Everybody wins: In exchange for a bit of volunteer work, the students get free housing, and retirement facilities get people who can teach the elderly how to send emails and use Skype.
On his way home from class, Jurriën Mentink takes a slight detour to pick up some fresh fillets from the fishmonger. His neighbor has an affinity for fish and, since he cycles by the market anyway, it’s really no trouble.
After paying, he hops back on his bike and heads home. He’ll visit his neighbor, have dinner, maybe do some studying or kick back to watch TV, much like any other university student.
Except home is a nursing home. And his neighbor just turned 93.
Mentink is one of six students living at Residential and Care Center Humanitas, a long-term care facility in the riverside town of Deventer, in the eastern part of the Netherlands. In exchange for 30 hours of volunteer work per month, students are able to stay in vacant rooms there free of charge.