Chantal, Abraham et Victor qui vivent ensemble depuis quelques mois

Chantal, 85, living with Abraham, 24

After almost four months of living together, Abraham considers Chantal “like a godmother“. This former teacher of French as a foreign language, has been welcoming foreign students for more than 20 years : “When my husband died, when my children left, I said to myself that it was absurd to be alone in a big house like that.”

France Blue Logo

Currently, she therefore welcomes Abraham, 24, who came from Senegal for his master’s degree in geography, but also, since September, his 18-year-old grandson, Victor, in law school. And for the two boys, it’s a real support. “In Senegal, we live with family so I thought it would be better to live with family rather than alonesays Abraham. She supports me morally, we talk all the time. It’s always good to know that you have someone to talk to after class.“And then, it’s always interesting to discuss with someone who has experience, who has already studied and worked”, Victor adds. The two boys got on very well right away.

And for Chantal, it’s also an asset to have them at home : “They do me small favors to take out the trash, go downstairs to lock the door, fold up the sofa bed. And then I learn a lot of things with them. My grandson is tearing his hair out with computers, I I’m a bit recalcitrant so when I need I call her. There I have some problems with my hands, so Abraham presses on my tablet. It’s little things like that. With Abraham, we also discuss how we live in Senegal and France. It’s a very big opening.”

A few rules but everyone has their own pace

Nevertheless, everyone lives at their own pace. “My rhythm is very different from theirs, smiles Abraham. Me, I go down to eat when I’m hungry.” “Yes, he can come and eat at four o’clock in the afternoon, adds Chantal, laughing. I tell him “but it’s your breakfast, your lunch, what is it?” But I don’t care, as long as the kitchen is left clean.

The rules are few but well established. The most important thing for Chantal is to warn if you don’t sleep at home: “A long time ago I had a fire and they asked me how many people were in the house. So since then I want to know how many of us are sleeping there.”

But among the other seniors she meets, Chantal looks like a UFO. “Older people often have principles. They don’t understand that I leave my keys, that I don’t close the door. In fact, they are very afraid. I don’t understand. I am always very afraid of people who find that I have a bold life!”

38 pairs in Reims

Like Chantal and Abraham, they are 38 student-senior pairswho currently live together in Reims thanks to the association Together2Generations
. Since 2011, it has been connecting students looking for low-cost accommodation with seniors who have a room to fill and want to host. Its key word is reassurance: “We reassure young people because we know our seniors well.explains Anne-Sophie Renard, the president of the association in Reims. We reassure the hosts because we interview all the students and we reassure the families and everyone because the relationship is governed by a cohabitation contract which clearly specifies which services must be provided or not, at what rate. . And above all, we are at their side throughout the year.”

The association offers three formulas: the so-called free formula, where the student agrees to be present every evening at dinner time. the so-called economic formula, with small services, or the solidarity formula, without services for all young people who have a lot of work and who do not have the possibility of rendering services. The rates range from zero to 300 euros per month for the student.

And the motivations are varied according to Anne-Sophie Renard: **”**For the senior, it can be to benefit from small services, but above all not to be alone, to benefit from a presence, It can also be a very appreciable additional income. For the student, the motivations can also be economic, but there is also the fact of not feeling alone. In both cases, you have to like the exchanges and show openness and generosity.”

If you want to discover intergenerational cohabitation, the Ensemble2Generations association is organizing a exchange afternoon with testimonials from pairs, Thursday June 1 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Maison de la vie associative de Reims (9 rue Eugène Wiet). The association will also offer a photo exhibition on intergenerational cohabitation from May 30 to June 16. She will then leave through France.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *