Septuagenarian couple Jayant and Sudha Verma are looking forward to moving into to a new-age retirement home that promises better lifestyle, healthcare, safety and social bonding.
"We have been living alone for three years after our son moved to Canada. We felt lonely and unsafe. I hope the new concept solves our problems," said Jayant Verma, who lives in Jaipur.
NGOs Age Ventures India (AVI) and HelpAge India and British charity MHA are building residential colonies with apartment blocks for elderly people.
"The elderly are often neglected and lonely and that's what makes them grumpy. At AVI, we'll make sure they remain rejuvenated throughout the day," AVI chief executive officer Arun Gupta told IANS.
He said a particular block with AVI homes would have a library, playroom, auditorium, physiotherapy centres, yoga classes etc. to keep the elderly engaged in physical and recreational activities.
There will also be physiotherapy-cum-fitness centre, nursing and care-giving facilities, doctor and ambulances on call, pharmacy, sample collection centre and full-care services for dementia and Alzheimer's.
"We are collaborating with established real estate developers on an all-India basis to construct apartments in line with concepts approved by MHA. For support services to the elderly, AVI will source service providers and staff," said Gupta.
He said two such projects were underway in Chennai with Shriram properties and in Jaipur with ARG group. Similar projects will also be started in Bangalore and Kolkata.
"We have also tied up with universities so that the experience age brings can be shared with the next generation. The elderly can act as confidants, guides and mentors," said Gupta.
Sharmila Bano, 62, said life in an old age home was monotonous and she wanted to lead a lively lifestyle.
"Why do elderly people need to stay together? I want a neighbour who is newly-married and I want to be friends with her. This concept is admirable," said Bano, a widow who has been staying in an old age home for five years after both her daughters got married.