According to the last Census conducted in 2011, India has 104 million senior citizens and is expected to increase 3 times to 340 million by 2050. A survey by Delhi-based NGO Agewell Foundation found that almost every fourth elderly; 23.44% of the 10k respondents, were living alone in the country. The proportion of seniors living alone in Southern India is also higher as compared to Northern India due to the huge migration of the youth to the Middle East. South is where the concept of senior living homes originated. We’ve always had old age homes but senior living homes were much better in terms of living, facilities and care provided. The children were earning good paychecks hence they could afford such arrangements and could be guilt free of leaving their parents as now they were in a safe and secure ambience with peers for company.
Residential care homes, also known as senior living homes, adult family homes, board and care homes or personal care homes offer lodging, meal services, activities to stimulate physical and mental health and supervised assistance with daily living activities to a small community of seniors. Medical care is provided but it’s not the primary focus of this type of senior living community. Such residences are typically located in traditional homes and neighborhoods to have a more personal, home-style living environment and provide care for seniors who still have good physical mobility and don’t want to live alone. A residential care home provides a higher level of care than assisted living, but a lower level than a skilled nursing facility. Many facilities also offer special programs for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. It’s important to find out from each place exactly what services they will provide and costs will also depend on the level of care needed, the quality of the home, and its location. Basic services offered in care homes are:
Comfortable private, or semi-private, rooms
1-to-3 daily, home cooked meals
Housekeeping and laundry service
Social programs and activities
Transportation to nearest hospital
In a residential care home, one’s parents can live a very comfortable normal life without disrupting their daily routine. They can have friends and family over and enjoy the many activities specially chalked out for their mental and physical well being. It’s a great option for those who can’t live independently and don’t want to live alone. People with Dementia can greatly benefit from living in a smaller place as it reduces anxiety and stress and they can get personalised care from staff members who can get to know them and their specific needs.
Steps to follow while choosing a Residential Care Home for your loved one
Often, we judge residential care facilities by their outside facades and interior glamour. While a genial ambience is also essential for a calm state of mind, the most important aspect is the caregivers’ experience, behaviour and background. Care with dignity should be the main focus. If the caregivers have a pleasant appearance and behavior and are passionate about helping others, the residents will be happy and well taken care of.
The following aspects are important while choosing a care home:
The experience of the owners or developers in handling a senior living project.
Are the expenses in proportion to the facilities provided and if it suits your budget?
Ask for references of staff members and check them. Are the caregivers live-in or do they work in shifts and what is the staff-to-resident ratio?
Cleanliness of the premises and general demeanor of the current residents
How open are the channels of communication and do they have systems to implement suggestions from residents and their families?
What are the facilities in place in case of a medical emergency?
Is there transportation to medical appointments or even outside recreational activities?
Visit many residential care homes to have a general idea of the facilities provided and then compare and choose the one which best suits your needs and budget. While information is available online nowadays, researching and touring the establishments in person is always advisable. Seniors take these decisions themselves nowadays but keeping your loved ones especially children in the loop is always a good idea. Always schedule an appointment for your first visit and clarify any queries. And then make a surprise visit to see if there are no discrepancies between the scheduled and surprise visit.
Senior living projects launched by reputed private sector developers are on the rise in India, particularly in the last 10 years, propelled not only by the growth of nuclear families with children living abroad or away from their parents, but also by the increase in the number of seniors who are financially independent and want to make the most of their golden years. Although it is a niche market, developers are leaving no stone unturned to woo prospective buyers. Beyond the basic features like security services, cleaning and maintenance facilities, medical care and meals, these projects also have special features like skid-proof tiles, ramps for wheelchair access, grip rails, panic buttons, health centres, specialised kitchens, gyms and recreational spaces.
Housekeeping, maintenance and laundry services as part of the basic package and some even have doctors, therapists and dieticians on site to help their residents with immediate physical and mental health concerns. Specific diet or exercise regimen are also accommodated for a nominal charge. The budget options are available from luxury to medium. Reputed developers like Ashiana Housing have senior living projects in Jaipur, Pune, Chennai & Bhiwadi; Jagriti Dham in Kolkata, Kshetra in Hyderabad, Oasis Senior Living Communes and Dignity Lifestyle Township in Maharashtra. These facilities offer rentals, leases and residential units for sale complete with a comfortable independent lifestyle, activities and opportunities to socialise.
Ashiana Housing build homes. Homes surrounded by vast green spaces and fresh breeze. Homes cocooned in secured gated complexes. Homes where futures are forged and there are opportunities to grow. And Homes in environments brimming with healthy activity, trust and respect. At heart, we build communities with care.