentals
    Assisted living: This is for those seniors who require physical and medical assistance 24/7. This assistance is provided by non-profit organizations, such as Dignity Foundation in Mumbai and Nightingale in Bangalore.

    Palliative care: For those with incapacitating illnesses

Facilities provided by retirement homes

Medical care: As these projects are specifically customized for seniors, focus is on the medical needs of senior citizens. These medical facilities differ from project to project. Medical facilities include 24/7 ambulance service, 24/7 nurse assistance, out-patient department and physiotherapy services among others. Generally, the developers have a tie-up with hospitals and medical care providers. For example, Tata housing development in Bangalore has a tie up with Apollo Health Care for medical facilities. Athashri, a retirement home by Paranjape Constructions, has a tie-up with three hospitals for medical care of the residents.  

Food: All these retirement homes have a mess facility for an affordable price. The menu is specifically designed for senior citizen’s nutritional needs. Customised food is also provided for residents who have special needs due to their illness. The rates are different in each facility. Athashri Mess charges Rs. 45 per plate, whereas in Ashinan Retirement Home, each plate is Rs. 60 to Rs. 80, depending on the quantity.

Comforts of home: The best advantage is that these homes provide the comfort of a home since they are different from the traditional old age homes. One can enjoy modern amenities and have fun-filled, healthy and adventurous lifestyle in retirement homes.
Homes in India

Safety and security: Many of the retirement homes provide round the clock security service. Apart from it, they have the CCTV facility. Also, the people are residing there are provided with intercoms in their rooms to contact while medical emergency or in case of any accident.

Restrictions of Retirement homes
Age: People above the age of 55 years can reside in retirement homes.

Cost: Retirement homes are more costly than a normal residential house. For example, a normal residential project costs Rs. 6000 per square foot, whereas, a retirement home will cost approximately Rs. 7000 to Rs. 8000 per square foot as there is a shortage of retirement homes in India.

What happens mostly is that developers get the annual contract signed by the residents for maintenance, security, medical facilities and food. The annual maintenance cost is approximately between Rs. 15000 to Rs. 50000. Even if a resident does not want specific facilities, he still needs to pay the annual maintenance charges. Electricity, water, food are charged based on annual consumption.

Inheritance and resale: The retirement house can be inherited by other people; however they cannot live there until they reach the eligible age, that is 55 years. In such case, either the home will be shut or can be rented out to another senior citizen. In cases, where the heir wants to sell the property, the new residents should be a senior citizen.
Some of the retirement homes in India
  •     Athashri, Bangalore
  •     Aamoksh One Eighty, Kasauli
  •     Aarogya Kudumbam, Coimbatore
  •     360 Realty, Bangalore
  •     Moksh Homes, Bangalore
  •     Serenade Homes, Bangalore
  •     Quality Homes, Bangalore
  •     Concept Homes Pvt. Ltd., Chennai
  •     Nandhavanam, Chennai
Retirement homes are costly and are for the people who are wealthy or have non-resident Indian children who can afford to buy such properties for their parents in India. Another disadvantage is that if one wants to sell this property, the new residents should only be a senior citizen only; this creates illiquidity problems for real estate agents.