- 130 million seniors in India, which is 10% of our population;63% are women and 37% are men.
- Of this 10% population, 71% are in the age group 60-69 years, 21% are 70-79 years of age and 8% are 80 plus.
- Their Living arrangement is: 84% live with family, 8% live with spouse,6% live alone and 2% have other options.
- Life expectancy is 68.35 years (2050 forecast is that the number of seniors will increase to 300 mn with life expectancy at 75.9 yrs).
- 60+ is the fastest growing demographic segment in the world.
“After a lifetime of working, raising families, and contributing to the success of this nation in countless other ways, senior citizens deserve to retire with dignity”.
This quote by Charlie Gonzalez has always resonated with me. Our society has undergone a variety of conspicuous changes over the past few years. These have affected both the personal and monetary aspects of our lives. Our lifestyles too have changed drastically.
In the current times, the post retirement generation is far more financially secure, evolved and educated than the former ones. Age is actually just a number for them because they continue to be young-at-heart. They are keyed into the ever -changing way of the professional world that their children live in, where Darwin’s theory of the ‘survival of the fittest’ totally holds true. Consequently, post retirement dependency on their children has come to a naught as these young retirees are completely self- reliant. Therefore, they prefer to lead a dignified life without letting their children compromise with their career goals.
This realization heralded the inception of retirement homes. To understand this concept better; let us reflect upon life post retirement, in the past:
- In earlier times, the joint -family system existed. Here, the entire family, including the extended family, lived together. So everyone was close by and accessible for every occasion or emergency.
- The seniors commanded a lot of respect in a household. Consequently, they could live happily and contentedly and were well looked after.
- Parental responsibilities were shared between family members.
But gradually, this ‘cocoon’ started to disintegrate. Now, nuclear families are in abundance and we find them all around us.
Independent living spaces for seniors….a Godsend…..
We need to accept the fact that there are all kinds of families. There are some children who are willing to modify their dreams with regard to the future, just to take care of their parents. Then there are those, who want to prioritize their lives, yet feel restrained by the innate desire to give their parents a comfortable life. Given below is a list of positives that have made these independent abodes ever so popular and a blessing for one and all:
- These are holistic living spaces, well stocked with all amenities. As a rule, independent living spaces are homes that are designed to suit one’s lifestyle. They have adequate indoor and outdoor activities, swimming pools, yoga centers, fitness hubs and much more.
- The extremely secure environment is a big plus. These abodes are equipped with CCTV cameras and security guards, at all times.
- We all know that medical emergencies come announced. These independent living spaces have a round-the-clock, emergency support system for the residents. So, there is a doctor, a nurse, an ambulance and appropriate medication for contingencies.
- .Moreover, here, the challenge of living alone and trying to get mundane chores organized, is addressed. All the needs of the residents, related to housekeeping or day-to-day life, are catered to.
- In these independent living places, interaction with likeminded people is a natural consequence, so loneliness is a distant dream.
I had always aspired to create a wellness centre based on integrative medicine, to attain a holistic approach to health and wellness. Moreover, I was conscious of an immediate need to conceptualize and create a senior citizen home, based upon preventive and holistic care and wellness. I have always believed that young seniors like me, are keen to explore the option of detaching ourselves from the madness prevalent in these big cities, yet continue to pursue an occupation of our choice.
Thus, Eden, our new senior living space in Dehradun, was born. We have incorporated a 360 degree approach to health and wellness, here. We believe that nature is the world’s most powerful healer. So, at Eden, an active lifestyle, coupled with wellness, is the key to the resolution of all issues- physiological, emotional, spiritual and so forth; it is a marriage between modern medicine and genuine, ancient healing techniques. Eden is synonymous with ‘relaxation’.
Our seniors, too, have become more open-minded and have adopted an exploratory approach toward life. I would like to sign off by reinforcing the fact that “It`s not how old you are, it`s how you are old” (quote by Jules Renard). Life actually begins post retirement :-).