Housing For Senior Citizens

Housing For Senior Citizens

Article by Abhinav Kumar

Senior citizens comprised 7.5% of the population in 1991 and the number is expected to go up to 10% by 2015. Yet realty firms are ignoring their special needs while designing buildings, says Vivek ShuklaAmidst the clamour and claims of realtors that they are making a range of houses, from luxury to affordable, for their customers, a major question remains – whether there is anything in it for senior citizens? Not really, at least in this part of the country. Perhaps, unthinkingly, realty firms have for long ignored the claims of senior citizens. Experts feel realtors must not ignore the special needs of senior citizens when they design their residential projects as these are people who have given their youth to build the society of today, and that they deserve a better deal enabling them to lead a peaceful and dignified life after retirement. Sunil Jindal, CEO of realty firm SVP Builders, says they keep in mind interests of people of all age groups while designing their housing projects. For youngsters, he says, they provide facilities from gym to swimming pools inside the complex. And for senior citizens, they provide facilities like reading rooms, round-the-clock security, water softening plants, uninterrupted power supply, and maintenance services. However, they have never made homes exclusively designed to cater to them. There are reports that some realty firms in cities like Chennai, Coimbatore and Kochi are designing and building flats exclusively for senior citizens. Since they are making flats for senior citizens, they are providing inhouse medical facilities, available round the week, throughout the year. Most of these projects also have lounges for yoga and meditation. Domestic help, laundry service and maintenance services are also available in-house at all times. Sanjay Singh, VP (marketing) at Century 21 India, says houses specially designed for senior citizens are not new down South and that many realty firms are making homes for them inside or on the outskirts of major cities there. According to him, Chennai already has some residential projects for senior citizens and more are on the cards. Moreover, professional services such as legal and financial consulting, alarm hooters and community halls are also provided in homes for them. These homes are also equipped with access ramps to common facilities, wider doorways, extra lighting, larger lifts, and centrally located common amenities. Dr Nazma Rizvi of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), strongly feels that if realty firms make specially designed homes for senior citizens in NCR, they would get a good response. “Senior citizens purchase such homes. If there is good demand for such flats in places like Chennai and Kochi, there is no reason such flats would not find buyers in this part of the country.” According to one report, a builder in Chennai specially designed apartments for the elderly with larger ramps and lifts. Extra rest rooms are provided in the common areas, and normally, residents prefer to have a larger green space in these projects. Pavan Dhir, a social worker active in East Delhi, says that currently our leaders and intellectuals only talk about the youth of India. While talking about them, they should not ignore the legitimate concerns and interests of senior citizens in the twilight years of their lives. According to him, senior citizens were 7.5% of the population in 1991 and the number is expected to go up to 10% by 2015. Alimuddin Rafi Ahmad, CMD of realty firm ILD, admitted that the realty firms in this part of the country somehow failed to look after the interests of senior citizens. “They can make homes for this section of the society. They deserve something special from the society,” he says. Dr Rizvi says realty firms must take care the interests of disabled a well as senior citizens while building their projects. “It is really sad that even though real estate sector has taken huge strides in India over the last couple of years, yet not many real estate firms make buildings accessible for the elderly populace. For instance, there are not many building where one can find lifts that can easily accommodate wheelchairs. Cabinets are fixed in bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens at a height that can give jitters to disabled persons,” he concludes ruefully.Courtesy:- TOI dt:- 05-09-2009

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Senior citizens comprised 7.5% of the population in 1991 and the number is expected to go up to 10% by 2015. Yet realty firms are ignoring their special needs while designing buildingssays Vivek Shukla

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