The godshuizen of Brugge “offer a vision of a person-centered environment for elderly living today.”


A short time back I posted about ways to help the elderly live without nursing homes and institutional settings.  

Grow Old with Me

Consider this one a corollary.

From Our House to “Godshuis”, by Thomas Dougherty and Dr. Randall Smith (original source: The Catholic World Report)

If the recent coronavirus pandemic has revealed anything to us, it should be how badly we house many of our elderly. But “house” is perhaps not the right term. Instead of “housing” them, we too often warehouse them.

Today, the elderly leave society when they enter an elderly facility, too often to be forgotten by the community. It is this separation perhaps more than any other single factor that contributes to the suffering of the elderly today …

The conclusion:

The godshuizen of Bruges, as well as many others around Belgium and the Netherlands, offer a vision of a person-centered environment for elderly living today. God’s-houses could be simply constructed and built on small parcels of urban land as they were centuries ago. Small individual homes for elderly living are already being offered as an alternative to institutional nursing home care.