Saturday, December 15, 2012

Age ventures India Retirement communities in multiple locations

Retire right here


The elderly need a space for a full life without being moved away to
exclusive communities
K. Murali KumarRetirement flats allow couples to take it easy and feel safe


peoplesenior citizens
social issues (general)social services

A new idea sees developers assigning a part of their regular projects
towards fully planned retirement flats, thus bringing the elderly into
the mainstream. Vaishna Roy reports

"We don't believe in pushing people into separate communities," says
Arun Gupta, the affable CEO of Age Ventures India (AVI). That in a
nutshell sums up what this non-profit venture is trying to do for
senior housing in the country. In a new and welcome move, AVI is
teaming up with developers to persuade them to convert a portion of
their new projects into elderly-friendly housing units. Thus, rather
than get isolated in retirement homes, the elderly can live and
interact with the larger community and yet be cared for with all the
little frills that make the sunset years carefree.

AVI liaises with leading developers working on large housing projects
or mini townships and works with them to dedicate 15-20 per cent of
their units into a separate retirement block. "We don't retire from
life, we just retire from work," says Gupta. The idea is to provide a
setting where the couple can take it easy, enjoy value-added pursuits,
be safe and yet stay in the mainstream.

AVI ties up with developers across cities. For instance, it has tied
with Shriram Properties in Chennai, Brigade Group in Bangalore,
Ramprastha Property in Gurgaon, and the ARG Group in Jaipur. In
Chennai, 134 of the 1,800-odd apartments at the Shriram Shankari
Complex in Guduvanchery will be set aside for Sanjeevani, the senior
living project.

The idea makes sense in more ways than one. As Ashok Iyer, VP, Shriram
Properties, says, "It's a purely economic solution. Surging land
costs, even in suburbs, make it unviable for senior citizens. Here, we
can even give them a swimming pool or badminton court."

Melur Meadows, an idyllic retirement village in Coimbatore, is talking
to developers for a similar tie-up. Says Maj. Sathyanarayanan, CEO,
"The idea is to move away from exclusive spaces for the elderly and
create inclusive spaces, where they can share common life facilities
with the larger community." He adds that the elderly need to feel a
sense of belonging, to see younger people. "We must find an Indian
solution for our seniors."

It is estimated that the 60+ population in India will touch 240
million by 2050. The demographic is growing at 3.8 per cent per annum
compared to the general rate of 1.8 per cent. Unlike the West, where
senior living is a mature industry, India has woken up to this segment
only in the last decade or so. A number of retirement communities,
both middle-end and luxurious, have come up across the country, but
this is the first time that the idea of merging them with regular
housing has been taken up.

It's a timely move. As a Jones Lang LaSalle report says, a significant
section of seniors today are independent, financially stable, and
well-travelled. They want to pursue hobbies or social work. They are
healthy and alert and don't appreciate being shunted out of sight.
Then there's the NRI phenomenon — children in the West too far away to
take care of parents here but concerned enough to look for holistic
solutions; and NRI retirees who want to come home to world-class
senior spaces.

These units have — besides the basics such as kitchen and dining room,
24-hour medical and nursing services, security and green spaces —
auditoriums, library and Internet zones, spas and yoga rooms, hobby
and indoor game areas with pottery, painting, carrom board and more.
Even more useful, there are valet and concierge services to pay bills,
book tickets and so on. Says Gupta: "AVI has even collaborated with
SRM University for seniors to take coaching or special classes there."
Owners pay a monthly fee for catering, medical and other value-added
services to AVI, which outsources these functions.

AVI has tied up with Help Age India for training its staff in
geriatric issues and for help in setting up counselling and physio
centres. It has also tied up with MHA, UK for laying down policies,
procedures and safety standards. MHA will also carry out annual

The block comes with an assisted living facility that a couple can
move into if needed. This echoes the gloabl trend for continuing care,
where a single campus provides the range of services from independent
and assisted living to skilled nursing care.

As Gupta says, "If a retirement home is really good, nobody should
need to move out." And if retirees can spend their sunset years in a
sunrise environment, it sounds like a great solution.

Keywords: Retirement homes, elder care, Help Age India

Dr P Vyasamoorthy, 30 Gruhalakshmi Colony Secunderabad 500015 Ph
040-27846631 / 9490804278.


  1. This is really a good setting for the elderly. The 55 retirement communities have a neighborhood setting that allows everyone to participate in social events. It is just near the establishments so it is very convenient.

  2. Thank you for this usefull information
    Really helpful
    dont forget to visit us Retirement homes in India