A retirement home in the Netherlands allows students at the University rent a place for free in a retirement home. In exchange, they spend at least 30 hours a month with their neighbours. The cause of the project is to prevent negative attitudes towards ageing, according to pbs.org.
The staff at the retirement home says that the student shares a lot of activities with the elderly, like watching sports and celebrating birthdays. But most important of all: They spend time with them when they are sick.
The newspaper writes that loneliness amongst elderly is strongly related to increasing numbers of death. Gea Sijpkes is director at the retirement home:
– The students bring the world outside this place and there’s a lot of warmth in these relations.
The programme started two years ago. Today it’s 6 students sharing facilities with 160 pensioners.
Design student Jurriën Mantink has lived there for two years.
– The elderly are full of life and as a student you can learn a lot from them, Mantink says to ABC.
– When I get home from school I visit my neighbour for one or two hours.
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