CPPR Chairman Dr D Dhanuraj comments in a article published in The Times of India, on the many elderly citizens returning to the city for a retirement life. He comments “government and business community should work together to address the issues emerging out of the influx of elderly population.”

Many elderly citizens living abroad are keen to return to the city for a retirement life. And, they are looking forward to ‘living spaces for elderly’ promoted by many real estate developers.

Realtors too have been making an effort to bounce back to business by trying to promote Kochi as a retirement destination, where they get good geriatric care and recreational facilities.
Dr Mahesh Sarvothaman, who currently resides in the United States said there is a huge interest for such properties among the people residing abroad. “This is an enticing model and if executed properly there will be many takers. The isolation they feel abroad during old age want them to get back home where they can mingle with people belonging to the communities,” he said adding that, for a good number of NRIs, the apartments they have bought in the city is not an investment but a place to go back when they get old and vulnerable.

Real estate developers too say there is ‘considerable interest’ in such properties and they get quite a good number of enquires related to such projects. “We expect more elderly people to come down once the pandemic is brought under control,” said a Kochi-based developer.

Government agencies and local bodies too will have to work out a plan to keep the elderly returnees and the ageing local population engaged in the development of communities and the process of building the city.

D Dhanuraj, chairman of centre for public policy research (CPPR) said the society is ageing fast and both the “government and business community should work together to address the issues emerging out of the influx of elderly population.”

While the government should put in place new polices related to geriatric care, health insurance and health facilities, business communities need to investigate how they can be professionally managed by providing better services.

Former Kochi mayor K J Sohan said, “The demography of the city will witness a sea-change as Kochi will witness an increase in ageing population. Though those returning from abroad are expected to be financially sound, it could lead to a situation where they could get isolated in the spaces that is specifically built for them.”

This news article was published in The Times of India on 20 November 2020. Click here to read 

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