POLYCARE – MODERN DAY FAMILY DOCTOR

I was born on a hot summer night in New Delhi in April 1949. My father was head of a joint family, which had his widowed mother, paternal uncle (retired), brothers and sisters. My father married my mother in 1948 and, she too became part of this joint family.

I was born at home as there was no hospital nearby. It was a rented house in Karolbagh, New Delhi. We did not have electricity in our home. We had hurricane lamps. The Doctor who was responsible for my delivery was Dr (Ms) J Mirchandani. She was a spinster and, I never found out what the initial “J” stood for? I believe I was her first case as a Gynecologist and Obstetrician!

Our Family Doctor:

Dr Mirchandani was our family doctor. She also helped my mother in the birth of my sister and brother in later years. Many years down the line, my younger sister’s children were born in Mirchandani Hospital! She was the doctor whom we went to for everything – cold, cough, fever, aches, pains, cuts, bruises etc. She attended to us and if required, directed us to a specialist but saw the reports and listened to the course of treatment suggested. She clarified all our doubts on the treatment suggested by the Specialist. She did not interfere with the advice, but if needed, clarified any doubts on our behalf.

For us, she was our Family Doctor. She was part of our family. She was invited to every celebration in our family. She did not attend many because she was busy but she had to be invited. The implicit faith that we all had in her was immense. Dr Mirchandani meant well for us and we could depend on her medical advice whenever we needed it. She knew the medical history of each member of our Joint Family.

Paying Respect:

When I was selected for National Defence Academy in June 1965 and decided to join the army, I went to her and took her blessings. Every time I came on leave, I had to go and pay my respects to her. Not only me, but all of us in our family met her not only for medical consultations but to share our joy and sorrow.

Dr Mirchandani is no more. I am not sure if her hospital still stands the testimony of time. I lost touch with her after her demise many years ago. But she is the only Family Doctor that I knew since in the army, we moved from one station to another quite frequently. We always had a different army doctor taking care of my family and me.

After my retirement from the army in 1995, we settled down in Coimbatore and I became an entrepreneur. In the past 21 years since retirement, we never had a Family Doctor. Either it was a doctor in a polyclinic or in a hospital. We choose doctors based on the need or recommendations from friends and relatives on our illness real and imaginary. Of course, Internet helps us to diagnose what the medical problem could be and, with so much of information you can get confused or worried! That is why you read, “Please consult your doctor before trying out the course of action suggested!”

Where have all the Family Doctors gone?

Where are the doctors who used Stethoscope, touched you, and checked your pulse, blood pressure and temperature? Why are we going to new doctors each time we have a medical problem and see them writing long list of tests? Why do we have multiple prescriptions and why most of the Specialist Doctor we go to, does not ask us about our other ailments for which we may be on medication or see the prescriptions?

Why do we go to Doctors who do not have time to listen to our medical problems? Why the very same doctors in whom we have so much of trust, are unconcerned, if we do not turn up with the reports of the lab tests ordered by them? Why do we never get to hear from the Doctor or his office as to how be our condition after the treatment has commenced? Where is the relationship that we had with our family doctors, which made us sleep well knowing that we will be cared for in times of need? Why our hospitals are so crowded that we have to wait for hours to see a doctor and when our turn comes, the doctor does not have time to speak to or listen to or examine or explain to us what our problem is and what the course of treatment is going to be and what we can expect and what is not possible? True, they are too busy with so many patients to see, patients in the wards to go and visit and spend time reading and learning to stay up to date with the developments in their respective fields.

So am I happy with what I go through to get my family’s and my medical problems attended to by a doctor who has no time for me or, would I prefer a Family Doctor? If family doctors are rare today, is there any way we can replace them by professional care with concern that a Family Doctor provided?

Innovation is the key to Success:

Covai Property Centre (I) P Ltd (popularly known as Covai), are the pioneers in retirement communities that provides quality active living, services and care with passion and compassion to senior citizens across many cities in India, have come out with a concept named PolyCare that replaces Family Doctors in the modern times that we live today. As part of its diversification, brand CovaiCare of the Company will be opening its first PolyCare Centre (PCC) in Coimbatore very soon. I am the Managing Director of this Company.

Covai’s PolyCare:

Covai’s PolyCare is a professional health care centre that provides a wide range of medical services to patients and maintains an efficient and effective monitoring system so that patients get professional assistance at all times. In effect, Covai’s PolyCare will be the “Family doctor” for each member of the PCC.

Members of Covai’s PolyCare can benefit from the following:

  • Consultation with doctors including General Physician, Dental, Pediatric, Neuropathy, Diabetic, Ayurvedic, Naturopathy, Acupuncture, Gynecologist, Geriatric, Physiotherapy, Heart etc.
  • Having personal medical and health record lifelong that is easily accessible. Strict confidentiality will be maintained.
  • Assistance for appointments with specialist doctors in multi-specialty hospitals including escort services with transport where necessary
  • In house Pharmacy and access to Laboratory facilities, including collection of samples
  • Ambulance Service in emergencies
  • Escort services to hospitals and Laboratories when requested
  • Ensuring timely visits to concerned doctors or hospitals as well as annual medical examinations.
  • Remainder services for medicines, medical tests, doctor visit etc
  • Care Giver Assistance
  • Physiotherapy and non intervention medical facilities

The Concept of PolyCare:

The concept is to provide professional and personal care as that of a Family Doctor to patients so that they get necessary diagnosis and treatment under one roof and where required meet Specialists in reputed Hospitals as per the need which will be arranged by Covai’s PolyCare and treatment monitored to ensure the patient gets professional care at all times. Covai’s PolyCare will be the nodal centre for its members for diagnosis, treatment, monitoring of medication and maintaining record of every member of the PolyCare that can be made available in times of need. The concept ensures that the patient does not go to hospital directly on perceived diagnosis but gets the necessary treatment in a professional and efficient manner with trained staff to assist at all times. The PolyCare will provide not only Allopathy but also “alternative” therapies like Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Non-invasive options from trained doctors, physiotherapy and rehabilitation etc. Covai’s PolyCare will be the nodal centre for professional patient’s care. Covai’s PolyCare will cater to all age groups with even ambulance and escort services for senior citizens.

Launch Details:

An initiative of Covai Property Centre (India) P Ltd, who are pioneers in senior living and care under brand CovaiCare, Covai’s PolyCare will be set up over 7366 sq ft in CovaiCare Towers in the famous Gated Community Gem Nirmaalayam at Ganapathy, Coimbatore and will be operational by end March 2017. For details please contact nkishore@covaicare.com or +91 422 2567840

How can you help us?

We would be delighted to have your comments, ideas and views on this concept of PolyCare, which my Team CovaiCare and I are creating to bring in the concept of Family Doctors through Covai’s PolyCare. These are early days and your views and suggestions would help us a lot in refining what we have in our mind to implement. Look forward to your support and suggestions.

Thanks and regards.

Colonel (Veteran) Achal Sridharan, VSM

Wishlist for Budget 2017 From Middle Class Senior Citizens

Demographic changes along with the changes in the social norms, decreasing number of joint families and diminishing population in the middle class segment makes it necessary for India to think about looking after its senior citizens. Unlike the Western countries, we do not have any structured social security system for our people. While we have certain legislation’s to take care of senior citizens, these are inadequate to meet the requirements of the day.

Indians have now accepted that the Senior Citizens need looking after in their silver years. Although the terminology of Senior Citizens has been framed by our Central Government to describe elderly people of the country, dignity of their living or the respect they deserve has been a matter of ongoing debate in various forums. This is more so in the case of the middle income group, whose numbers are increasing and our political masters are addressing the concerns of the Middle Class.

While there are senior citizen homes either run on charitable basis or through government agencies/NGOs, the middle class citizens do not wish to stay in any such facilities, because the lifestyle that they have led does not match with what they get in such old age homes. Besides there is social stigma attached to the very name “Old Age Home” and, children do not want to see their parents living in these old age homes as it affects their social standing.

It is anticipated that elders in the country would increase both in absolute numbers and relative strength, indicating a gradual swing to senior population. As per Census of India projections, the percentage of elders as a total percentage of population would jump from 7.4% in 2001 to 12.4% in 2026 and touch 19.7% in 2050. In 2011, seniors above the age of 60 were 76 million and it is expected that this number will grow to 173 million by 2025 and further increase to 240 million by 2050. These are not small numbers and without a structured social security system, the problem of managing senior citizens in the coming years will be very complex and cumbersome.

How do senior citizens occupy themselves post retirement? They simply relax, adopt a laissez faire approach to life, care for their grandchildren, tend their gardens, read books or magazines, watch television and generally speaking lead a very sedentary life. Yet, the senior citizens demand or want attention and do carry lot of expectations. The Middle Class seniors are financially self sufficient and are worry free, since they have fulfilled their familial obligations. What they expect is a lifestyle where care and comfort be the bywords for their day to day life without losing their independence and freedom.

The metamorphosis in our family system and culture, from a joint family system to a nuclear family orientation today, has undoubtedly withered away the once active support systems to take care of the seniors. With this change in dynamics of the family system, most of the senior citizens have been forced to fend for themselves and therefore look forward to the Central Government for a great deal for concessions every time the Union Budget is round the corner. This is primarily because the Union and State budgets impact their daily finances in every respect.

One big factor influencing this urge of the senior citizens is their inability to earn regular monthly income as compared to normal citizens because of their retirement, age and health reasons. As their income becomes static, their ability to manage their livelihood by manifesting their available finances becomes a major source of worry for them.

Besides we are witnessing declining interest rates and this affects senior citizens who rely on interest on Fixed Deposits. Add to this the longevity of life, the cost of care increases with advancing age. Thus senior citizens find it extremely difficult to maker both ends meet if they live long. It also has a major part to play in maintaining their lifestyle and the ability to pay for critical expenditure in the context of inflation hurting them year after year. Sadly, even those who get regular pension have not catered for the additional expenditure that they will have to incur due to inflationary pressures.

What therefore, could be the possible wish list for senior citizens in the Budget to be presented in February 2017?

1. As most of the senior citizens park their money in Savings Bank / Fixed Deposit Accounts fearing risks involved in other financial instruments, major part of their interest comes from these. Because of decreasing interest rates, the expectation from the Budget would be to hike the limit of taxable interest earned from savings / fixed deposit accounts.It is already a worrying factor that this form of interest is not even good enough to beat inflation, leave alone meeting one’s daily needs.

2. There is also an imperative need to treat senior citizens as one single composite category, rather than as two different categories namely se-nior and very senior citizens, as both the categories in general do not earn any active income. It is a fervent appeal from a large section of seniors to integrate both the categories and revise the income tax exemption limit from the existing Rs.2,50,000 per annum to Rs.5,00,000 or even more.

3. The Government must also spare a thought from a purely philosophical point of view that the senior citizens having paid taxes all through their earning years at the least expect the Government to be considerate in their sunset years so that they can lead a fairly decent life.

4. Reliability of Financial Instruments is also a big matter of concern because when one is old and frail, trust is the biggest factor on their mind. With the kind of complicated financial instruments in the market, it is really con-fusing for even ordinary investors to choose the right instruments. The travails of senior citizens is therefore more complicated. The expectation from the government in the budget would be to introduce some government sponsored investment avenues which can be helpful for senior citizens to park their money as they can offer safety.Of course, they should also offer reasonably good returns.

5. Another initiative could be to reduce the cost of living for senior citizens. One such example could be to abolish service tax levied on senior citizens for the services rendered to them including medical & health care, financial services, legal services, property management services, home maintenance and upkeep services, etc.

6. The middle class senior citizens are an educated lot and many have held high positions in their civil life including in big corporate. There is a huge knowledge bank available with the senior citizens. The Government should institutionalize schemes whereby the industry as well as educational institutions can gain from the vast knowledge that the seniors possess. These need not be a daily wage earning scheme but could be in terms of sharing their experiences with the student community and helping the industry on issues which needs specific solutions for a specific problem. This way, the seniors will also remain active and at the same time both the industry and educational institutions can gain from the huge knowledge base and experience that they possess. The Government should look at this seriously so that the middle class seniors can benefit. This could help reduce a lot of expenditure being incurred on shoring up the education and industrial sectors with short term strategies.

7. Medical and Allied Health Care: As one grows old, their biggest worry is the propensity to confront health issues. Rapid advancements in medical field have led to world class health care but for senior citizens it has become increasingly expensive. No active income, higher expenditure and non-availability of adequate insurance cover as well as high cost of medical insurance makes managing the health budget of seniors more difficult. The expectation from this Budget is to increase the exemption limits on medical treatment from the existing Rs.5,000 to Rs.1,00,000.

8. Retirement Communities:
Retirement Communities have come to stay in India as they provide care and services for the middle class seniors and is a boon to them because it gives them a lifestyle that they are used to where group cohesion and camaraderie become an integral part of their life.

There are companies who have devoted their business in developing such retirement communities and they invest large amount of money on building senior specific dwelling units, service amenities and infrastructure to cater to the daily needs of seniors. The seniors who settle into such communities pay registration charges, service taxes and other statutory levies as are applicable for any other common citizen.

Neither the senior citizens nor the companies who are engaged in running of such retirement communities get any tax benefit from the Government. Therefore, the Government should seriously consider giving certain concessions in the various taxes the companies as well as the senior citizens have to pay.

Another segment is the senior citizens who are parents of children with disabilities like Autism, Down’s syndrome, Spastics, etc. These parents spend lot of money to take care of such special children. Their biggest worry is “who will take care of their child after their demise?” The Government should give special concessions for these senior citizens who wish to live in retirement communities which has evolved a model to take care of such Adult Persons with Disabilities after the demise of their parents.

Every annual budget talks only about sun rise sectors of business and industry and promote the concept of fueling growth with special emphasis on poverty alleviation and taking care of the disadvantaged people in our society. No one can dispute the concern of the Government for these segments.

However, India is on the verge of seeing a big change in the percentage of people who are becoming senior citizens in the next decade. It is therefore imperative for the budget to focus on this sun set sector too and set the ball rolling for major transformations to support this set of people who have given all that they could for the sake of the country.

Why Retirement Communities are preferred by Senior Citizens?

India has moved from old age homes, which were meant for destitutes and which were run on charity to Retirement Communities. The stigma that was attached to old age homes have been removed by the Retirement Communities since these provide services and care as well as a quality of life that the residents are used to and expect.

 What is it that one gains by living in a Retirement Community meant for Senior Citizens? Some of the advantages of living in a Retirement Community are as follows:-

  1. Freedom from cooking at affordable cost.
  2. Community living in the midst of like minded people.
  3. Interesting active life without boredom.
  4. Group cohesion and mutual accommodation amongst the residents leading to a feeling of life in a large joint family.
  5. Conversation between the residents, which does not let time hang.
  6. Opportunity to go out to movies, malls, picnics etc as a group without any hassles.
  7. Structured availability of services like housekeeping, gardening, plumber, electrician, 24×7 security etc.
  8. Professional management of the retirement community.
  9. Trained and motivated staff to provide Care and Services with Passion and Compassion.
  10. Reduces month on month cost of living and other expenses.
  11. Access to Assisted, Memory and Palliative Care, when required with advancing age.
  12. Emergency and routine medical support and Ambulance facility with trained para-medic.
  13. Retirement Communities provide greater comfort levels to children living far away from parents.

Therefore living in a retirement community enhances quality of life, reduces tension and boredom, provides care at all ages and you get to live in a clean and green environment, which is beautifully landscaped with flowers, trees, water bodies etc. An active life style which is care free, enhances one’s longevity. No wonder people live in Retirement Communities look healthier, happier and full of life. Seniors living in a retirement community are envy of younger generation! Live in a retirement community to begin life!

From Comfort & Retirement Homes to Retirement Communities

Circa 2004. On a Sunday, one of my friends came home and took me to his farm on Siruvani Road, 2 kms away from Perur Pattiswarar’s Temple in Coimbatore. While sipping coconut water in that farm of 15 acres, which also had a coconut grove, he asked me if we could develop this farm into a real estate project?

After anlysing the pros and cons, I told him that the farm does not lend itself to a real estate project as it lacks social infrastructure like schools, colleges, hospitals etc nearby. He asked me what we could do with it, as farming was not remunerative since he was unable to devote time to it. I told him to give me some time to ponder and that I would revert to him in a few days if I come out with a workable alternative.

A few days after that, when my wife Chitra and I were returning from an Old Age Home run by Christian missionaries, which we used to frequent and spend time with the inmates and also support their requirements, I asked her, “ what will happen to us when we become old as our daughters would get married and God knew where they would settle down after their education?”

That question is asked by many of us as we age and find our children settling down in life, far away from where we parents live. We also realise that it would be incorrect for us to expect them to stay and take care of us at our old age. Neither is it fair nor practicable since we love and freedom and independence and do not want to keep moving with our children in their lives! More so if we have daughters since we are tradition bound not to live with our daughters after their marriage!

I said to myself, “why not create a retirement community in that farm of my friend?” An idea, which in 2004 was nascent in Coimbatore with only one such facility operational and that too very basic made many of my friends and fellow real estate developers looking at me skeptically and advising me that the implementation of this idea would be foolish!

I wrote a small paper expanding my idea and made a questionnaire. I sent it out to many of my friends and requested them to broadcast it through the Internet to get as many responses as possible. I got many and some sound advice also. While some felt that our Indian custom and tradition may prevent seniors to live in an old age home due the stigma attached to it since such homes are meant for destitute and that children would feel uncomfortable in their social circle if it were known that the parents lived in an old age home.

I therefore decoded to call it as “Comfort and Retirement Homes”. I had seen similar homes in Brisbane when I visited Australia in 2002. Thus was born Soundaryam Comfort Homes at Pachapalayam on Siruvani Road near Perur in Coimbatore. I modeled it after a mini cantonment since army cantonments have everything that one needs and so would my Comfort and Retirement Homes provide to its residents. Instead of Officers’ Mess, I called it Club House; instead of Medical Inspection or MI Room, I called it Medical Centre! I catered for all services – housekeeping, gardening, plumber, electrician, carpenter service (in a cantonment we have these skilled people from MES!), concierge and security, ambulance for emergency evacuation etc. I built a lifestyle that would prevent boredom and keep seniors active. The Club House had lounge, dining facilities, kitchen, library, reading room, indoor games facilities, gymnasium etc – exactly like army clubs or officers’ mess!

Soundaryam Comfort and Retirement Homes was to house only 48 families! My aim was to have a small colony of seniors who are like-minded and have common aims and aspirations and my wife and I could be part of this and we would be taken care of in our old age! But it was not to be. 48 villas became 90 and 90 became 130. The demand seemed to far exceed the availability and we spread to other cities.

In these 12 years, it has been a learning curve for Team Covai and I and we had to constantly upgrade to meet the expectations. What was good in 2004 is almost irrelevant today. I must admit that the seniors who believed in us and decided to be part of one large joint family helped us a lot with their wisdom and wise counsel.

We realised that only basic amenities like medical services was not enough. We needed to concentrate on wellness and care. Care for seniors as they aged was a major requirement. We needed to have Assisted, Memory and Palliative Care. We realised that the Western model would not suit Indian conditions and even in India many of the people living in different parts with different traditions, language, customs, lifestyle, food habits, social stigmas needed the model created by us to be tweaked. We realised the word “home” was disliked in the context of a community to house senior citizens. Hence we decided to call our creations as “Retirement Communities.”

We realised that while children were not in a position to look after their parents staying far away from them, the Indian tradition of concern for parents played a significant role in making parents to accept retirement communities. We realised that as one ages, the dependency on children for making decision-making increases. We realised that cost – both investment and recurring is an issue as most of the seniors made their retirement dwelling as their second home and will not sell their house to pay for the retirement dwelling! Even if they wanted to, the children did not permit that! And seniors with advancing age tend to become tight fisted. We realised that retirement planning by seniors is an important issue, which needed professional guidance.

We realised that our countrymen attached lot of importance to possession of property and it is a big emotional issue! We realised that we needed to innovate, change with the times and upgrade technology with the passage of time. We understood that systems, processes and Standard Operating Procedures and internal audits, checks and balances were very essential not only to give the assured quality of services and care to the seniors but also to scale our operations in many cities. We realised that availability of skilled and semi-skilled labour is going to become increasingly difficult and hence it was essential that we keep the staff motivated at all times to give off their best with passion and compassion.

There has never been a dull moment. Though Team Covai has 12 years of experience in crating and managing retirement communities, we cannot sit on our past laurels but need to think ahead and cater to the future. Unless we are able to constantly crystal gaze, we will not be able to come up to the expectations of the seniors who believe in us. That is the most important issue of concern for us – we can never afford to let the trust reposed in us by the senior citizens to be diluted. So help us God!

Tell Us What You Think

Gopal is 66 years young! His wife Malini is 62 years. They have two adoring daughters who live abroad. They are blessed with two grand daughters. They lead an active life. Gopal is still working as a Consultant to keep himself active. He drives his car and his wife and he enjoy long drives during vacation. They have their share of ailments at their age but nothing life threatening! Thank God for that. They have friends with whom they go for movies, picnics, tours etc. they manage their lives with some house keeping assistance. They are able to travel abroad and spend time with their children and grand children.

But there is always the uncertainty of future? What if Gopal gets a Stroke or serious surgery needing long-term rehabilitation? What will happen if one of them is no more alive? What if they become frail with advancing age and are not able to lead this Active Life? Who will provide them with services that they are used to and care that they may need? Should they worry or leave it to fate?

Prudence tells them that they should have a fall back option to meet these challenges. Since reliable domestic help is getting more and more difficult to get and specialized caregivers are even more difficult to find and also expensive, it is better to look at Retirement communities as an option. But the question is which one to choose from the available ones?

Retirement communities are not extension of real estate. The extension is confined to the dwelling that is needed to house the seniors. What the seniors need are services and care until the very end. Mere grab rails and non-skid tiles with some dining arrangement and very basic medical facilities are not what Gopal and Malini are looking for.

So, how do we decide on choosing a retirement community? What would you look for? Share your ideas so that we can improve and also share with you what we feel are the factors that you need to look into.

Please send your views to santosh@covaiprop.com

Thanks in advance for your views

Colonel (Veteran) Achal Sridharan, VSM

Pioneer and Consultant Senior Care

Managing Director

Covai Property Centre (I) P Ltd

www.covaiprop.com

QUALITY LIFESTYLE AND CARE THE MANTRA?

Any retirement community in its truest sense has two components – Senior Living and Senior Care.

My equation is:

Retirement Community = Senior (Living + Care).

The “living” component consists of the dwelling itself, and amenities like basic medical facility and activity centre and then services like housekeeping, catering etc.

The “Care” component consists of Assisted, Memory, Palliative and Nursing Care.

In India, are we getting what constitutes Retirement Communities? The answer is “No”.

Retirement Communities are very still nascent in India. Assisted, Memory or Palliative Care is yet to find their due place as part of Senior Care. The current retirement communities segment available in India do not offer a complete solution to senior citizens in terms of guaranteed care that such residents expect and deserve. Moreover, the available retirement communities are becoming elitist and, do not cater to all segments of the senior citizens in our society.

Investment cost for a dwelling in a retirement community is increasing and, so is the recurring monthly expenditure. This has led to a need for larger savings for post-retirement without diluting the standard of living that one is accustomed to.

Expectations of seniors are high and, more than the seniors, it is their children whose expectations one needs to meet.

Quality Lifestyle and Care is the Mantra.

Do you agree?

To join me in dialogue follow me on www.retirementgyaan.org

Who, Why and What for this Blog?

Colonel A Sridharan

Vanakkam!

From career soldier to real estate developer and now for the past 11 years, looking after senior citizens has been the story of my life! Call it destiny or opportunity?

Who am I?

I was born on 23 Apr 1949, studied in school at New Delhi, joined the National Defense Academy in Jul 1965 as an army Cadet. Commissioned from the Indian Military Academy on 15 Jun 1969, I had a great career as an Artillery Officer. My service of 26 years in the army took me to the length and breadth of India and I was fortunate to command the Artillery Regiment in which I was commissioned into.

I held many coveted staff appointments like GSO (3) at Military Operations Directorate, GSO (1) Operations in Ladakh, Military Assistant to Chief of Army Staff and also a member of the faculty in Defense Services Staff College, Wellington, from where I took premature retirement on 4 Jul 1995. I quit the army where I had a bright career simply because my salary was insufficient to run three establishments – my elder daughter was at college in Delhi, wife and younger daughter in one place and me wandering around! Besides we built a house and the housing loan was a big drain.

I became a Veteran of Indian army with Rs 3 lakhs as my savings and a meager pension but with a determination to become an Entrepreneur. I took up the real estate business thanks to the opportunity provided by the Contractor who built our home! From army to real estate; from uniform to civvies; from structured life to a life which I  was alien to! Survive I did these 20 years through many ups and downs but with a “never say die” attitude!

In 2001, I set up my own company Covai Property Centre (I) P Ltd in Coimbatore. My team and I made our name by being transparent, did not compromise on quality and we delivered what we promised. We evolved systems and processes and expanded our operations. We were one large family then and even now. I believed that “ employees came first and customers second” and it worked wonders since my Team knew they would be taken care and they delivered what our customers needed.

What we do?

In 2004, we entered the retirement community segment, which was almost non-existent then. Army taught me to think about the future and that is what we did and, still do. Nothing is permanent. Change is the only constant factor. Innovation is the key to meet the change. That mantra helped us to create, refine and modify the very concept of retirement communities. From Old Age Homes to Comfort Homes we changed the name to be known as Retirement Communities. That change was necessary because we constantly studied the needs of seniors and looked at their future requirements. We believed that “future is the key” since present is past and past is to learn from one’s mistakes. Those who do not think about the future are likely to be doomed.

Along the way, we created Serene Retirement Communities in many cities, I quit the Board of Serene in 2013 and today Brand Covai is what we are in the retirement segment. Covai and Colonel have become synonymous with retirement communities for the past 11 years. And today, we are the only consulting company in this segment and help Developers create retirement communities under Brand Covai and provide quality services and care.

Why this Blog?

Being pioneers in creating and running retirement communities in India, Team Covai and I want to share our journey and also make this as a platform to understand the changing needs of senior citizens and get opinions, which others can share and together we grow (not in age!).

Let the journey of aging continue with your ideas, views, concerns and suggestions to make ideal retirement communities to suit Indian conditions!

More in my next! Your comments and views will be most appreciated.

COVAI S3 Retirement Communities @ Perur, Coimbatore

  COVAI CHINMAYAM Retirement Community (Ongoing)