Here’s the good news. There are a number of retirement communities coming up in India to cater to the ageing middle class population. These retirement communities are affordable, and are built with the elderly in mind so that they can have all the creature comforts during their silver years.
Until fairly recently retirement communities were unheard of. It was either the very rich who found palatial and verdant retirement homes in gated communities in nice hill stations, or the absolutely poor who found some solace in destitute homes in their later years.
The majority of the middle-class and upper middle class population of India had access to neither and were usually left to their own devices. When the joint family structure was in vogue, the houses were big and the younger generation took care of the older ones as best as they could. However, over the last 20 – 30 years, the nuclear family has come to the fore, houses have turned into small apartments and a large chunk of the middle class had found better pastures abroad.
This had left the ageing previous generation in a lurch. And that is where the retirement communities enter the picture. Retirement communities provide most of the following:
1. A nice senior friendly place to stay – either a separate room, shared accommodation, independent studio, apartment or villa (based on your budget).
2. A shared kitchen to supply you with all the meals. Apartments and studios often have a kitchen or kitchenette attached so people can cook for themselves also if they wish.
3. The company of others of similar age and interest. Most of these communities allow only people above the age of 55 to live in these communities (rules vary from place to place). This ensures a fairly homogeneous population providing ample company for the inhabitants.
4. Elder friendly design. The buildings and houses are constructed with the elderly in mind and hence ramps are provided and at least the basic accessibility standards are maintained.
5. Doctor on call. Most retirement communities have a doctor in the house or have tie-ups with good hospitals around the communities so that immediate medical attention is available around the clock.
6. Support for assisted living. Not all, but quite a few have made arrangements for patients requiring additional support. This could be in the form of tie-ups with agencies providing nursing assistants on an as needed basis to running full-fledged nursing homes (like the old age homes in the US).
In this section, we will be reviewing different retirement communities for you so that you can make a short-list of which ones may be suitable for you or your loved ones.
1. Melur Meadows.