Shedding the old age homes stigma attached to facilities for the elderly, senior living homes have become a respectable real estate category – one which, in times of the COVID-19 scare, gains even more relevance. The aged are a high-risk group for the novel coronavirus – senior living projects have healthcare staff, scalable facilities and processes in place to keep them safe. In-house doctors and nursing, rapid access to hospitals and strict sanitation processes are not found in normal housing projects. To meet the objective of maintaining a vibrant senior community, visitors are monitored and can easily be curtailed further, property consultant Anarock said.
In terms of supply, South Indian cities are considerably ahead with nearly 65% of the overall senior living projects located within the region, according to Anarock’s recent report on alternate real estate asset classes. As on date, there are at least 40 senior living projects by the top 14 players within this niche segment across the country – either under construction or completed and occupied. Of this, nearly 26 projects are located in South India.
“The coronavirus scare gives renewed credence to senior living, which is the only residential real estate category with a strong healthcare component. It is now emerging as more than just an exciting but under-served alternate asset class created by changing socioeconomic factors and increased life expectancy. The seniors have been identified as the most vulnerable demographic for the novel coronavirus. In light of the recent crisis, senior living may be a lot more than just a unique mix of real estate, hospitality and healthcare.” Prashant Thakur, director & head – research, Anarock Property Consultants said.
According to the report, prominent senior living hubs in south India include Coimbatore, Puducherry, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kodaikanal, Mysuru, Kochi and Kanchipuram. Among these, Coimbatore has the maximum number of projects (around 7).
The city seems to have emerged as one of the top retirement havens in India due to excellent healthcare facilities, trained staff availability and salubrious climate. In the western region, Pune – the quintessential pensioner’s paradise – currently has at least six projects exclusively for senior citizens.