The current state of assisted living facilities in India
The current state of assisted living facilities in India is more wanting. Many of these facilities may have to be fully staffed and equipped with senior-friendly amenities and proper operational SOPs. Some of these facilities are in rural areas, with limited access to such healthcare services.
As a result of these conditions, residents of assisted living facilities often feel the need for quality care. In addition, many of these facilities require adequate safety measures to avoid higher risks of falls, infections, and other medical issues that can lead to long-term health problems.
The Indian government is currently working on improving the conditions in these facilities even though the policies exist. This includes introducing new regulations, providing additional funding for infrastructure and staffing, and conducting regular inspections. These efforts are beginning to show some results, but there is still a long way to go before India’s assisted living facilities to meet international standards.
The challenges faced by those running Assisted Living Facilities (ALF) in India
Since the industry is still in its early stages with few players operating in the space, the Indian assisted living facility (ALF) business is fraught with challenges, risks, and opportunities. These challenges faced by those running assisted living facilities in India are many and varied. Following are some of the challenges faced by those running ALF business in India, making it difficult to sustain long-term.
- The first and foremost challenge is the need for more awareness amongst the general population about assisted living facilities, making it challenging to promote and market these facilities.
- In India, real estate prices are sky-high, and finding a suitable plot of land to build an ALF can be difficult and expensive. The costs associated with setting up and running an assisted living facility are often prohibitively high due to the cost of rent, staff salaries, and other operating expenses, making it hard for small businesses to enter the market.
- This is compounded by the fact that the main challenges faced by the industry are the availability of human resources and staffing. Only a few skilled and professionally trained staff are available to provide the services, and those who are available often demand high salaries. This can make it challenging to provide quality care to residents and make it difficult for ALFs to keep their costs down and make their services affordable for residents.
- The lack of government regulations and policies related to assisted living makes it difficult for businesses to operate legally and ethically.
- Many families may not have the financial resources to cover the cost of care for their loved ones. In addition, many families, even affordable, are still reluctant to send their elderly loved ones to an assisted living facility due to cultural reasons and social stigma unless otherwise dire need arises.
Demand for ALFs to provide care for the elderly.
It is estimated that the elderly population in India by 2031 will be around 13.1% of the total population which will be about 195 million. Out of this, approx 4-5% of the total population in India will require some form of long-term care by 2031. This includes both elderly people and those with disabilities.
Despite the challenges, as stated above, there are also many opportunities for those looking to start an ALF business in India to meet the demand or need. For example,
- The rapidly aging population and their longevity present a vast opportunity for ALF businesses to create high demand to cater to the elderly.
- The low penetration of private healthcare operators in India creates an untapped market wherein the supply aspect of providing the ALF services to meet the high demand is much less, creating a vast opportunity for the business
- The concept of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in this sector and the initiatives by the central/state govt play a significant role.
- Developing a national grid of nationwide geriatric facilities to cater to all segments of the elderly in need of ALF.
- Charity and welfare measures by state and central govt to operate such ALFs.
Sustenance is critical for any business, and ALFs need to focus on providing high-quality care to seniors in order to remain competitive and maintain their customer base. Quality assurance protocols should be put in place and monitored for any changes that may need to be made to ensure the highest level of care possible. Additionally, having good relationships with local hospitals and other health providers can help ensure a steady stream of customers.
Any ALF must comply with all the necessary legal regulations before it can begin operations. This includes obtaining licenses from the relevant authorities, such as state government bodies or local authorities, if applicable. It is also essential to ensure all staff are adequately trained before opening to provide a safe environment for seniors.
Human Resources, Staffing and Training of Caregivers
Human resources and staffing are critical in running a successful ALF business. It is important to find staff who have experience working with seniors and those who are compassionate and understanding towards them. Training should also be provided so that staff is updated on procedures and protocols related to senior care. Staffing needs for this industry are the predominant factor since there will be an increasing demand for such services in the future, with populations preferring different forms of healthcare today than when these facilities were first established. Lastly, it’s important to note that starting an ALF business in India requires compliance with various legal norms and regulations. So before beginning any company set-up, one should know about all licenses that need to be obtained, whether through constructing a building or getting insurance coverage required by law.
Possible solutions to the challenges faced by assisted living facility businesses in India
Possible solutions include the following: –
- Increasing public awareness through campaigns, workshops, seminars and other forms of outreach. This could involve working with local governments to create educational materials that explain what assisted living facilities are and how they can benefit the elderly in India.
- Working with professional bodies and authorities to develop qualifications and training programs for staff in assisted living facilities. This would ensure that these facilities provide a higher level of quality care.
- Developing and continuously improving a regulatory framework for the operations of assisted living facility businesses in India that ensures ethical practices are followed while allowing companies to operate efficiently.
- Introducing financial incentives such as tax breaks or subsidies for businesses operating assisted living facilities to better manage their costs without compromising on quality-of-service delivery. There are very few ALFs in operation in India, making it difficult even to know where to find one. Additionally, most ALFs are not registered with the government and therefore do not have access to government benefits or subsidies.
The future of the assisted living industry in India
It is projected that the assisted living industry in India is expected to experience strong growth in the coming years due to increasing awareness about assistive living services and an aging population. It will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 15% during 2020-2025. The main drivers of this growth are the increasing number of elderly people in India and the growing awareness about assisted living facilities among the Indian population.
The government of India has also taken steps to encourage the growth of this industry, such as providing tax incentives, offering grants and subsidies, and introducing new policies. It must also take steps to improve the regulation and boost the start-ups with funding & tax-free period with easy and favourable preconditions and oversight of assisted living facilities in the country. Such facilities also provide job opportunities and secondary businesses to develop. Additionally, more resources must be devoted to these facilities to meet their residents’ needs.
These measures will play a key role in ensuring the sustained growth of the assisted living industry in India over the coming years for the industry to continue growing.
Despite the challenges stated, there is an excellent opportunity for the assisted living industry in India to grow. With the right policies and investments in place, the sector can provide quality care to its residents and meet the needs of an aging population.
India is a fast-growing market for assisted living facilities, and businesses should take the opportunity to capitalize on this growing demand. As with any business venture, certain challenges come with setting up an assisted living facility in India, such as strict regulations and a need for more infrastructure. However, with proper planning and research, these obstacles can be overcome, allowing business owners to run this booming industry efficiently. Additionally, government initiatives should be taken to ensure that regulations are adequately enforced and that facilities meet international standards. With these measures in place, the assisted living industry in India looks to have a bright future ahead. Entrepreneurs to create successfully assisted living centres in India. With more people reaching old age each year, the need for these services is only increasing. Therefore, this could prove to be a great business opportunity for those looking to offer their noble services to the elderly in dire need of such services.