A dreaded step. Older children who are still lucky enough to have their parents with them know that one day they will have to make difficult decisions. Declining health, loss of autonomy, fear of loneliness… With age, some people can no longer or no longer wish to stay alone at home. What are the existing solutions, when the Ehpad is not an option? Last week, Planet presented the beguinage, which allows seniors to live in community, in a spirit of mutual aid and sharing. A reader also testified to us about her life in a medicalized roommate for seniors, after leaving her accommodation.
By choosing one of these two options, aging people are forced to leave their homes, which can sometimes be heartbreaking more than anything else. There is a third option, when you do not want to leave your parent alone at home: intergenerational roommate. Throughout France, the Colibree site offers people over the age of 60 the possibility of hosting students or young workers under the age of thirty in their homes. A solution that allows you to create a link between generations and improve your purchasing power, because the rental price is often cheaper than for other properties on the market.
Pierre * [the first name has been changed, Editor’s note] took the steps for his father, now 98 years old. Asked by Planet, he explains that the latter “was losing his independence” and that his four children absolutely wanted “to keep him at home, because we thought it was better conditions than in specialized establishments”. Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the nonagenarian needed to keep his bearings, his everyday environment, his home.
When he registers his father on the platform, Pierre gives certain criteria to Colibree. In particular, the person had to be independent – because her father’s house is a bit isolated – that she know how to cook, that she does some cleaning and that she is available. availability were also discussed upstream. With his brothers and sisters, he met several people, until he found the roommate his father needed.
Pierre’s father needed a phase of adaptation, after the arrival of his roommate, due in particular to his illness. Once he accepted this new presence, the nonagenarian pushed her “to participate more and more in his daily life, to eat with him for example and they rather sympathized”. Living with another person, even if she was sixty years younger, allowed Pierre’s father to “emerge from his loneliness and his anxieties, especially at night”.
Before the arrival of his roommate, the senior was accompanied during the day, but only at night, which was worrying for the children in the event of a problem. “There was still a period of adaptation which was more or less long, it took several weeks, even one or two months before everything stabilized”. After this experience, he gives his advice to those who want to take the plunge for their parents.
The health of Pierre’s father having declined, he had to leave his house to join an Ehpad, at the end of the roommate. “The young people who come are often students, so as soon as they graduate, you have to renew the roommate, with a new person, so you sometimes go back to complicated procedures and you have to be there to meet the candidates”, explains- he at Planet. He also wishes to point out that housing is important: “My father lived in a house with several bedrooms and that’s why it was possible. Everyone had their own bathroom, a private area, which was comfortable for shared accommodation”, he adds, before concluding: “It is important to have space so that everyone has relative privacy”.