Pune: Only a few new ventures in housing societies have observed a massive makeover in infrastructures like braille-enabled elevators, handrails and wheelchair access to enable senior citizens and specially-abled residents a hassle-free movement. But senior citizens across the city have expressed that such facilities should be provided in all housing societies.
Dilip Pawar, Vice President of Association of Senior Citizens Organisation, said, “Aged persons are always vulnerable to several health issues, which can hamper them from climbing stairs and walking long distances. During electricity cut-offs and unavailability of societal lifts, the persons have no other choice but to climb hundreds of stairs to reach their homes. Moreover, situations are more severe when there is an emergency case and patients are unavailable to access the lift to get down or reach the higher level, as these cases are very common during the rainy season when electricity cuts-off are frequent.”
Pawar further added, “Residential societies plan various facilities like children playgrounds, club houses, etc. But backup amenities should also be focused on because such facilities not only facilitate senior citizens but also help injured persons, pregnant women and handicapped people.”
Prashant Kamble (72), a resident of Siddharth Nagar Society, Aundh, said, “Senior people not only face external problems but also internal problems in residential societies. Hardly any of the societies take good care of their buildings, like non-working night-lamps, skid-tiles and such things can cause severe accidents to the elder people.”
Kishore Bhatija, Managing Director of Sanjeevani Real Estate Development, said, “Additional facilities dedicated to senior citizens and needy ones are already in the market but the main issue is that such plots and societies are very expensive, which cannot be afforded by all people. Societies should have such facilities at reasonable cost.
Facilities like equipped ramps, spaced lifts to accommodate wheelchairs and stretchers, care-homes, disabled-friendly toilets and elevators with audio systems, braille stickers, handrails and anti-skid tiles in housing units should be introduced in maximum societies. The toilets should also have wider doors to accommodate wheelchairs and matte-finish floor tiles to prevent slipping. Moreover, societies should also offer support rods and slopes for wheelchairs wherever it is necessary.”