The 3rd ASLI Annual Senior Care Conclave commenced today with a virtual press conference wherein the Association of Senior Living India (ASLI) announced its collaboration with Standards Wise International’s Indian subsidiary – Standards Wise International India (SWII) and CommonAge (CA) to roll out the first-ever standards and accreditation matrix for the private sector in the space of senior living and care communities in India. The press conference revolved around the theme of ‘Reimagining the Senior Care Landscape’ with distinguished industry experts – Mr. Ankur Gupta, Co-founder & Chairman, ASLI and JMD, Ashiana Housing Ltd; Mr. David Stevens, Founder, Standards Wise International; Mr. Adarsh Narahari, Founder & MD, Primus Lifespaces Pvt Ltd and Mr. Mohit Nirula, CEO, Columbia Pacific Communities assessing and deliberating on the challenges, solutions and future roadmap for senior care in India. The three-day conclave aims to facilitate a constructive dialogue on key areas that impact senior care through thoughtfully curated sessions and panel discussions.
Mr. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs and Mr. R Subrahmanyam, Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment graced day 1 of the conclave with their special presence and shared their perspective on senior care. Among other eminent speakers and industry stalwarts present were Mr. Rajit Mehta, Mentor, CII Senior Care Taskforce and CEO & MD, Antara Senior Living; Mr. Vaibhav Tewari, Co-Founder & COO, Portea Medical; Ms. Pavithra Gangadharan, Founder, Kshetra Assisted Living and Dr. Renu Varughese, Chairperson, Travancore Foundation. The conclave will be a congregation of knowledge leaders and over 200 key stakeholders across Government, senior living operators, healthcare organizations, technology experts, academia and NGOs to address the needs of the industry. Following the inauguration of the conclave by ASLI in partnership with Unmukt – The Senior Hub, a 2-day Senior Utsav Online Expo will be held on Jan 23rd and Jan 24th, 2021 to provide seniors with a virtual platform to explore products and services suited to their unique requirements through interaction with a host of businesses working in the senior care space.
ASLI, SWI and CA bring together significant expertise to introduce and promote senior living and care standards along with an accreditation matrix designed specifically for India. The certificate, which will be issued after validation and assessing of various criteria and quality standards, will carry the endorsement of ASLI, SWII and The Commonwealth Association for Ageing. The standards edited and authored by Mr. Mansoor Dalal, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, ASLI, adapts the ASLI code of practice and enhances existing standards and accreditation templates taken from SWI. It populates them with indicators and evidence relevant and unique to the Indian context, introducing a preliminary code of operations for self-regulation along with global best practices. The standards have a four-level hierarchy comprising eight quality standards – Governance, Management & Personnel, Design & Construction, Facilities Management, Resident engagement & Experience, Technology & Information Management and Hygiene, Safety, Infection Prevention/Pandemic Control (HSIPC), and its intent, followed by multiple criteria to achieve the stated intent.
Commenting on the collaboration and highlighting the importance of senior care in the post-pandemic era, Mr. Ankur Gupta, Co-founder & Chairman, ASLI and JMD, Ashiana Housing Ltd. said, “Introduction of standards and accreditation matrix for senior care in India is our attempt to introduce a preliminary code of operations for self-regulation and enhance an existing template for application in India. Enhanced focus on senior care could prove to be a key enabler of growth of the silver economy and in turn play a pivotal role in accelerating India’s journey on the ‘Road to Recovery’. We are committed to work closely with the Government, partners, industry experts and other key stakeholders to create a holistic ecosystem to shape senior care for a brighter future.”
Mr. David Stevens, Founder, Standards Wise International, shared, “A future in which communities embrace elders, where elders feel included and valued, empowered and independent, active, and part of a multi-generational community is an important goal for enriching our societies. Organisations like SWII and ASLI help create those better solutions and work together to ensure that the standards in these solutions are as high as possible. Standards help to educate customers and give them greater reassurance about the quality of the services. National and State Governments can help by reinforcing the importance that providers self-regulate and have quality standards which they adhere too.”
Talking about the significance of Government assistance, Mr. Adarsh Narahari, Founder & MD, Primus Lifespaces Pvt Ltd. added, “We require support from the Government in terms of policy reforms. We need GST to be exempted for eldercare services at communities as well as an overhaul of reverse mortgage rules and feasible medical insurance for senior citizens. A cherry on the top is specific zones for development of retirement communities to be incorporated in all city level masterplans.”
Throwing light on how senior care facilities are shedding the social stigma around old age homes, Mr. Mohit Nirula, CEO, Columbia Pacific Communities, stated, “Nothing would give us at Columbia Pacific Communities greater pleasure than changing the wholly undeserved perception of senior living communities being a solution for people who have “no option” to being the “preferred solution” for seniors living alone in mixed-family communities or in their homes.”
A census conducted by Longitudinal Ageing Study of India (LASI), in 2011 revealed that by 2050, the population of senior citizens would cross the 319 million mark, growing at an annual pace of 3%. These older adults represent a dynamic consumer segment, opening up new investment opportunities along the continuum of senior citizens’ wants and needs – a band of products and services called the ‘Silver Economy’. ASLI was instituted in December 2012 as a national organization with a vision to catalyze the growth and development of the entire senior care continuum (senior living, home care and lifestyle & technology providers) and aspires to create a model of self-regulation and work in tandem with the government on the guidelines of minimum standards for attaining operational excellence by its members in particular and industry at large.