Keeping good company
It has been reported that a nursing home by the name of Humanitas in Deventer, Holland is offering university students free accommodation at the home in return for their time. The students are required to spend 30 hours each month with the elderly residents of the nursing home, so that they have some interaction with the outside world. Not all elderly people are fortunate enough to have family and friends to visit, and can end up becoming very isolated. It is hoped that this increased interaction can improve the lifespan of the elderly residents; research shows a connection between increased mortality, loneliness and isolation.
Six students live at the nursing home, and in return they talk to residents, hold workshops and even give lessons in graffiti, art and computing.
More creative thinking like this is needed in this country, especially given the continuing welfare cuts, and housing crisis.