Being the only daughter, I was always worried about my parents. I was in Gurgaon and they stayed in Calcutta and to be with them frequently was next to impossible. I used to miss them terribly and my daughter who was around 3 years then was missing being around her grandparents too. We had to think of a viable solution that was best for all. An advertisement in the newspaper caught my eye. Ashiana Utsav Retirement Resort. The name retirement resort was very appealing. No, it was not an old age home. It was a place where our seniors could either rent out or buy an apartment and enjoy their golden years. My parents were visiting me soon and it was the perfect time for us to check the place.

The waterfall at Ashiana Utsav,Bhiwadi

 The senior living home was in Bhiwadi ,Rajasthan which was about 50 kms from my home in Gurgaon . So a pretty drivable and reachable distance. We reached there in about 1.5 years via NH8. There was a jam near the toll area for about 15 mins and near the Bilaspur area for another 10 mins . The rest of the ride was pretty smooth . We all fell in love with place the moment we reached . The way the senior homes were designed was excellent and the grand landscape with plush greens and waterfalls and fountains added to the beauty. An executive from the Ashiana Utsav office escorted us to show us the entire facility .We saw a sample unit and were amazed to see the facilities and the thoughtfulness that had gone into designing it . From emergency or SOS  switches in all rooms , to railings in bathrooms and corridors . Round the clock security and maintenance service and an inhouse ambulance , everything was in place . My obvious question, why is it called a retirement resort? To answer that , the executive took us to a fully equipped activity centre. Table tennis , carrom , chess , cards , TV lounge , auditorium , it had them all .

Seniors playing the ring game

There was a team that worked closely with the residents to come with regular activities and excursions for them. Yoga, meditation, and music therapy sessions were also been organized regularly. So no time to get bored right ? There was a restaurant on the ground floor of the activity center that served home-cooked vegetarian food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You had the option of cooking at home or eating at the café. Groceries were 5 minutes away as there was Easy Day hyper store in Ashiana village center mall in the complex Treehouse club & resort was also in the complex for those interested in going to clubs for activities like badminton, swimming, dining, and events.

The activity centre and cafe

All of us were really impressed with all the facilities provided, so the next obvious question was the rent as we though it would burn a hole in our pocket. But to our surprise, it turned out to be affordable, at least in comparison to Gurgaon. A 2 bedroom apartment was available for 4k rent and came to around 8k post the maintenance and electricity charges. It did not take my parents to decide on their new ashiana at Ashiana Utsav and they moved here in the next 3 months. It has been 5 years now that they have been staying in this retirement resort and are extremely happy with the place.I am a little less worried now as I know they are in safe hands and being taken care of. At times due to situations and circumstances beyond control one is not able to stay with their parents and that's where the concept of senior living fits in perfectly.

A fun-filled tambola session

Yes, Bhiwadi is a small town with nothing much to do in the city but it has all the required amenities. There are a few malls that have opened up now. SRS Cinemas , Inox Cinema, Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Max, Haldirams and Westside, the malls have it all. The only area where this place needs to develop is good hospitals. The city does have a few private nursing homes, however, the nearest big private hospital is Rockland, Manesar or those in Gurgaon . Ashiana Utsav does have a Care Home in the complex that caters to those who can’t take care of themselves and then a caretaker. Some doctors too visit this place. My father had a medical emergency last year late at night, but thanks to the availability on the in-house ambulance, he could be rushed to a hospital in Gurgaon in time. Artemis has also opened a small care centre in the Village Centre mall last and they too have a 24hr ambulance available to handle emergency cases.

Happy faces in the cafe -My parents, Mr & Mrs.Bhatia and my daughter Simrann

I have met so many seniors here and there is so much of positivity around. Most of them are here by choice. They visit their children off an on and vice-versa. The place is abuzz with children and grand children during vacations.  Ashiana Utsav is truly a place for those who want to enjoy their retirement. However ,I feel a lot depends on the individual too. There are those who love to mix up and socialize with people, my mother being one. And then there are those who are happy in their own space and don’t mix much , like my father. This place is a perfect abode for both kinds.

The concept of Senior Living is coming up in a big way now. Ashiana itself has projects like this in Jaipur and Lavassa too. There are some others too like Antara in Dehradun, Golden Estate in Faridabad. Senior living is a positive step to provide the best facilities and environment to those in their golden age. 

Feature Image credit : Ashiana Utsav