Lead a hassle free life after retirement
The idea of living a retired life away from the children is catching up in India for the past 5 years or so in the minds of elderly people. The seniors are contemplating the thoughts of staying away from the children in a place which would have facility services and living comforts. Frankly speaking, no parents would ever like to stay away from their siblings and especially at old age. But mounting economical pressure and changed pattern of job requirements of the children are forcing them to think alternatives. The idea of retirement colonies caught up with the Western Countries many decades ago due to socio-economic changes in those countries and in today’s scenario living away from children in their golden years is an accepted norm. The affordability factor has increased considerably in India due to economical growth and comfort buying desire. In our context, the idea is progressively catching up with some amount of apprehensions. The questions cropping up in the elderly minds are, will I be comfortable? Will I be able to adjust to the new environment? Would it be good enough to take the risk at this age? and many more.
The concept of senior’s housing complex was originated way back in early 20th century, when some church groups in America decided to rehabitate their elderly clergies within the church premises. Those retirement homes slowly extended their services also to the church members who had attained an age group when they were not physically strong enough to work and lacked an external financial support. However, with the passage of time, such supports were mainly available on a nominal fee or in exchange of assets but not free of cost. The demand of any product largely depends on the market force. In India, the demand for senior homes steadily increasing due to nucleus family norms adopted by the urban populace, improved medical care forcing longevity graph going upwards, socio-economical changes in the society compelling husband & wife to work, improvement in the economical conditions of the elderly people etc. A very important factor working in the minds of senior people is security. As they have grown old, they are apprehensive of security threats in the cities if they are living without their family members. There had been number of cases in the cities like Delhi, Mumbai where old couple have been murdered and their belongings looted. This is one single reason for which the elders are looking for such sancturies where they can spend the rest of their lives without fear and intimidation. Single couples attaining the age of superannuating also find it difficult to cope up with every day’s household requirements like plumbing, electrical works, daily shopping of necessities and would prefer to stay at a place for a hassle free living where all these requirements are met. In some cases, adjustment with the younger generation do create problem compelling the seniors to stay apart. In addition, the companies of same age bracket people with whom they can exchange their views or can talk contemporary issues are other points of consideration of decision making.
The certain thoughts which are hovering in the minds of seniors are:-
- A feeling of insecurity due to old age. Scared of keeping a whole time servant
- Out of husband & wife, if one goes out of home for some work both are worried for each other for security reasons.
- If one falls sick, the other has to go out to get medical help leaving the sick unattended.
- Are scared of calling people at home for repairing work like plumbing, electricity etc.
- Have a car but cannot drive due to heavy traffic. Part time drivers not available easily.
- Cannot lift or shift heavy items like boxes, furniture due to old age.
- Cannot stay over night out side due to fear of burglary.
- Worried about a situation when one out of them will die.
Looking back after attaining superannuation, one realizes that he has spent several years in life in making the lives of children comfortable, arranged good education, juggled with day to day hassles of life and in return expected a struggle free comfortable life on retirement. Today’s seniors are financially better off than their counter parts 15 years back and they prefer to lead a better life full of fun and frolic. They prefer to lead an independent life and not loaded with responsibilities at their golden age.
Since the concept is new, it took time to catch up but braving fears, the seniors have come forward to adjust to the new scenarios. Pune, Bangalore, Chennai and now Delhi are few places where experiments have shown positive results. If the builders consider it a service to the society and not strictly a commercial venture, they will do yeomen service to the Indian society. What would perhaps be expected from builders is to motivate and inspire the senior citizen to achieve fulfillment in life, instill in them a sense of pride & self esteem.
The Government should also come forward with a helping hand in terms of tax remission. May it be tax exemption to the builder on land buying, buying of special equipments for such projects or any other relief the Govt may think of. The benefit of such nature should however be transferred to the buyers. The senior citizens should be given reduction on premium on medical insurance on the same analogy of increased bank interest. A substantial reduction on registration of property may also be considered.