Leave the retirement home, these ten friends want to create a participatory home for seniors

They are between 64 and 84 years old, are friends and have decided to grow old together. Since 2016, the Maison d’Isis association has brought together about ten women who have only one wish: to live close to each other and avoid the retirement home. To this end, the group has been carrying out a participatory housing project for the elderly in Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne) for several years now. Members are now calling on the support of communities to help them find a place and make this dream come true.

These former teachers, executives, sales assistants and housekeepers have been working on this project since 2016, as reported the Parisian† Between the ages of 64 to 84, they have shared various activities since their retirement and wanted to maintain their friendship by settling down together. “We don’t want to go to a retirement home, we want to grow old together! So we are looking for an alternative where our small group can still stand side by side, while staying in an accommodation adapted to their state of health ”entrusts the national daily newspaper Ginette Pondarrasse, president of the association La Maison d’Isis.

The collective first worked with an architect and a social landlord on a first design of participatory housing in Montauban. Common room, hanging garden, room to receive families… All their wishes seemed to have been heard, but in the end the landlord decided not to carry out the project. After more than seven years of research, the members of the Maison d’Isis have now revised their criteria: “We would be content with apartments close to each other, while renting a room to develop our associative activities and find ourselves”entrusts the president of the association to France 3.

The new poster of La Maison d’Isis

Posted by La Maison d’Isis on Tuesday 23 November 2021

Finding a way between nursing home and isolation

The ten friends are determined to continue their investigation. The recent abuse scandal in nursing homes has reinforced their desire to see this alternative housing project for seniors come to fruition. “The goal is simple: to find a way between living alone at home or ending up in a retirement home. We have seen our parents grow old in these circumstances and we don’t want that for us.”entrusts the president of La Maison d’Isis to France 3. The association has enlisted the help of the departmental council of Tarn-et-Garonne and the town hall of Montauban to be supported in its research to find suitable housing. †

The beguinage project of these women is inspired by what is already being done in other European countries, especially in Northern Europe. Ginette Pondarrasse, president of the Maison d’Isis, also plans to travel to Belgium and Germany in the coming months to visit participatory habitats. And maybe find a way to make his dream come true.

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