Senior residence: the alternative to not staying alone at home?

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Retirees who live longer and longer. According to the latest INSEE data, life expectancy in 2017 was 85.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men. Mortality at age 70 also fell significantly between 1997 and 2017. Society must adapt accordingly, particularly in terms of pensions, the government’s great fight. If we have to change the system financially, we must also take into consideration the quality of life of our seniors: how long can an elderly person stay at home independently? Where can she live if she does not want to be alone, but cannot or does not want to join an Ehpad? What are the alternatives ?

This is where senior residences come in. Not medicalized – unlike an Ehpad – they can accommodate seniors who do not want to stay at home, but who do not want to lose their autonomy. Sabine, 70, wants to be tempted by these new places to live, because she no longer wants to be alone at home. However, there is no question of going to live in a medical establishment, because she does not need it. She has started the process, inquires with various market players, but has not yet found the right shoe for her: “The price slows me down a bit, because it is still a fairly high rent”, explains- she told Planet. She would also like not to have bad surprises and have to pay for services that she thought were included in the formula, such as cleaning or Internet access for example.

One thing is certain, Sabine knows that she will flourish in this type of residence, because she is sociable and wants to meet new people… And she will not bear to live in an Ehpad. A state of mind that is not surprising for market players: “Baby-boomers are arriving”, analyzes Muriel Dunoyer, strategic director of the HomniCity group, which has just developed a new concept of serviced residences for seniors, called Oh Activ. “Given the longer lifespan, there are 20 to 30 years left to live when you reach retirement age. We needed real estate that would allow us to stay in society”. The latter is aimed at “retirees from retirement age, who will be able to put their autonomy to good use, while being in a protected, secure universe, but which mixes them with other generations. Above all, they are free to do whatever they want!

Young retirees or a little older, these are people who are connected and still very active, unlike previous generations. How do you know if it’s for you?

Senior residences offer many activities to their residents, who are free to participate or not. This is what Muriel Dunoyer confirms to us, referring to the Oh Activ residences recently opened by the group: “Autonomy depends on several pillars, including physical activity. The residences offer a spa area, a swimming pool for the aquagym for example, a sports area or even a sauna”. In addition to these moments, the members of these senior residences can participate in cultural, manual or even associative activities.

Another important point for Sabine is to be able to dine with people when she feels like it, but to stay at home without feeling guilty when she needs a little solitude. This is quite possible in senior residences, since there are common areas in addition to one apartment per resident. If we can of course stay at home all day, this is not really the concept of these residences and Muriel Dunoyer particularly insists on this point: “When we look at the profile of our residents, we see that a large part of “between them needs to feel useful and it’s interesting to be able to involve them themselves in the organization of places and activities. They are again considered as people and it’s a rejuvenation”.

In many residents, she has observed a real change: “We realize that some people have been led by their living conditions to restrict their activities. To find themselves in a place without accessibility problems, to be able to meet people again world, people who had restricted their circle are rediscovering all that. Families tell us that they see the residents come back to life”. But, how much does it cost exactly?

The price of a residence depends on many criteria, starting with the group on which it depends, but also its location and the services offered. Muriel Dunoyer reminds us that we must be careful with the formulas offered, because some are complete, others are not: “Rent, charges, bedding, household linen, apartment equipment, internet connection, free entertainment, breakfast… All this is included with us from 990 euros for a T1, but it can also be optional in other residences in the sector”.

What about prices elsewhere? The various market players are more or less aligned and it takes around 1,000 to 1,200 euros for a T2 and 1,500 to 1,700 euros for a T3. Please note that charges may be added to this basic rent in certain residences. Others are of course more expensive, depending on finishes, location and activities offered. One thing is certain, before taking the plunge you have to go find out on the spot and see the places in real life. If you can test one or more nights, even better!