India Today - - GAME-CHANGERS - By Suhani Singh

Ac­cord­ing to the 2011 Cen­sus, 8.3 per cent of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion was above 60, up from 7.44 per cent in 2001. It is ex­pected to rise to 12.4 per cent by 2016. The Union Health Min­istry es­ti­mates that In­dia’s el­derly pop­u­la­tion ( 60 years and above) will rise from 100 mil­lion in 2013 to 198 mil­lion in 2030.

More builders are now de­vel­op­ing com­mu­ni­ties that are friendly to the el­derly. A doc­tor is avail­able 24 hours on the premises. Fa­cil­i­ties such as house­keep­ing, laun­dry and din­ing— much like a ho­tel. Only, the oc­cu­pants are per­ma­nent res­i­dents aged 55 years and above. At Coim­bat­ore’s Serene, res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to sign up for yoga and are en­ter­tained with Car­natic mu­sic con­certs. In­dia is try­ing to fol­low the Western model that di­vides el­derly care into four stages— in­de­pen­dent liv­ing, as­sisted liv­ing, spe­cial­ity care and nurs­ing care. The chal­lenge, says Man­soor Dalal of Golden Nest com­mune in Pune, is to de­velop hous­ing for the two lat­ter stages. “It’s not build­ing houses for se­nior cit­i­zens but run­ning them that needs com­mit­ment,” he adds.

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