KUALA LUMPUR, 12 May 2022:
Old folks homes often evoke bleak images of lonely senior people abandoned by their adult children too busy with their own lives.
Aiming to change such a negative perception, Malaysia’s property-based UOA Group has leveraged on its co-living Komune concept success to introduce Komune Wellness – aimed at offering senior citizens the opportunity to enjoy rewarding lives well into their twilight years.
Its subsidiary UOA Hospitality Sdn Bhd today launched what is touted as Southeast Asia’s largest co-living and wellness hub – located alongside a serene 99-acre park in Cheras,the well-known Taman Tasik Permaisuri. The facility is run like a resort, located close to the nation’s bustling capital city – where many families are facing difficulties finding ways to ensure aging parents are taken care of.
Fully embracing the co-living concept to ensure a dynamic mix of guests with ages ranging from zero to 100 years, both in terms of short- and long-term stays, general manager Mark Chen said such a diverse group enables the mingling of minds, cultures and experiences to foster richer lives for those at Komune Living & Wellness.
To ensure such variance is built into this residential facility, he said the facility will eventually offer 791 co-living units in eight formats – including studio rooms, two-bedroom studios and one-bedroom suites which range from 173 sq ft to 573 sq ft for both short and long-term stays.
While such units cater for any age group, those who have difficulties taking care of themselves independently – as in weak senior folk or even recovering adult patients, also offered are Independent Living Studios, which come with emergency call buttons, and Assisted Living Studios – these are dedicated to seniors.
A special effort has been made on ensuring these studios are suitable and comfortable for seniors as UOA Hospitality has partnered with key professional senior care service providers, added Chen.
“Our objective with Komune Living &Wellness is to create a safe and engaging community for seniors, where they can age actively with all the facilities and support they need to maintain both their physical and mental wellbeing.
“In many cases, seniors get moved around as their care needs change over time, but that can be unsettling and disruptive for them and their relationships. This is why Komune Living & Wellness has been designed to support retirees at different steps on their aging journey.
“We can provide a ‘hotel-like’ environment and experience for independent and active seniors, as well as the medical care and assistance which may be required by others.”
Residents are spoilt for choice with amenities and daily sessions conducted across 40,000 sq ft of space dedicated to wellness and community activities.
Indoor facilities include a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, gaming rooms, KTV rooms, movie theatrette, specially equipped gymnasium, activity studios, community living room, community kitchen, community dining area, and launderettes.
Outdoor facilities include a swimming pool, outdoor gym, rooftop farm and – of course – direct access to the park (Taman Tasik Permaisuri) which features a beautiful lake and numerous gentle, meandering footpath
Also on offer are senior daycare services on weekdays, plus other ancillary services like traditional Chinese medicine and luxurious pampering options to both residents and walk-in guests – allowing senior citizens and their families to slowly get used to such an engaging environment before being tempted to move in full-time.
“In Malaysia, many children look after their parents, which is a fantastic tradition, as strong family bonds are also important in helping people grow older gracefully. However, due to the hectic demands of modern working life, we understand that there can be some stigma or guilt associated with the idea of putting parents into care, due to old stereotypes of what senior care is,” Chen explained.
“That is why we have deliberately set out to create a new concept of senior care based on a world-class facility, in an environment which enables seniors to have fun, build new friendships and connections, in a location which is very accessible and enjoyable for their families to visit, and even stay.”
To further ease the financial burden, he said there will soon be a RM500,000 Senior Care Fund to be set up to provide financial aid to eligible young working families in urgent need of support to care for their aging parents due to unexpected financial hardship.
For those who can afford to, monthly rentals for seniors who can manage on their own starts from RM2,100 while fully-assisted residences start from RM6,800 monthly.
With so much personal attention needed to ensure the wellbeing and comfort of residents, Chen said the staff mix also includes retirees as these people are still active and readily embrace long-term employment as alternate opportunities for them are scarce.