Should You Prefer Retirement Homes Over Living Alone?

Retirement homes are yet to see wide acceptance as a way of living in India, where older people typically prefer living with their children.

Outlook Money
May 16, 2023
Should You Prefer Retirement Homes Over Living Alone?

Acknowledging the growing challenges of old age people, including housing, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) issued guidelines in 2019 to build retirement homes. However, despite many retirement homes today, older people still feel sceptical about moving into these societies.


In India, many senior citizens live alone, sometimes neglected by their children, and sometimes the fear of being deserted or not cared for them forces them to look for independent living. But there are other reasons as well. Sometimes, the children have jobs in different cities, and retired parents do not want to move with them due to the comfort of their house and the city or do not want to part with friends and lose their close relationship.

However, nowadays, with more retirement homes and government guidelines for their welfare, seniors have a choice to live in a retirement home. So let us check a few crucial factors about this.

Safety, Security And Environment

Retirement homes are developed keeping in mind the needs of seniors. The facilities include medical facilities, cafeterias, club activities, transportation, and various security measures.

Let’s take the example of Usha Vallabh, 76, who shifted to Ashiana retirement homes in 2022. She lived alone in Noida before she bought this flat in a retirement home after her friend recommended it. Unconvinced earlier to shift from the house she had been living in for years, she decided to visit the project, and after getting convinced, she sold her house and bought a flat in a retirement home. Vallabh says, “I came to see and liked it. My daughter also liked the society and the facilities offered, including the security of the place. So I bought it.”

Social Activities

These retirement homes offer various club activities such as festivals and celebrations, spiritual discourses, yoga, games, gymnasium, walking, singing, dancing, etc., to keep themselves engaged. However, a senior citizen living with a family may only get some of these facilities at home or under one roof. So they can check the offers from the retirement homes.

In Vallabh’s view, the activities keep her busy, although she feels nostalgic occasionally about her house. But at her retirement home, she feels more relaxed as she can engage in various activities that keep her busy.

Medical Assistance

The biggest concern as people age is health and timely medical assistance. One may have to deal with a medical emergency alone when one lives independently. Many older people still depend on their children living in different cities for support, but it is not a permanent solution. Thus, retirement homes fulfil this void by meeting their various needs. It offers seniors much-needed medical assistance, transportation, 24/7 staff, and nursing care in their old age.

Psychological Benefits

They also get psychological support at these homes, as many people like them live side by side. So those who can afford these houses should explore them. Living with people of the same age group with similar life struggles and interests means many psychological benefits for them.

C.N. Nagpal, 79, who shifted to a retirement home in 2021 after selling his ancestral house, says it was a wise decision to buy a retirement home for himself and his wife. Although his children, who live abroad, initially opposed the idea, and his wife’s reluctance to shift from the house where they lived for nearly one and a half decades after retirement made it difficult, things slowly became normal as both are happy at their decision later. Nagpal describes the new place as a ‘temple of peace’. He also went on to buy flats for his children in the same society.


Living alone and doing everything all by yourself can be a challenge. However, the facilities provided at retirement homes are often best in class. Once they settle down in their new retirement homes, children who live far learn to adjust to the new reality and do not feel guilty about not caring for their parents in person. Though there are challenges in retirement homes, too, Vallabh and Nagpal believe it is the right thing they did. These seniors no longer feel lonely.

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