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La Poste staff will check up on your relatives

Veiller sur mes parents scheme means post staff will make between one to six visits a week to vulnerable people while on their rounds

France's La Poste offers a service to check up on the well-being of relatives who live far away and who may be especially in need of a visit during confinement.

It is accessible to people living outside France who would like to check up on family in France.

Under Veiller sur mes parents (Watch over my parents) you can ask for the relative’s regular postman or postwoman to make between one to six visits a week.

They will pop in for a 10-minute chat and make sure the person does not have any urgent health issues, find out if they need any shopping or repairs in the house. If necessary they will ring for an ambulance, but cannot give medical aid themselves.

Following the visit, they write up an account and highlight anything that needs sorting out. The message can be accessed by the dedicated website you sign up to and by a mobile telephone app.

You can also give your news and family photos via a dedicated, private website Famileo. The material you send is automatically printed onto paper and the postal staff will deliver this in the form of a personalised family newspaper to the person who may not be able to cope with digital technology themselves.

The cost starts from €19.90 a month for one visit a week (eligible for 50% off as a tax credit), with rising charges for more frequent visits.

Payments from abroad are possible. You can use a SEPA credit transfer if you live in the EU’s SEPA zone (single euro payments area). It is thought the UK will remain in the SEPA zone next year. You can also pay by bank card, but will have to pay for the year in one payment.
You can access the telephone mobile application, of course, wherever you are in the world.

A tele-assistance service is also available for the same price, or there is a joint offer for €37.90. With tele-assistance, specially-trained operators are available 24/7 to offer advice, emergency help or even just to have a chat at the press of a button on a connected device that can easily be carried around the home (service in French).

A reader who lives in Australia told Connexion last year that the service was a brilliant idea and should be taken up by other countries. Her father was in his nineties living in south west France and she set up the system remotely. She said it was a very friendly service and her father liked the company of visits.

You can find more information here

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