There’s a tremendous emerging need for senior housing in India, and its senior living sector is currently at a crossroads as the country figures out how to care for a population that’s living longer than ever before, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle white paper.
The 60+ demographic is the “fastest growing demographic segment in the world,” says the global real estate services firm. There are currently 98 million elderly people in India, and with a growth rate of 3.8%, it’s estimated that the 60+ population will rise to 240 million by 2050. This would account for nearly 20% of the country’s entire population, according to Census of India projections.
Although traditionally Indian seniors were taken care of by their children or other family members, the younger generations are increasingly traveling to other parts of the country or abroad, says Jones Lang LaSalle, leaving seniors to live alone.
This has opened up a space for the senior housing industry that previously has been filled by family, but it will be challenging to gain acceptance, according to the real estate services firm.
“The real estate environment being developed for seniors should recognize and address these issues to ensure comfort to and compatibility with this special population group,” says the white paper. “It should also keep in mind sensitivities to unique Indian cultural aspects regarding how seniors are treated in India and offer community life upholding their sense of respect and self-esteem.”
Several of the challenges in developing senior housing in India include social stigma, affordability, manpower (meaning the absence of trained senior care personnel), and legal framework (the country is lacking and “major progressive legislation in areas of senior living standards, service standards, etc.). The report runs through key factors when deciding where to build, such as healthcare accessibility, crime rate, land value, and growth perspective.
For those considering foreign development, top ten best practices include having a strong professional management team, an operator partner with senior living knowledge, and a branding and marketing strategy, among other recommendations.
“The senior living industry in India is poised for significant growth in the coming years,” says the report. “As with any new industry, the senior living industry is expected to see the entry of players from various backgrounds, predominantly from the real estate sector.”
Some key industry trends that are expected to emerge in the coming months in India’s senior living industry include new market entrants, partnerships between international and Indian senior living players, and product improvement by existing players, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
The two most dominant trends in seniors housing are affordably and non-institutional models, says Michael Berne, managing director of the Senior Living Practice at the firm’s New York City offices.
“The expectations of the current and coming residents (and their families) will no longer settle for facilities that resemble prisons and/or are outrageously priced,” Berne says in the white paper. “The non-institutional facility will combine the best of architecture, technology and medicine to deliver a warm, home like experience that fosters communications with family, health care professionals, and the community.”
Read the Jones Lang LaSalle On.Point white paper here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace