There has been a 4x growth in demand for living homes for senior citizens in the country after the Covid-19 pandemic struck. According to Mohit Nirula, CEO of Columbia Pacific Communities, the current demand for senior citizens’ living homes was estimated to be around 2 lakh units but the total supply at present in the country was only around 20,000 units.
Projects take three to four years to get ready so there is a gap between demand and supply, Nirula said. During the pandemic, senior citizens experienced isolation and were increasingly dependent on external sources for their day -to-day living while those living in senior living communities had a better experience with their needs taken care off.
By 2025, the country would have 175 million people over 60 years of age. Over the next 20 years around 20% of the country’s population would be over 60, indicating that growth in demand would continue, he said. Columbia Pacific Communities is the largest senior living community operator in the country with a presence in Bengaluru, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Coimbatore and Puducherry.
The company has launched new projects in Pune, Chennai and Bengaluru. Nirula said they were looking at adding four projects a year. The company has 3,000 senior citizens living in 1,600 homes across nine locations in five cities.
Columbia Pacific Communities on Tuesday launched ‘The Positive Ageing Report’ with a focus on the elderly. According to the report, senior citizens were looking to add more years to their work life. The report said conventional concepts and stereotypes about age in India are fast giving way to new ideas like ‘Positive Ageing’ where people above the age of 60 are keen to add more years to their work life and take responsibility for their health.
More than two out of five respondents over 60 believed that life begins at 60. More than a quarter of respondents over 60 identify themselves with their own passions and interests. They have started to adopt technology to enable independent lifestyle and socialise virtually.