In Montpellier, students and seniors live together with mutual benefit
The city authorities support a programme of intergenerational exchange where both sides win
- February 21, 2019 09:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
Cooperation beyond the ages: the Municipality of Montpellier implements an initiative for collocation between seniors and students. The French city has introduced an innovative measure with double purpose: to make students’ lives more bearable financially, while at the same time providing opportunities for much needed social interaction to the elderly. For several months now, a retirement house in Montpellier has been welcoming a new type of residents, though much younger. The new initiative is a win-win situation: students are being offered to rent rooms there at considerably reduced prices in exchange for several hours spent daily with the retired people.
The innovation introduced for the beginning of last academic year is appreciated by both sides, but it is particularly useful to the elderly, only 30% of which are visited regularly by relatives. Students on the other hand, have the obligation to spend three hours daily, during which they mainly involve the retired people in activities close to their field of studies, like music, as a compensation of which they pay a rent twice below the market price. An activity they accept with joy and enthusiasm, as it helps them practice and also allows them to contribute to a meaningful social cause.
Similar measures exist in other French cities: Brest and Toulouse.