We are Lotfi and Selvi, a couple of engaged people with an eclectic cultural background. We opened an elderly home twenty years ago, but stopped a couple of years ago because the field wasn’t interesting anymore. Now we are active on all kind of different levels inside healthcare organizations but we still have a dream to realise a new way of looking at elderly care.
We come from different backgrounds from Africa, mixed cultures, and saw how they treat their elderly within the community. We lost that touch with our elderly here in the west, we use the homes a place to bring the elderly, but we we forget they are viable resources for the development of our society. Their knowledge, their experience is a vital organe for society. So why not build more inclusivly we tought?
That is where we started thinking about a mini city where the elderly home would be in the center, but where families, schools, shops could intertwine with the daily practice of the elderly. Having elderly people in your surroundings is great for the development of a local neighborhood so why don’t we finance more project with that in mind?
For me it is partially because the politics isn’t ready in Belgium to start this discussion. People started to have the idea it is ok to bring your elderly to a home, so why brutally change it? But for me it is something politics need to invest now, to experiment and learn about these new methods so we can prepare the future, where the elderly will even be an even bigger number of people if we follow the population piramde of Western countries.
I would love to find out if other projects around the world are looking at the same problem, and using more design solutions to reconnect the elderly and their homes with the other generations.