On a balmy summer morning, 68-year-old Jayalakshmi opens her window to start her day in the retirement community. She moved here three years ago, leaving behind her precious home and family. Moreover, though her investment was slated to cover food, medicines, and cleaning services, she had to pay close to ₹50 lakhs to get it.
Across the city, Shobha begins her day by watering strawberries. At that moment, her groceries arrive containing ingredients for her favourite dish – Thakkali Kuzhambu. Her cook gets right down to preparing it. In the meantime, Shobha gets ready for her weekly blood pressure test. For her, these services are brought straight to her home via an Elder Care Service in Chennai for a nominal subscription fee.
Clearly, both Jayalakshmi and Shobha live very different lives. One stays in a retirement home without the freedom to follow her passion, while one stays at her own home getting to spend her days in fulfilment.
Which one is the better choice?
Let’s find out!
Retirement Communities & Seniors
When elders receive the ‘Senior Citizen’ badge, assistance with certain things like home maintenance, cooking, or even shopping is common. However, professional help is hard to come by. Seniors are typically comfortable with personal recommendations, but, there is no oversight in such cases.
Many elders struggle with maid absenteeism. Sometimes, plumbers or electricians may cheat them by asking for hefty service fees. All this can lead to increased frustration, which further impact elders suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
For these elders, retirement communities seem to be the best bet. And why not?
The ads packed with smiling seniors and the promise of a fulfilled life are definitely moving. However, what they see isn’t always what they get.
Cost of buying
Buying a basic house in a retirement community can cost up to ₹33 lakhs. Mid-size homes, on the other hand, cost ₹50–60 lakhs, and there are more expensive options available as well.
For a majority of seniors, this could mean emptying their bank accounts or selling their homes. And it doesn’t end there.
Maintenance costs for the homes are extra and range from ₹15,000-₹60,000 per year. This is a one-time payment and must be done regardless of the services an elder uses. So, in reality, elders in these homes end up spending much more than they bargained for.
It should also be noted that food, electricity, laundry, and other related services are not included in these charges.
Retirement communities do give food subscription facilities. However, for elders that have diet restrictions due to diabetes or blood pressure conditions, it’s difficult to get nutritious food cooked to their specifications.
Most retirement communities are generally tied up with a single hospital or health service provider. So, if an elder is facing difficulty with a certain ailment, they’ll be referred to that institute only. This restricts the options for elders to get the right treatment for their ailment.
Plus, living in a retirement community limits interaction with loved ones. In some, there are 60-90 days restrictions between visits, and most of the time, the homes are far away from where they live.
All these things have a crucial impact on the mental and physical health of an elder.
So, what’s the alternative to this situation?
It’s taking Shobha’s cue and subscribing to a Home Care Service in Chennai.
Advantage of Home Care Services
The first advantage is the cost factor. While a senior will spend more than ₹50 lakhs in going to a retirement home, subscription to a home care service will cost only ₹12,000 per year.
That’s close to ₹49 lakhs of savings. Plus, with services like Alserv that operate on a Pay Per Use Model, elders need not pay a single extra penny.
With a subscription, an elder need not leave the comfort of home to live a fulfilled life. They can get all their senior essentials and services right at home:
- Hygiene kits
- Home-cooked meals
- Medical checkups
- Test for sugar levels and blood pressure etc.
They can also hire maids and home maintenance professionals that do not ask for extra charges. However, it is very important to choose a service provider that guarantees quality service. In other words, home care services are a one-stop solution for everything a senior needs to be happy.
Moreover, for a senior, it allows them to live at their own home and lead a life of fulfilment. Like Sobha, their lifestyle changes for the better. They are able to follow their passions be it gardening, painting, writing, etc. Most importantly, they are able to spend their precious years at the company of their family and loved one whenever they like.
Ageing doesn’t mean living home and going to a retirement community. With personalized Elder Care at home, elders can live a healthy and fulfilled life without spending lakhs of rupees.
Remember, happiness lies in living not leaving.