6 Reasons Why You Should Consider Living in a Retirement Community
A retirement community is a residential complex designed to provide comfortable facilities and conveniences for older adults. The number of these communities is on the rise in India, with many senior citizens opting to live in them. Here are 6 reasons why you should consider living in a retirement community.
The era of joint families is fast ending in India. As young people travel out from their villages and towns to find work within India and abroad, they leave behind elderly parents and loved ones who have to fend for themselves even if their children are good enough to send money home. Although many adult children request and want their parents to come and live with them, it is not always possible as one gets older to make the transition to another culture and setting. Many elderly want their own independence rather than living with sons and daughters in law and not having their own privacy and freedom.
But what does one do as the years catch up and one needs greater medical attention, household chores become difficult, going out is an effort and after the death of a spouse loneliness sets in? This is where a new concept revolutionizing the country comes in. Retirement communities like Manasum Avighna provide a solution to many of these problems, without older people having to sacrifice their independence and move in with their children.
Here are 6 reasons for seniors to consider living in a retirement community:
1. Save money on living expenses: This is especially true for people who currently own homes that they can sell and then buy something else in a retirement community. Many retirement communities are far more affordable than people think – offering options of flats and cottages of studio, 1 and 2 BHK – and in the price range of approximately 30 lakhs and above. Many middle and upper class senior citizens in urban areas own homes that are more expensive and hard to maintain. Many of them choose to downsize by selling their property and moving to a smaller home in a retirement community that is more manageable at an older age. They can use the money they save to maintain a better lifestyle or travel. Besides purchase, there are lease and rental options available in many communities too.
2. Freedom from housekeeping and other chores: All retirement communities, besides offering facilities that good housing societies offer (plumber, electrician, etc. on call), provide housekeeping services as well. Imagine what that means – freedom from finding maids and servants and constantly wondering when they will up and leave you in the lurch! It also means freedom from household chores like cleaning, laundry, maintenance of garden, and cooking! Community dining with healthy and nutritious food, keeping elderly diets in mind, is provided at all retirement communities. All this for a monthly maintenance fee that is usually only slightly more than what housing societies charge.
3. Age friendly homes: Most independent homes and flats in buildings are not age friendly. Doorways are not wide enough for wheelchairs, elevators not big enough for stretchers and many housing societies do not even have ramps for easy movement of disabled people. Retirement communities provide all these facilities because they are designed keeping the elderly in mind. Besides this, the insides of the units have anti skid tiles, grab bars and toilet rails in bathrooms. They also have better lighting and arrangements for transporting the elderly around the campus to visit friends or the clubhouse so there is no need for much walking. Alarms connected to the main office are mounted in bathrooms and bedrooms that the residents can pull in case of an emergency. This is very important because if, for instance, you fall down in your own home, there may not be any way of reaching out for help.
4. Safety and security: Given the increasing number of crimes against the elderly around the country, especially against those living by themselves in independent homes, retirement community living can be a blessing. The communities are securely guarded, with CCTV cameras around the campus, guards at the gate, and alarms in the living units.
5. Reduced isolation and increased socialization: This is perhaps the biggest plus of community living. As children leave home and people become generally more infirm with age, isolation hits them in a big way – it is often exacerbated with the loss of a spouse. Studies have shown that loneliness is a leading cause of early death and socialization with peers is associated with better quality of life and higher energy levels. Living around other senior citizens of around your age means you can go for walks together, play cards, dine in the same hall, sit comfortably across each other at the library and read, etc. All communities offer a clubhouse and some have swimming pools. Besides, most retirement communities organize events and workshops around festivals and other occasions for their residents so they can lead active wholesome lives. This is much better that sitting at home alone and watching hour upon hour of television with no social interaction.
6. Ease of availability of medical care: This is the biggest concern of the elderly as well as their children who have to leave them behind. Who will they call in case of a medical emergency and how will they get to a medical facility? Retirement communities are almost always located close to good hospitals, have an ambulance on their premises, have round the clock nursing staff and a doctor on call. In addition, some communities keep health records of their residents on their premises and offer periodic physical checkups. Some have physiotherapy rooms and ayurveda facilities too. They understand that health is the uppermost concern for the elderly and make sure they prioritise it too. Additionally, there are many new communities coming up that offer assisted living and palliative care for those in an advanced age of ill health who need constant physical care and attendance and don’t have any family to take care of them.
Eventually, living in a retirement community is a choice one has to make based on one’s circumstances, finances and in consultation with loved ones. For some it is an easy decision, for others it is harder to leave their own comfortable home and make the move. However, there is no doubt about the fact that retirement communities is an idea that is now here to stay in India and, with time, can only improve and grow.
Note for readers: This is a promotional feature