Shared housing instead of nursing homes: in Ariège, a creative and innovative project for the elderly

The recent nursing home scandals in Orpea have once again put the issue of end-of-life at the heart of public debate: can we still live old and happy? By answering this question, the project “La maison d’Elisa et François” was born in Ariège. The idea is simple: create a flatshare for the elderly or disabled and bring it to life by offering residents a wide range of activities. Presentation.

From individual to collective housing

Behind this initiative are two neighbours, Nathalie Rudloff and Claude Fréjaville. The second, who learns that he has to go to a retirement home, is gradually consumed by this news. † I thought it was inhumaneentrusts Nathalie to the newspaper western France. He would let himself die if he went there Determined to take matters into her own hands, she began to envision a supportive living environment. This is how the idea of ​​“La maison d’Elisa et François” was born.

Located halfway between individual and collective housing, this project offers residents the opportunity to live in separate, furnished apartments in the heart of a large house. Residents can even bring their own furniture if they wish. There are also common areas designed for moments of sharing: a kitchen, a living room, a library and a large garden.

Varied activities around environmental education

Elisa and François’ house does not just become a place of residence: it also becomes a place of life. Several activities have been devised around a theme, environmental education. This includes in particular yoga classes adapted to seniors, culinary workshops, permaculture gardening workshops, but also digital inclusion courses. The large garden lends itself to outdoor activities: We installed a hen house with a rooster and eight chickens. We will also have a sheep, a goat, a fantail and rabbits explains Nathalie Rudloff.

The philosophy of the place? favor” sharing, knowledge and know-how, well-being and self-esteem“. The residents will be invited to share their knowledge, and Verdun les arts (the associative structure that carries the project) will ask volunteers to contribute to the development of the house. In addition, those who need it most, will can benefit from assistance with their daily tasks and their travels.

Open next fall

The first housemates should settle in October 2022, for a rent of 850 euros per month, costs included. On what criteria are they chosen? †They must love nature, Nathalie warns. Claude is specialized in calligraphy, he takes very good care of animals. We need people with different talents.» Having the desire to share and the desire to live together.

If the project works, it could be duplicated and give rise to other solidarity habitats. An initiative that opens the horizon of the end of life and shows us that there is not just one way to grow old: who said that the roommate was reserved for young people?

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