Life Style

“Here, I have reconstructed a little home”: senior service residences, between autonomy and security



Thursday at 3 p.m., it’s Lemon heater at the Domitys residence in Villiers-sur-Marne (Val-de-Marne). In the living room, about twenty residents solicit their visual memory around a game, projected on a screen.

Anxious to reach out to isolated people, the facilitator, Alexis, strives to offer activities that appeal to everyone. Not easy given the diversity of profiles of the 120 residents (a majority of single women, about twenty couples), their tastes and the abilities of each…

→ ANALYSIS. Leaving home, an ordeal for seniors and their families

On the program: restaurant outings, conferences on “The most beautiful images in the world” or on the theme “Are we the children of our children? »with the intervention of a psychologist.

“If you have a health problem, someone intervenes 24 hours a day”

Breaking isolation is one of the arguments put forward by assisted living facilities to attract seniors, but it is the safety and comfort of suitable accommodation that comes up most often in residents’ testimonials.

Claude, 76, and his wife Jeanne, 86, moved into a T3 to have peace of mind: “Our pavilion was starting to age, we had to do heating and roofing work… And every time we left, we were afraid of being robbed. Here we are safe. And if we have a health problem, someone intervenes 24 hours a day”, approves Claude, who enjoys going for a walk on the treadmill on the ground floor, when his wife is window-shopping in town.

Daniel, 85, moved in following his stroke two years ago. “I value my independence and don’t want to be dependent on my daughters, who live far away. Here, I have reconstructed a small home, leaving behind most of my furniture. And I have access to a multitude of services: the restaurant, the delivery of medicines, the podiatrist, the hairdresser, the gentle gym classes…”, he lists.

“To live here, you have to have the means”

Endowed with a comfortable retirement, this former chartered accountant is aware that “To live here, you have to have the means”. He pays him €2,800 per month. He sees that “some residents only have the evening meal at the restaurant of the residence, because it is cheaper”. He also noticed that“sometimes they move to a smaller apartment after a while.”

→ READ. Retirement home, a third of residents use their savings as financing

Monique, 82, former executive secretary, has “Heartache to see (his) savings go up in smoke. Placed here four years ago by her son, following a fall down the stairs, she still does not feel at home and evokes with nostalgia her pavilion, and especially her garden, planted with hydrangeas and rhododendrons . “My son is reassured, but it is a golden cell”, she confides.

→ MAINTENANCE. Isabelle Dumoussaud: “The nursing home becomes a foil, this must raise questions”

“Unlike a nursing home, there is no placement under duress, nevertheless specifies the director of the establishment, Élise Jarron. We sign a contract with the residents, who we consider our clients. » This manager highlights a “charter of the person received” and annual satisfaction surveys as a guarantee of the well-being of guests.

“The assisted living facility often offers a compromise”, assures Danièle, who came to visit her parents aged 90 and 92. “I did not have the heart to place them in nursing homes. Here, they retain a certain autonomy, cook for themselves. I hope they can stay there until the end. »

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