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Ages et Vie: Personalised care and a richer social life for the elderly in rural France


The concept Ages&Vie is based on the idea that elderly people have the right to live in their own village, close to their family and friends, while maintaining a maximum degree of autonomy in an environment which does not feel institutionalised. Furthermore, the project aims at providing jobs and professional qualifications for people who take care of the elderly in rural areas. Last but not least, the Ages&Vie homes aim at providing elderly people with an environment where they have company and social interaction.

The Ages&Vie homes are built in the centre of the village, so that elderly people can keep in touch with their family, friends and neighbours, can continue to play a role in the life of the local community and are close to professional support staff.  They also support inter-generational mixing to end the artificial separation of young and old people, which means that both miss out on the benefits that can come when the generations mix freely.

The architecture of the Ages&Vie homes allows several generations to live together. On the ground floor, there is a big communal area where the residents can take their meals together, share daily activities and have fun. Leading from this communal area, the  residents have their own room, which they  can furnish as they like. These rooms are also respected as the private space of the residents - for example,  when staff or other people want to enter this room they must knock at the door. On the first floor are three flats for the three professional support workers and their families (typically, 80 m2  large), with a private entrance, so that the staff and families can keep their independence, too.

The presence of three professionals in the homes means that they can take turns to look after the residents, so that they are not obliged to be available 24/7 on 365 days  of the year, which would lead to overwork and continuous pressure.

Most importantly, all support staff (in most cases women) are required to take part in a professional training programme which emphasises caring for the elderly in a way which allows them to keep a maximum of autonomy in their daily lives.


About this case study
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Nicolas Perrette
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Laurine Artus

Marcel Guenoun

Laurine Artus and Marcel Guenoun, our Associates in France, wrote this case study for Governance International on 12 March 2012.

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