The last decade has seen a very definite shift in the joint family landscape of India. In the years gone by, people would live their lives as close to home as possible. However, nowadays, education and opportunities for a dream career are the two primary reasons people leave their homes and cities. This dynamic shift often takes children abroad, leaving elderly parents and loved ones behind, needing them to fend for themselves.

The best option for the elderly

The next natural question that people often ponder is; is it safe to leave the elderly alone to manage themselves in their homes that they will need to look after and maintain? Or, will it be a better option for them to move to retirement communities comprising senior citizen apartments to meet their social, physical, mental and emotional needs?

We can make arguments for both sides of the coin. The debate to continue living alone in their own home is based on the home’s physical layout and familiarity, known neighbours, and a familiar neighbourhood. However, on the flip side, moving to a community of senior citizen apartments or a senior living facility eases the children’s minds concerning the safety, security and mental state of their parents and elderly loved ones, among many other benefits.

This question can become a never-ending debate with no right or wrong answer. The best solution to this question is that it comes down to the kind of future senior citizens are looking for years after they decide to hang up their working hat.

Advantages of Retirement Communities

Retirement communities like Eden, located in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas, offer senior residents the options of residential accommodations which could be either independent villas or apartment-style living equipped with all modern-day conveniences and comforts.  Senior citizen apartments and residential facilities like Eden allow senior citizens to enjoy a high quality of life while not having to worry about daily chores, housekeeping or the regular maintenance of their residences, all of which is taken care of by a highly trained and helpful team.

Key factors when deciding on moving to a retirement community:

As retired citizens look at options of retirement communities or senior citizen apartments to move into, the factors below have to be considered before making a well-informed decision. They are:

  • Design and furnishings available in every residence: The residences in any senior living facility should come equipped with features like:
    • Anti-skid tiles
    • Conveniently located fixtures and fittings like bigger switches or wall-mounted night lamps
    • Grab rails in critical areas of the house
    • Wheelchair-friendly premises
    • Modified wall edges designed to prevent injuries
  • Emergency services: Any senior living apartment needs to have emergency response systems, round-the-clock security, ambulance services, and doctor-on-standby, among other emergency care facilities.
  • Maintenance and housekeeping services: These facilities are usually part and parcel of every good and quality senior living or retirement community. The housekeeping services include:
    • Providing room services and meals catered by the in-house dining facilities.
    • 24X7 medical assistance
    • Fitness and wellness needs
    • Housekeeping, daily chores, laundry and sometimes grooming
    • If any, transportation needs
    • Complete cleaning and maintenance – the housekeeping services should come with a readily available plumber and electrician to deal with any issues regarding electricity, plumbing, etc.
  • Connectivity and convenient location: The senior citizen apartments or living facility should never be more than a few kilometres from a well-equipped hospital. The living facility should also have good connectivity options to the nearest major city, which should only be short.
  • Potential of growth of the facility: A factor that should feature in the decision checklist is the growth and expansion prospects of a particular senior living facility. Development or expansion could be additional facilities to be offered or an increase in the size of the infrastructure itself. All these lead to a rise in the appeal and appreciation of the property.
  • Neighbourhood ecosystem: Any senior living apartment should be a short distance from places like temples, shopping facilities, and recreational facilities. It should also have good connectivity so that senior citizens can travel to these places quickly and as frequently as desired.
  • Other residents in the community: Lastly, it is crucial to understand the type and kind of people who are already residing in a particular senior living facility or retirement community. This information will help senior citizens looking to move in determine who they will get along with and who they will not relate with.

It is important for all senior citizens considering moving into a retirement community to first take a visit to get a first-hand feel and see for themselves if this would be a place that meets their social, emotional, physical, mental and healthcare needs. A conversation with the residents and the staff on the premises will give senior citizens and their families a good understanding of the community and all that it has to offer especially regarding the healthcare facilities that are offered.  Also, conversing with the residents who are in a similar stage of life will be a key factor in determining if the retirement community being considered is well suited for a senior citizen or not.