Prague 6 Offers University Students Affordable Apartments in Retirement Home, Emphasizing Intergenerational Engagement

The Prague 6 administration is once again extending an offer to university and college students for available apartments within its retirement home. Individuals interested in residing in a one-room apartment with a monthly rent of 5,000 CZK are required to meet specific criteria. Among these conditions is the commitment to engage with the elderly residents who also inhabit the facility.

For the past three years, Prague 6 has been implementing a multi-generational housing initiative, primarily situated at the nursing home on Šlejnická Street and in Libocy. The search for new occupants for the Šlejnická Street location is presently in progress.

Marián Hošek, Deputy Mayor and advisor for the Prague 6 social district from KDU-ČSL, noted, “The apartment encompasses an area of approximately 35 square meters, complete with a kitchen and bathroom. In essence, it mirrors the accommodations of our clients.”

A noteworthy feature of the first-floor apartment is its balcony that overlooks the garden. The chosen student will be responsible for the monthly rent of 5,000 CZK, in addition to covering electricity expenses. However, adherence to further conditions is mandatory.

Hošek clarified that this offer is exclusively extended to full-time students attending higher education institutions in Prague or higher vocational education institutions within the city.

Lucie Trnkova, the director of Prague 6’s care service, stressed that an ideal student candidate should possess an inclination toward social or medical fields. Proficiency in communicating with elderly individuals is also deemed crucial. Upon lease signing, the student will become a volunteer, dedicating at least 10 hours each month to engaging with seniors within the vicinity.

Applicants expressing interest should succinctly outline their project ideas upon application. Trnkova explained, “The project’s objective is to invigorate the home’s residents and foster social integration through activities conducted at the nursing home. These activities encompass leisure pursuits, assisting with technological devices, reading, board games, accompanying residents on walks, attending medical appointments, and aiding with shopping.”

The incoming resident will collaborate with Zdenek Baumer, a current student who is already active within the facility. Zdenek shared, “I’ve resided here for over two years, during which time I’ve become acquainted with numerous seniors with whom we regularly organize such activities.”

“Our activities often take us outdoors, playing games or board games, and I sometimes play the guitar for them,” he added.

According to Zdenek, patience is a key trait for newcomers, given the nature of working with seniors. He also highlighted the value of technological knowledge and a willingness to learn.

Zdenek Baumer conveyed, “The fulfillment I gain from interacting with them is immeasurable. Their gratitude is profound. I find immense satisfaction in returning to them; it replenishes my energy.”

The community members voiced their perspectives on the new initiative. One resident mentioned, “Having a woman join us would be wonderful. We had a great collaboration before with a female presence. Teaming up with Zdenek, a woman would be an ideal duo. Some delicate matters are often easier for us women to handle together.”

“I believe this project is truly fantastic. For instance, Zdenek has integrated seamlessly, as if he’s been here all along. He is truly invaluable to us,” shared another resident.

“He provides assistance in numerous ways. I oversee the library, and he aids in hanging pictures and arranging old books. We engage in memory games, and it’s a delightful experience. With him around, we feel more youthful,” expressed another resident residing on Šlejnicka street.

Lucie Trnkova, the director of care services at Prague 6, emphasized the significant impact of intergenerational living on the residents. She noted, “The introduction of different generations has had an incredible influence on our residents. Youth has been infused into our environment. They partake in shared activities, such as petanque, reading sessions, and heart-opening interactions. This has been particularly vital following the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Article by Prague Forum

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