• Lazaristen 154

The beginning of the care for the elderly Vincentians

The period during Vatican II was a time of resourcing: many people were happy because many habits in the Church and the religious Congregations were done away with. Petrified experiences and old rules went out of the window and created a sense of freedom.

Renewal came about on the one hand, on the other hand the felt freedom resulted in many members leaving the priesthood and the Congregation during the 60ies and 70ies while the source of ‘vocations’ dried up. Buildings meant for formation emptied and were slowly adapted to receive the elderly people.

Caring for the elderly became an important issue in a country where the number of elderly people grew rapidly. The government reacted positively and social lawgiving made it possible to group the elderly together. In this way ‘monastery care homes’ came about, houses in religious institutions where only elderly members were cared for. This group of people had at a certain time a capacity of 40,000 beds throughout the Netherlands.

Elderly Vincentians foundation

‘Elderly Vincentians foundation’ was erected in 1976 and the Daughters of Charity congregation participated in 1978. The idea was to enjoy getting older together.

In the course of time, however, different rules were made, and stricter regulations for indexing made it impossible for the healthy elderly members to stay in the nursing homes. For them extra caregivers had to be hired in. Thus the original idea of getting old together had to be abandoned.