The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Live in style in the autumn of life

To age gracefully in safety and style will soon be a real option. With all the comforts of home, with none of its hassles, an old-age home is coming up to cater to the needs of a segment of senior citizens.

Shraddhanjali, a 15-bigha complex, will open its gates to over 200 elderly residents by March 2005. Bungalows with eight individual units, each with living-dining room, bedroom and bathroom, can house one or two occupants.

The complex, near Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, off the EM Bypass, will have a 10-bed sick bay, equipped to deal with emergencies, with an attending doctor for 24 hours. An ambulance will also be at hand, round-the-clock. A medical centre, including a chemist’s shop, will be housed in the building, where “prominent” city doctors will be available weekly.

Though construction has not yet started, calls are pouring in. “From men who have not yet retired to elderly folk in their 70s, we have had many inquiries so far,” says Sabhyasachi Sen of Shraddhanjali Pvt Ltd.

The callers range from retired high-ranking executives to educationists, doctors and NRIs. Their situations are similar. “These upper-class men and women either don’t have anyone to take care of them, or prefer to live independently,” Sen explains.

Residents will not have the hassle of cooking, with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food to be served. Laundry will also be taken care of. All rooms are to have cable and Internet connections. Air-conditioning for each bedroom will be separately metered and billed, whereas normal power supply and back-up generator facilities come free of cost.

Adequate security measures are being taken, with intercoms and emergency bells in each room to be monitored from a central control room. A community hall, with library, meditation room and dining hall will be at the heart of the complex, flanked by a pond and a park.

With all the luxuries of modern living, the ‘home’ does not come cheap. A payment of Rs 650,000 has to be made for a unit, over two years. A fee of Rs 6,000 — or Rs 10,000 per couple — is to be charged monthly. But after the death or departure of an occupant, 75 per cent of the then market value of the property is to be given to a nominee.

“Though the occupants are not given ownership of the units, they have a life-licence which entitles them to this money,” explains Sen.

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