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Building housing for seniors requires rethink of priorities

May 26. 2019
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By Somluck Srimalee
The Nation

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Several Thai property developers are building residences to cater to the needs of ageing citizens, as they see a growing demand in the market.

For example, Chiang Mai developer Meesuk Thailand Co Ltd points 

to their Villa Meesuk Residence, a project designed for the aged 

and which includes a nursing unit to take care of ageing members 

at the residence. The project also has a collaborative programme 

with hospitals to take care of their customers 24 hours daily for 

seven days.

 “We cater to the needs of the elderly,” Meesuk director Sasiwimol 

Singhanetr told The Nation in a recent interview. 

“There is a abundant space for family visits and our onsite clinic 

has a direct link to a nearby hospital in case of an emergency.” 

All 28 units in the condominium have been taken up through sales 

and rental, and the nursฌing home provides 24hour care for ageing 

people with congenital diseases, she added. 

Meesuk plans to expand with the construction of 14 single-

detached houses priced at Bt4 million a unit. “Residential demand 

for the elderly is growing, as the country moves towards an ageing 

society. 

However, a thorough understanding of their requirements and daily 

necessities is needed in planning a project for the elderly,” 

Sasiwimol said. 

The key to providing residential for senior citizens is to ensure their 

healthcare is properly managed, because that is essential to their 

continuing enjoyment of a quality life at home, she said.

In Bangkok, Sansiri Plc has joined with Samitivej Hospital to launch 

Samitivej Virtual Hospital, a next-generation healthcare service 

expected to propel the industry towards the 5G era. 

Leveraging the latest digital technology, Samitivej Virtual Hospital 

allows users to consult a doctor anywhere, anytime via 

smartphone, Chairat Panthuraamphorn MD, the chief executive 

officer of Samitivej and BNH Hospitals, said recently. 

Under this programme, the hospital has also joined with Muang 

Thai Life Assurance Plc, Advanced Info Service Plc, Line Thailand, 

Siam Commercial Bank Plc and SCG Cement Building Materials 

Co Ltd to provide the service for their members.

LPN, Thai Red Cross team up 

LPN Development Plc, in collaboration with the Thai Red Cross 

Society, is developing a condominium project, “Sawangkanives”, for 

the elderly at Bang Pu district in Samut Prakan province. 

Facilities planned for the project include a library, communal living 

room, games room, swimming pool, green park and fitness centre. 

Interiors of the residential units will be built with hygienic raw 

materials, and the bathroom will have handrails and anti-slip tiles. 

“This project is tailormade for the elderly,” said Opas Sripayak, the 

company’s chief executive officer and managing director.

AP (Thailand) Plc is also planning a condoฌminium project for 

seniors in 2020, with support in design and technology from its 

Japanese partฌner, Mitsubishi Estate Group, after a visit to its 

construction sites in Tokyo last year, said Vittakarn Chandavimol, 

the company’s chief of corporate strategy and creation department. 

 “Ease of movement is the priority in designing a residential unit for 

the elderly. For example, there should be no tub in the bathroom as 

it is safer and easier for them to have a shower instead, and there 

should be no steps throughout the unit,” he said.

 “Also, an area for family activities is needed. Even though a senior 

may not be able to participate, they will surely be happy to be 

present.” 

 A study by the National Economic and Social Development Board 

(NESDB) found that Thailand has been moving towards an ageing 

society since 2005 with a growing demographic of citizens aged 60 

or above. It has now risen to 11.23 million, or 17.13 per cent of the 

population.

“Thailand will become a fullfledged ageing society in 2021 with 

senior citizens making up 20 per cent or 13.1 million of the 

population,” the report noted. Among them, those aged 70-79 and 

above 80, will account for 37.2 per cent and 19.1 per cent 

respectively, amounting to 56.3 per cent of the aged population.

According to health reports, the number of seniors needing 

assistance for their daily activities, such as moving around the 

house, eating and bathing, rose to 20.7 per cent in 2014 from 15.5 

per cent in 2009. Those totally dependent on help made up 1.3 per 

cent of the total. 

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