A retirement home in the Netherlands offers free rent for students, and in exchange, the students spend time with the elderly residents
Humanitas is social service organization in the Netherlands. Their brilliant idea helps students with their expenses while also catering to the physical and psychological needs of the elderly.
Six students will spend at least 30 hours a month with the 160 elderly residents at the retirement home, located in the Dutch town of Deventer. The students can help their neighbors out in various ways by doing things such as helping prepare meals, teaching them to use computers, paint and do crafts, or go shopping with/for them.
The students say one very difficult challenge is watching their elderly friends develop illnesses and pass away. Administrators, however, are saying that by having the students around, the likelihood of residents suffering health problems caused by social isolation lowers.
The students bring in the outside world. They can do tasks that the elderly either cannot do themselves or cannot do without help. There is warmth in human contact that cannot be recreated by sitting someone down in front of a television.
This program offers something beautiful to its residents while also helping out the selfless students who are dedicating 30 hours a week to their elderly neighbors.
Something as simple to us as running to the mall to buy Christmas presents is a huge challenge for someone bound to a wheelchair or someone who has been struck with physical or mental ailments.
The best part? The students really enjoy their time with their new friends. Giving back to the community comes in all different forms.