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What are some reasons seniors shy away from senior living communities?

Senior Living in India

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A retired person's life traditionally followed the trajectory of taking a backseat from housework and decision-making, moving in with the offspring, and babysitting grandchildren. However, the trend in the last couple of decades has shown that seniors are increasingly veering off this predictable roadmap. There's a growing desire to pursue hobbies, travel, explore life, and lead an independent life in the retirement years. Seniors who subscribe to this ideology are usually well educated and financially secure- also one of the main reasons for the recent rise in senior living communities in India.

While individuals and couples who have given thought to how they envision their retired lives are deciding to move into senior living communities, a large part of the senior citizen populace is still conflicted about taking this step.

Here are a few reasons seniors shy away from senior living communities:

Fear of change - Old age cements habits and thinking. One gets used to living in a particular way, in the same home and surroundings, even if these add to everyday inconveniences and contribute to deteriorating health. Changing homes and moving to a new city is terrifying for seniors who would rather trudge up floors to an apartment with no lift than move to a new location because there is comfort in the known, while the unknown is uncertain.

Fear of shifting - The process of moving, changing addresses, filling out documents for a transfer, bank formalities, sundry paperwork, and so on is cumbersome and involves a lot of back and forth between multiple agencies, acting as a deterrent to a permanent move to a senior living community.

Fear of being isolated - Leaving an establishment that has served well for decades is a decision fraught with emotions and apprehension of what ifs: What if the new place feels alien/what if one feels awkward about making new friends/what if one cannot adjust to the food and weather/ what if the community rules feel restrictive and unwelcome? The idea that there's no going back from their decision can be frightening for anyone, let alone a senior citizen.

Fear of abandonment - While Indian society is adapting to the global phenomenon where the offspring needs to be mobile to keep up with career aspirations, which means the parents have to deal with age-related complications without their physical presence, there is still a tiny part of their heart that wishes their adult children relocate to their hometown to live together (even if not in the same house) happily ever after. Moving to a senior living community seems like a final nail in the coffin - a stamp of acceptance that such a window is permanently closed. It can feel like abandonment to some seniors.

The perceived advantage of living with adult children compounds the above set of fears. Family dynamics are as unique as the individual. Hence, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution.  

Co-living may work for some families but may not for others. Many seniors experience a lost sense of purpose even in the company of their children. They often feel lonely and long for companionship and conversations. Joint families have undergone cosmetic changes as the younger generation, including students, leads a fast-paced life, juggling many roles and pursuing multiple goals.

The value of prompt medical aid in case of emergencies and long-term care for chronic illnesses is overlooked and assumed as a given if seniors live with their adult children. Shreya Anand, director of Vedaanta Senior Living, asserts that this is a fallacy given how congested and chaotic most metro cities are - getting to a hospital in time or hiring a full-time caretaker for seniors can be a mammoth task.

To address this, Vedaanta has developed two integrated retirement communities in Bangalore- Vedaanta Anugraham and Coimbatore - Vedaanta Premam. These communities offer active living and assisted living options that make it a easy transition to our retirement community. Vedaaanta senior retirement communities have multiple options for active living such as swimming, cycling track, yoga centre, walking gardens and a health-first dining and meals facility. Celebrations are a big part of the integrated retirement communities at Vedaanta - which include special days, cultural functions, food festivals and match days. Our approach is to provide  total transparency and flexibility to our members so that feel at-home and assured.

Modern-day senior living communities offer a comprehensive solution and can be a positive influence in making the retirement years an enjoyable experience. Apart from providing comfort, care, security, and prompt medical support, these communities pulsate with camaraderie and peer support that every senior yearns for.

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A society that cares for its senior citizens is a civilized and enlightened society. The aging happens on its own without any prompting from our side! It is an issue of mind over matter…if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!


  • Vedaanta Senior Living Pvt. Ltd.,
    Vedaanta Satsang,
    Sundakkamuthur Village Road,
    Kovaiputhur, Coimbatore,
    Tamil Nadu 641010
  • +91 844 844 4714
  • info@vedaanta.com


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