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Great living for senior citizens
Freny Patel in Mumbai | June 29, 2004 11:16 IST
Working individuals are left with little time to take care of their elderly parents, especially if they are living far away. With increasing 'nuclearisation' of families, the elderly are often left to fend for themselves.
What's worse, crimes against senior citizens are on the rise because they are easy targets. Security, therefore, is also an equally important concern.
So what's the solution? How do the elderly lead the hassle-free life that they deserve, with all the comforts of one's own home?
LIC Care Homes Ltd seems to have provided the answer.
The offshoot of LIC Housing Finance Ltd is setting up residential complexes catering exclusively to the needs and comforts of senior citizens.
This novel idea is perhaps an ideal concept for those aged 50 and above, for whom independence is crucial too.
For as little as Rs 4.98 lakh (Rs 498,000) to as much as Rs 8.98 lakh (Rs 898,000), a senior citizen can lease for the rest of his life a bungalow in LIC Care Homes' Bangalore retirement village spread across 10 acres.
Each unit is fully self-contained, well planned and structured to take care of every possible need. All basic amenities such as housekeeping, repairs, maintenance, and security are maintained in-house. Special emphasis is placed on healthcare and security -- given that these are the two biggest areas of concern for the elderly.
The unique project also offers senior citizens luxuries such as a chauffeur-driven car to take them to anywhere in the city, a guest house for visiting children, and a central kitchen to provide homely food, if need be.
The departmental store is at one's doorstep providing quality products. There is also a home theatre and library to take care of infotainment.
Of course, there is no free lunch and these amenities come at an additional cost. But what's interesting is that the leased property can be passed on to one's nominee on the death of the individual, provided the nominee is at least 50 years of age.
Alternatively, should this not be the case as it is highly likely that children may not necessarily attain that age when their parents die, LIC Care Homes will return the money paid to the nominee.
Of course, there is no question of appreciation in the property value or depreciation whatsoever, as LIC Care Homes buys the land and develops these retirement villages and only earns interest on the deposit paid for the bungalows.
It is a kind of mini-township, with parks, playgrounds and other open spaces, fitness centre, restaurants and its own dedicated health centre and hospital, which includes all facilities such as ambulance round-the-clock. Visiting doctors are available for consultation on a daily basis.
What's more is the kind of amenities included in the complex which ensure utmost care for the elderly. Skid-free flooring, low-jerk elevators and wheelchair-enabled bathrooms, handrails, and glare-free surfaces.
According to the fee structure, there is a one-time refundable amount and a recurring monthly component to meet the cost of living. However, the fees payable by residents are lower than of other retirement villages of equivalent quality.
The first project has been set up in Bangalore, and will be completed in the next 15 months with an initial 100 units ready for possession.
The company is also looking at setting up similar senior citizen homes across the country, eyeing possible locations such as Kerala, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai.