Unlocking the golden years: What to know before investing in a senior home
- Senior homes typically offer a range of facilities and services designed to cater to the needs of seniors.
- The projects operate on either of two models – outright sale or rentals.
- It is crucial to conduct a comprehensive background check on the developer and operator to evaluate their reputation and track record in managing senior living facilities.
AdvertisementVinod Dhingra, 78, resident of The Virtuoso by Columbia Pacific Communities, a senior living facility in Bangalore, decided to move into a senior living facility when he turned 75. “I lost my wife three years ago and was alone. It was heavy on my mind that I had someone to take care of me during my sunset years,” he says.
The concept of senior living in India: Still in a nascent stage
The senior living concept is currently in its initial stages in India. “But we have noticed its pick-up as a trend as more senior citizens opt to reside in properties with professionally managed facilities, which removes the inconveniences that they face on an everyday basis,” says Reeza Sebastian Karimpanal, executive president, residential business, Embassy Group.
The surge in demand can be linked to several socio-economic factors, including extended life expectancy, rising incomes, more nuclear families, an increased desire for enhanced amenities, and improved decision-making capabilities during retirement.
Required amenities under one roof: From healthcare to community spaces
Senior homes typically offer a range of facilities and services designed to cater to the needs of seniors. These often include food services, healthcare support, and assisted living. The idea is to provide a good quality of life to senior citizens.
“Such projects usually provide a variety of facilities for recreation and socialising, including a clubhouse, health club or gym, facility management services, squarely focused on the needs of the elderly. All requirements of daily living such as wholesome food and maintenance as well as varying levels of healthcare are invariably provided,” says Santhosh Kumar, Vice Chairman , ANAROCK Group, a real estate services company.
Since senior citizens are more likely to have health issues with age, healthcare is a focus. “These projects also include medical facilities such as ambulances, regular medical check-ups, tie-ups with hospitals, and a well-trained round-the-clock medical staff in some cases. There is a continuum of care services to provide for the changing needs of seniors as they age.
“In the case of Ashiana, all three of these services are provided. Furthermore, these facilities may also encompass activities, heightened security, and more to enhance the overall quality of life for senior residents,” says Ankur Gupta, Joint Managing Director, Ashiana Housing, a senior-living focussed real estate developer.
The community aspect is also a matter of focus for senior housing projects. For example, at Serene Amara by Columbia Pacific at Embassy Springs, homebuyers will have the choice of owning a home located in the midst of a larger community, bringing with it a sense of belonging amongst like-minded people with a sustainable approach to the future.
Advertisement“After the pandemic and ensuing uncertainty, we are striving all the more to make the later years for our seniors joyous, rewarding, and empowering by providing them with an enhanced lifestyle and peace of mind for their families,” says Karimpanal.
Dhingra says that he is provided clean food, his medical problems are taken care of and there are specialists on call if required.
Senior living projects
|Senior Living Presence
|No. of Senior Living Projects (Completed & Ongoing)
|Pune, Bengaluru, Vadodara
|Coimbatore, Bengaluru, Mysuru, Chennai
|Ashiana Senior Living
|Bhiwadi, Chennai, Lavasa, Pune
|Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Chennai, Kanchipuram, Pondicherry
|Oasis Senior Living
|Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune
|Coimbatore (in different phases)
|Total No. of Projects
Source: ANAROCK Research
How much you do senior homes cost: The financial nitty-gritties
The players operate on either of two models – outright sale or rentals (with security deposit and monthly charges).
Dhingra sold off a property he owed at Bangalore and invested the proceeds into the senior living facility.
“Average monthly rentals in senior living residences across cities start as low as ₹30,000 and go up to ₹1 lakh, depending on facilities, type of occupancy, etc,” says Kumar.
Senior living facilities come across different price ranges. “While majority of the projects are priced below ₹45 lakh price bracket, there is also an equal penchant for exclusive high-end senior living projects, wherein the units are priced more than ₹1 crore., reflecting an increasingly upwardly mobile and financially independent cohort of seniors,” says Ankita Sood, Head Of Research, Housing.com, PropTiger.com and Makaan.com.
Kumar agrees. For outright sale, property prices vary depending on the city, facilities on offer, BHK-configuration, size etc. The maximum supply across cities is in the range of ₹20- ₹80 lakh, again depending on various factors. There are also some limited exclusive high-end senior living projects wherein units are priced between ₹2 - ₹8 crore.
Location, amenities and background check: What to look for before investing in a senior home
When making an investment in a senior home, there are several key factors to keep in mind. “Firstly, it is important to ensure that the senior home offers amenities and facilities tailored to meet the specific needs and preferences of seniors, creating a senior-friendly environment,” says Gupta.
Additionally, it's crucial to conduct a comprehensive background check on the developer and operator to evaluate their reputation and track record in managing senior living facilities.
“While investing in senior living, it's crucial to consider factors such as the location, amenities (including healthcare services and recreational facilities), the financial model (outright purchase, lease, or reverse mortgage), and the reputation of the senior living community,” says Sood.
Examining the operational history, experience, and tenure in the senior living industry for both the developer and operator is critical. Assessing opportunities for community and social engagement within the senior home is also vital, fostering a sense of belonging and companionship among residents.
“It is important that the community should be focused on caring for and serving its senior residents and should be able to provide security and freedom from everyday worries such as housekeeping, daily chores, maintenance, medical support and meals,” says a spokesperson at Columbia Pacific Communities, a Bangalore-based senior living community.
This will allow the residents to choose from different activities happening in the community and ensure there is no room for loneliness or negative thoughts.
Dhingra is happy because all his needs are being met and also because the staff is very friendly and attentive. In his golden years, a smile on the faces of those around him is what he cherishes the most.
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