Demand is expected to pick up due to changing demographic, and breakdown of traditional social systems
The senior-living segment in India is still at a nascent stage. However, with changing consumer preferences, industry experts see a lot of potential in this segment in near future. In a conversation with Outlook Money, Rajit Mehta, CEO, and MD of Antara shares his views on the growing acceptance and demand for exclusively senior-oriented real estate segments.
What is the Need for a Dedicated Senior Living Segment in Real Estate?
Senior Care facilities require state-of-the-art infrastructure and design capabilities to cater to the diverse and evolving needs of seniors. Senior Living operators play a crucial role in this where unlike a traditional housing society or residences for elders, these facilities are designed keeping in mind the occupant’s age-specific mobility and lifestyle needs. The services provided at such facilities are curated to ensure care, comfort, and companionship. Residences for Seniors are designed with special attention to senior-specific features such as configured rooms with no sharp edges, rounded walls, wheelchair access, anti-skid tiles, emergency button at a reachable height.
Are Such Facilities Popular in India?
Globally, Senior Communities are an established and sought-after service, especially in markets such as Japan, Singapore, the US, and many parts of Europe. India is still at a nascent stage, but the demand is expected to pick up at a fast pace due to the fast-changing demographic, increasing life expectancy, and the breakdown of traditional joint family/community living social systems. The current pandemic has had a drastic impact on the elderly population and has accentuated the need for such specialised care services
Locations and Demographics Where This Segment is Popular
As per the CII Senior Care India report 2018, most existing and upcoming senior living communities are located adjacent to major metros like Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, and Delhi, and non-metros including Kochi, Jaipur, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Rishikesh, Goa, and Mathura. The demand for senior living housing units is highest in Delhi-NCR, followed by Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, and Kolkata.
There are specialised design firms that help with the architecture and design of senior spaces and in the next decade, senior living residences across India are expected to go up to 75,000 from 10,500 units currently.
What Should One Consider When Planning for a Retirement Home?
It is important to choose a trusted developer and a trusted operator. It is critical to living in a community-like environment. One of the major shortcomings of this sector in India currently is that it does not offer the social security framework required by senior citizens. It is, therefore, important to choose a retirement home basis the services offered on the product front, wellness front, and if it assists one thoroughly by offering complete care.
Costs and place are two important considerations that need attention. One should ask questions such as: would I be comfortable in that region? Is the infrastructure senior-friendly? What are the ongoing monthly costs? Is there enough space inside the property to move around? What is the quality and nature of healthcare services being offered? Whether it offers recreational activities, what is the kind of food being offered, can my family come visit, how often and how comfortable it would be for them? It is important that there are ample opportunities for social interactions and enjoys the company of like-minded people.