经济学人官方译文 | 荷兰一家护理院尝试让学生和老人同住

Social care
Club 18-108
A Dutch care home experiments with housing students with the old

SORES DUMAN is a normal 29-year-old. He goes to the cinema, follows the Champions League attentively, parties occasionally and talks about life and love with his friends. Later in the week he will see an action movie with his mate Piebe. Before that, he may go to McDonald’s with Martey, another chum. It might take more time than usual for his friends to get ready for these activities. Piebe is 79 and Martey a sprightly 94. Does Sores think his weekend plans are odd? “No, I do similar things with friends my own age. I don’t see the difference in age as an obstacle.”
舍雷什·迪曼(Sores Duman)是个29岁的普通年轻人。他去电影院,是欧冠迷,偶尔参加聚会,和朋友们谈论生活和爱情。本周晚些时候,他要和伙伴毕比(Piebe)去看一部动作片。在这之前,他可能会和另一个朋友马蒂(Martey)一起去麦当劳。他的这两位伙伴出门要花的时间可能更多些。毕比79岁了;马蒂94岁,仍然精神矍铄。迪曼会不会觉得自己的周末安排有些另类呢?“不会,我和我这个年纪的朋友们做的事也差不多。我不觉得年龄差异是个障碍。”

Mr Duman lives at the Humanitas care home in Deventer, in central Holland. His housemates’ average age is over 85. He has been there for three years, along with five other students from nearby universities and around 150 elderly residents. They are part of a scheme started in 2012 that provides them with free housing in exchange for 30 hours per month of their time living as a “good neighbour”. Only one activity is mandatory: preparing and serving a meal on weekday evenings.

Both parties appear to benefit from the programme. Mr Duman estimates that he has saved over €10,000 ($11,200) in rent. He claims that living in a care home has not impinged on his university experience. “We have big parties here,” he says, pointing to a room for hire that sits empty at night. “We host everything from beer-pong tournaments to yoga classes.” In a promotional video, one resident calls the initiative gezellig, a Dutch word that roughly translates as cosy: “Now and then they put me into the walker and race me through the hall,” she explains.

Onno Selbach, the first student to move in, says he learnt to be more patient as a result of the experience; the pace of life is slower at the home. The scheme has helped attract prospective residents. The home now has a waiting list, which it previously did not. And students are queuing up. When two left the home in April, 27 applied to replace them.
奥诺·塞尔巴赫(Onno Selbach)是第一个搬到护理院的学生。他说,这里的生活节奏比较慢,这段经历让他变得更有耐心。该计划已成功帮助护理院吸引来了老人。现在入住这里需要排队了,以前是不用的。学生也一样。今年4月两名学生离开护理院时,有27人申请接替。

Humanitas is not the first institution to urge old and young people to live together. Municipalities across Spain and care homes in Lyon, France, and Cleveland, Ohio, have also experimented with the idea. A team from Finland visited Deventer and was inspired to start a similar scheme.

Such initiatives could help combat loneliness, an increasing problem across the rich world. The very old, migrants, the sick or disabled, and singletons are most at risk of feeling lonely. It goes hand in hand with social isolation. About 18% of adult EU citizens—some 75m people—see friends or family at most only once a month. Nearly half of Britons over the age of 65 say that television or pets are their main form of company. Loneliness is also reckoned to have serious health consequences: a study from 2015 found that lonely people had on average a 26% higher risk of dying in its seven-year study period than those who were not lonely. And the problem may only get worse. The share of people who are aged over 80 will more than double in the EU by 2080. Social isolation is becoming more common partly because people are marrying later. Creating a space for the elderly to mingle with youngsters can lift spirits—and help cash-strapped millennials.