Saturday, February 4, 2012


The special report in Saturday's Straits Times is of interest to retirees. The report which spreads over eight broadsheet pages centres on retirement living, and gives readers an insight into the advances made in retirement living in the Netherlands, the US and the UK.

Watching telly (or dozing off) in an.old folks home.
The very mention of retirement homes here in Malaysia and Singapore invariably conjures up a picture of an old bungalow cramped with elderly people in various stages of mental decline and physical decrepitude, and requiring nursing care. Certainly there are old folks homes, welfare homes, nursing homes and hospices, each offering different services, and each catering to a different group of people.

However, the distinction must be made between these establishments and retirement homes. The latter, as these pictures below show (taken by Radha Basu of Straits Times), are for retirees who are still active and independent. It is an example of communal living with all the comforts of home.

GROUP LUNCH: Residents in Hampstead House, an Abbeyfield Society home, tucking into a meal prepared by an in-house cook.
In a small home outside Rotterdam. Nothing beats having your own room
surrounded by your favourite things. (Photo: Radha Basu of Straits Times)

In the communal living room. The cosy ambience makes group homes in the Netherlands feel just like home. (Photo: Radha Basu of Straits Times)
Residents at Humanitas facilities enjoy amenities such as a hair salon, gym and supermarket. They can also take part in 40 different activities spread out across the week. (Photo: Straits Times)

For a myriad of personal reasons, there are elderly parents who would rather live on their own than move in with their adult children. But living on their own at that age puts them at risk. What if something happens to them?

Communal living offers the ideal solution. It can be in an apartment block, in a housing enclave, or in a huge bungalow. The residents enjoy the comfort and privacy of their own room. And if they want some company, there are friends in the next room or on the same floor. There are activities to keep them engaged, if they are interested. Or they can choose to go out alone or with friends. They have the freedom to come and go, to mingle with others or be left alone.

Putrajaya is an ideal location for a retirement home.
But getting the land for it is an impossible dream.
Sure, retirement living such as the above comes with a certain price tag. Not everyone can afford it. But an increasing number of baby boomers now in their 60s, have enough put aside to invest in spending the rest of their days in a retirement home.

Unfortunately, housing developers in Singapore and Malaysia are hesitant about investing billions in such ventures. They still hold to the view that Asian culture and values do not encourage such living arrangements, and therefore, there is no market for such independent housing for the elderly.

So the wait for a retirement home here continues...

Related articles:

A Retirement Home Or A Retirement Village?

Housing Options for the Retirement Years


james oh said...

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful articles. Keep it up to your good work. Wishing you a great success,

Anonymous said...

Some of us in this category have been talking about it for many years. The one in Perth, Australia is so well organised. How we wish someone can take the initiative to start this retirement home? Thanks for highlighting.


seniorsaloud said...

There is a demand for retirement homes/villages here in Malaysia. But housing developers still view it as a risky venture. I shall be checking out a couple of retirement homes in the Klang Valley in the coming weeks. Will post an update on this.
Thanks for your comments, James and Mary.

carl can said...

I like your blog,and also like the article,and thank you for provide me so much information :)) Oregon retirement community

michael said...

This is a very nice retirement homes. Senior people would love to stay here. But they love to travel around the world as well and stay in a 5 star hotel. Thanks for this.
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Unknown said...

This is an excellent place to stay for an elderly parent. I like the amenities that Humanitas facilities offer. Thanks for sharing.

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Anonymous said...

The dream retirement homes that every retirees would wanted for.Retirees would really love to stay in this place.Feel like a stay-in manager.Thanks for posting.

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Unknown said...

A few have sprung up. Green Acres in Ipoh has launched theirs. Green Leaf in Sepang is still 'talking' about it. I hear there is a very high end integrated retirement village in Kuching. Does anyone know about these?

seniorsaloud said...

Trudy Chen, you must be referring to Eden-on-the-Park in Kuching. You can read more about retirement homes that are being developed in our article "Retirement Utopia - If You Can Afford It" at