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” We have learned that the government policy promoting Aging in Place can lead to isolation and mental health deterioration.

It’s also expensive for funding the safety modifications that make individual homes accessible as mobility declines with age, and for funding the nursing care to each person’s home.” With isolation increasingly pegged as a contributor to ill health in old age, Kairow makes a strong case for funding.

Nor would the government have to staff the Babayagas’ House with care workers.

A brand new apartment building, Babayagas’ House opened in the Paris suburb of Montreuil, France in October 2012, 13 years after the women first hatched their plan.

This is the first in a series of articles exploring innovative alternatives to aging in place. It can be beautiful ,and I plan to live it that way, with my friends and colleagues here.” Babayaga founder Thérèse Clerc in an RFI radio interview Thérèse Clerc was in her mid-60s when she started to think about how women could grow into old age without losing autonomy.

“I’m 84, but what time I have left is going to be happy and fulfilled, I’m sure of that. An energetic, passionate feminist living in Paris, she knew that her generation of French women had not been able to build up retirement funds to cover at-home care, because they had spent years caring for families.

One of the tenets of the Babayaga model is that the residents will be actively engaged with the world politically, socially and culturally. I believe women who are happy, not bored, will live healthier lives,” Clerc says.

[Editor’s note: Thérèse Clerc died of cancer in February, 2016, while we were working on this article.] With Clerc’s guidance, other groups of seniors have started Babayaga projects in French cities, and after Canada’s CBC radio broadcast a couple of programs in 2013 about the original Babayagas’ House, seniors across Canada, enthralled, started to think about creating their own version.

Most residents occupy small one-bedroom apartments; some share with roommates.

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