India has long been known as a nation made up of a youthful population. However, recent statistics do have different story to tell. Based on a report that was released by the Ministry of Statistics in 2016, there has been a jump of 35.5% in the number of citizens crossing the age of 60. As per a survey and report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Help Age International, India’s population is likely to increase by 60% between 2000 and 2050 but more significant is the fact that the number of elders who have attained the age of 60 is likely to shoot up by a whopping 360%.
The demands and needs of this population now greatly influence a large number of industries. Primary among them being the real estate sector. “Senior living homes are the next big market because micro families have come to stay and most families have dependent parents who stay alone because children have moved out,” says Suresh Hari, Secretary of CREDAI, Bengaluru. “It is a vertical that is being pursued by builders who feel that there is a need for diversity in their offerings. They understand that not just a particular segment of realty development will yield results. There has to be a basket of various products and this is one of the product that has a fantastic future. India was once considered a close knit family nation, but with the onset of the micro-family and increasing independence, mindsets have changed too and this is leading to a demand in senior living apartments”.
What kind of homes are seniors looking for?
“Senior citizens of today want to be able to retain their independence as far as possible and seek specific comforts, features, healthcare options and entertainment as well”, says Om Ahuja, CEO-Residential. Brigade Group. For its senior living project Parkside, the Brigade Group has partnered with Help Age India, where, besides the differential facilities offered in the complex, the special care required for the elderly is competently met”.
Among the features that senior citizens look for are:
· A self-contained green environment that gives them safety and security, yet the freedom to move about as they please.
· Healthcare facilities ranging from emergency services to long term special needs services.
· Specialized senior friendly features both indoors and outdoors to facilitate mobility as well as safety within the home.
· Quality delivery services for all essentials
· Entertainment options within the property
· Parks and concierge services are also in great demand
“Most senior citizens are retired professionals and educated couples ranging in age between 60-80 years. Besides secure living environments what they also look for are like-minded people as well as emotional support that is very crucial for their age,” says Harish Achar Brahmavar, Founder and Director, Homz N Space. He adds that the senior living market has great potential and will constantly grow in terms of demand as most of the NRIs and working professionals migrating to other cities want their parents to settle in good gated community in their own home towns.
Considering the wide range of requirements for senior citizen homes, the real estate industry has rallied together to create a range of projects that aptly address a bouquet of requirements. These homes range from economic living to luxury based living. Locations in Bengaluru are quite central considering seniors would love to be close to their families and have them visiting often. Builders from Bengaluru like Mantri, Brigade Developers, Ozone Group has initiated building community for senior citizens with all basic amenities for them. Kanakapura road, Old airport road and Devanahalli are among the top places in Bengaluru for senior homes, though there are numerous projects coming up across the city. Om Ahuja aptly summarizes that market by saying “The objective is to offer independent living that is devoid of concerns”.