Living at home for longer in Bruges just got easier with Age’In . project

Living independently at home for longer: in Bruges this is possible thanks to the smart collaboration between OCMW Brugge / Mintus, the City of Bruges, Hogeschool VIVES and the European Interreg Age’In project. In the heart of the city, the project partners have presented two renovated experimental homes. They offer maximum comfort and accessibility to Bruges’ aging residents in need of care.

“It is no secret that the population of Bruges is aging strongly. Today, the city has more than 22 percent of people over the age of 65, and by 2030 this will be about 28 percent,” says Pablo Annes, Head of Social Affairs. “It goes without saying that this population group has special needs for care and housing.”

“We strive to allow people to live in their familiar environment for as long as possible. It is precisely for this reason that we entered the Age’in story in 2018. The new experimental homes in the city center are a tangible result of this European collaboration.”

in the map

For Age’In, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, together with Bruges partners, have defined specific care and housing requirements for elderly residents of Bruges. Workshops were organized on the use of smartphones and the nearby HOPLR network in the city.

Activities took place “across generations” and the discovery of the unit was in the spotlight. Additionally, Bruges can now boast two demo homes designed for those who are growing up day in and day out. The Technical Department of Mintus, a sponsorship association of OCMW Bruges, was responsible for the design and implementation of the project.

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Prepare at home in your home

“We have been actively working on the ‘Taller in the House in Our House’ theme for some time now and the new experimental homes fit in perfectly with the process, says Ann Vandycke, architectural consultant in the technical department at Mintus.” Two buildings in Maagdendal and Noord-Gistelhof have been completely renovated until People with an increased need for care are able to continue to live independently, when that would be impossible in an ordinary home.”

“The wheelchair accessible spaces were all provided, and we provided a walk-in shower or walk-in shower, low wash basins and taps with long handles. Sockets and switches are never more than 80 cm. High and low kitchens ensure that people in wheelchairs can cook their meals perfectly. Perfect if they want to.”

demo homes

The connection to the outside world was also considered in these experimental homes. WZC Ter Potterie van Mintus offers support via the emergency call system. Anne Vandyk explains: “For the elderly or people in need of care, there is a modern communication system in both homes. Residents can activate the call via the wristband. The color-coded lighting system shows that help is on the way.”

“When help arrives, the front door opens automatically. In addition, each pilot house has sensors that detect motion and activate an emergency signal in case of prolonged or annoying silence. You could call it a ‘state of the art’ housing complex, tailored to all possible care needs of the residents of Bruges. We are proud that we were able to achieve this with Mintus and OCMW Brugge.”

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