BY VICTOR ADAR
Real Estate Company, Superior Homes Ltd, is banking on a retirement home dubbed “Fadhili Retirement Village”, a project that is targeting senior citizens aged 60 years and above.
Situated at Greenpark Estate in Athi River, it consists of 40 specially designed cottages that come in one or two bedrooms with each going for Sh9.90 million and Sh11.98 million respectively. The first phase is complete with 12 houses currently ready for occupation while the rest are to be done at least by this month.
According to Joseph Karuga, who is in charge of sales and marketing at Superior Homes, these units are designed to ensure the safety, security, convenience and wellbeing of residents and are mainly targeted at the retired and elderly people. He said that each of the cottages will also have an emergency button fitted, housekeeping services and access to social amenities like a clubhouse, library, swimming pool and health centre.
“It’s not just a home but a place where you can enjoy,” said Karuga. “This is a new concept in the Kenyan real estate market. It was born out of the need for retirees to have smaller houses that suit their immediate needs. The hope is that by 2020 to 2021, the project should be complete with 700 homes, and we should be able to do the same in other counties.”
The concept is slowly taking root especially in the European countries. In Norway for example, the Netherlands and Denmark, 1 out of 25 elderly people live with their offspring as per a report on long-term care by the European Commission and the American Association of Retired Persons, an indication that times are changing. The story of retirement cuts across.
Care for the elderly is probably being transformed thanks to the many hazards that come with old age. Or, may be our society is too modern now that senior citizens must retire in a village. Many a times, this lot had few options when it comes to sustainable living. If one was not staying with his or her family in town, a better option for the more independent ones was to go back to the village. But things are quickly shifting.
“They have been built to be able to make their life easier and safe. They’ve been done on consideration of their need to avoid small accidents that happen at home, there are so many hazards that come with old age,” Mr Karuga said. The cottages, he said, are fitted with features to deter accidents including anti-slip and warm floors in all living areas, easy to reach cabinets and wardrobes, wide doors in case of walking aids, handrails that allow an individual to use the washrooms and toilet. So the units were done with all that in mind
Started in 2018, the concept banks also on a concept of ‘try before you use’, where an individual pays up Sh20,000 (an amount equal to one month rent) to use the facilities, the special project is expected to thrive – an individual can make a move once he or she is certain about living in such a village as there’s room to try first before jumping in. But this trend brings about a new philosophy as far as risks are concerned. When venturing into something new, you never know whether it’s going to work. But you have to give it a try, after all.
“It’s been a long journey,” says Karuga. “We are very keen on clients’ feedback. We pride ourselves for being the first to come up with the concept and develop it here in Kenya.”