BENGALURU: When Col. BVS Rao retired, he was sure of one thing: Not wanting to run behind maids, cooks or having to deal with monthly bills. “I wanted my wife to also retire from household chores,” he said. The couple then moved to Primus Eden on Kanakapura Main Road, a luxury senior living community in Bengaluru, and have been residing there for three-and-a-half years.
“We were looking for a senior-friendly environment with medical facilities and an option of custom-made meals. Now, we have 20 people taking care of us, doctors on call. It feels like we are pampered endlessly and are served tea and coffee whenever we like; this lifestyle would have never been possible at home,” Rao added.
While earlier, for senior citizens, the conventional preparation for life after retirement mostly comprised saving money for health-related requirements, now many like Rao are considering high-end senior living communities to spend their sunset years. They offer round-the-clock medical facilities, specially-designed gyms, curated activities and social gatherings.
According to Adarsh Narahari, MD, Primus Lifespaces, the demand for world-class senior living communities has risen in Bengaluru over the last two-three years. “According to a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report, the country has about 116 million people aged over 60 years. This number is expected to double by 2030. Only 40 per cent of them stay in joint families, while the rest live by themselves. These figures are set to go down drastically, with the changes in the social fabric of the country,” he said, adding that the average cost of these properties is Rs 40-80 lakh plus monthly charges of Rs 15,000-25,000.
Such senior living communities help ease the process of ageing by providing a special eco-system for seniors to have fun, lead a healthy life and pursue their interests. Most of the residents move here by choice rather than in desperation or forcefully, and are well-educated retired professionals who enjoy participating in various interest-based activities, including yoga, meditation, gardening, music, swimming and photography.
“Some of the elements incorporated to make it easier for them are design features such as grab bars in the bathroom, lean bars in the corridors, rubberised walking paths that are kind on the joints, and elevators that move smoothly with doors that stay open longer,”explained Mohit Nirula, CEO, Columbia Pacific Communities.