Student house for elderly people


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NL Netherlands
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About the project Edit

Aquarius is a Dutch social community of about 55 older people living together in a resource-sharing community suited to their diverse needs and lifestyles, helping each other when needed. The inhabitants want to grow old together. They each have a private home and garden, but they use a communal space and large communal garden and help each other out as much as possible. A committee organises the community, and has the task of vetting potential new members, who can apply between ages 55 and 65 (to make sure there are is always a mix of younger and older residents). Aquarius is a community where elderly people spend their days in an active social active environment.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Aquarius is a creative experience as it offers an alternative to traditional elderly home. The community, founded in 1990, was set up as a mean to address some of the discontents lived by elderly people. Some of these people lived on their own and felt lonely, with little or no social connections to society. Other people felt insecure in their own houses and wanted to get a safer feeling. Others needed regular healthcare but were reluctant to go to an elderly home. Aquarius targets elderly people who do not feel comfortable living alone, but even less comfortable living in an elderly home. The inhabitants rent their houses from an Eindhoven housing society, which owns the buildings, and rent the communal area between them. Committee work is voluntary, and the main garden is maintained by a gardener which they also pay between them.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The experience has proven to have many benefits on society, environment and economy. Living in Aquarius encourages active social contact, and helps keep inhabitants’ lives as vital as possible, in a safe, friendly environment. Members remain active and independent for a longer period; society in general reduces the need for nursing of the senior citizens. Aquarius encourages the distribution of giving and receiving aid over the retirement years. As most of the activities take place within Aquarius, transport intensity is minimised. Children of the inhabitants don’t often need to help them with problems, as most help is given by fellow inhabitants, which also reduces journeys.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

This type of initiative can be reproduced in other countries – especially in most developed countries facing the retirement of baby-boomers.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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