Fostering alternative to care homes for elderly

Fostering costs 30% less on average than a retirement home

29 October 2019
Christophe Legras, his sons Lucas and Ethan and the elderly people they have fostered

Foster families for the elderly are proving a popular alternative to retirement homes, with 10,000 families now registered for this care in France.

Christophe and Séverine Legras and their two children are one such family.

The couple started fostering children during the day but when Séverine lost her grandparents and Christophe his mother, they decided to care for the elderly.

They obtained the necessary paperwork and had their house renovated to take in permanent foster placements.

Séverine said: “The benefits for the elderly we foster are that they continue to live in a family home and share our daily life. We care for them, take them out and prepare their meals.

“They are never alone. We always stay with them, working full-time.”

Foster families have to be approved by their departmental council before being allowed to welcome up to three people into their home. A foster home can be a temporary or permanent placement and the care can be part-time or full-time.

Another plus is that it is a more affordable option, costing 30% less on average than a retirement home. A day’s fostering care costs around €35, depending on levels of independence.

It can also provide access to various types of assistance, such as a personalised autonomy allowance and disability benefits. Foster families must provide a room for the person they are housing, integrate them into family life and ensure medical and social needs are met.

CetteFamille was the first company to provide assistance with this kind of care and now supports about 2,000 people in fostering. It can perform all the financial and administrative work required for the placement and puts families in touch with others in the region.

It was founded by Paul-Alexis Racine-Jourdren after his neighbour Jean-Paul knocked on his door in 2016 to ask for help in his search for a retirement home.

Jean-Paul could no longer live on his own, and felt lost in front of a computer trying to find somewhere to live by himself. He equally did not like the idea of living in a residential home.

Mr Racine-Jourdren said: “We didn’t think it would take off so quickly but we knew it was a solution that met the needs of a lot of people. Everyone wants to hold on to family values and fostering is less expensive than a care home, so it’s natural that the idea flourished.”

  • The median price for a single room in a state care home in France with some medical care was €1,953 a month in 2017, the latest official figures available.
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