Entering a nursing home or retirement living facility is never an easy decision.
It is difficult to find an elder care facility that feels warm and inviting, and that has the requirements necessary for independent living and assisted living. Often times when an elderly person is moved into a home they begin to feel isolated, cutoff from the world as they know it or become bored and stagnant from lack of socialization.
Residential and Care Center Humanitas, a long-term care facility in the Netherlands, has broken the mold of an ordinary retirement home through a new concept called “intergenerational living.”
Specifically, the retirement home offers free rent to local college students in exchange for 30 hours a month spending time with the residents.
This concept combines two very different age categories; college students and senior citizens. Studies show social isolation and loneliness is fatal among elderly citizens, but interaction with young people can change this for the positive.
Once a typical, mundane retirement home, Humanitas has evolved into a vibrant, lively environment for both the students and residents to enjoy.
Residents are now entertained by the student’s lively spirits and quick wit, with impromptu break dancing sessions, graffiti art classes and even pajama parties being of common occurrences. This new merge has given the residents something to look forward to everyday.
This movement has migrated to the U.S, with retirement homes in Cleveland offering free rent to music students in exchange for regular recitals and concerts. Additionally, elder citizens in Finland and France offer low rent to students in need of somewhere affordable to stay.
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Below, learn about a Dutch student’s personal experience living in the Residential and Care Center Humanitas:
With depression and isolation being a common occurrence in nursing homes, it is important to give back by spending time with our older community. The smallest act of kindness can make all the difference in someone’s life.
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