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Home Help

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A Fight against institutionalisation

The desire of the elderly is to remain home in the environment with which they are familiar. In the last 30 years we have worked for an entirely different alternative to hospitalisation. The elderly who remain at home live, heal and react better against sickness and physical weakness. On the other hand, those who are forced to be placed in an institution show an increased deterioration both physically and psychologically, and even death can result. Institutionalisation is a condemnation to isolation that often takes away from the elderly a willingness to live. In institutions the death rate for comparable age groups is four times higher than for those who remain at home. Elderly in institutions have great difficulty in coping with detachment from their family environment, not only from the people they love but also from the home itself and the objects and memories that represent their life. Often, they no longer find a motive to live.

Our service to the elderly, wherever in the world we provide it, aims at guaranteeing and protecting the right of the elderly to stay in its own living quarters and to maintain their own sense of identity. Unfortunately, one often observes that the elderly are completely deprived of the possibility to express opinions or make decisions regarding their lives. The Community has therefore established a series of activities to protect the elderly’s dignity and self-determination. This becomes a necessary and indispensable asset in order to accompany the elderly through difficult and painful moments like sickness and death, so they can live in a more human and dignified way.


Respect for Self-determination

Roma Sometimes elderly persons become suddenly non self-sufficient and it is difficult to re-organise one’s life as they are faced with new necessities requiring assistance for both the one who is sick and their caretakers. Also the family that wants to help an invalid family member finds itself unprepared, and does not know where to turn or what financial resources and services are available. Faced with objective difficulties and lacking necessary support to undertake the re-organisation of one's family life, hospitalisation or institutionalisation frequently appear as the only reasonable solution, even if in the majority of cases this does not respect the elderly person's desire to remain at home.

The Community offers consultation, guidelines and sometimes concrete help to allow the elderly to continue to live where and how they desire.


Assistance at home

 The most conspicuous effort is made towards offering assistance in the home to improve the elderly person’s quality of life as a whole and to combat hospitalisation.

During home visits which can be as frequent as needs require, the elderly person is helped to solve problems of daily life, assisted with caring for his physical needs, and helped in maintaining significant social and sentimental relations.



Every year the Community organises vacation periods for those who are not self-sufficient or who can not afford to go on holidays.

The elderly enjoy this vacation period with members of the Community with whom they have had stable relations throughout the year. These are occasions of great familiarity.



The Aged

July 5 2016

The 'thrown away' elders of Mozambique on a pilgrimage, from loneliness to the mercy of the Jubilee

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June 27 2016

In Pemba, a people of the poor and sick goes through the Holy Door with the Community of Sant'Egidio

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June 20 2016

Prague: Elderly people finally out of nursing homes for the Jubilee of Mercy with Sant'Egidio

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May 18 2016

Africa: Jubilee of Mercy with the elderly in Ivory Coast

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | RU
April 23 2016

Sant'Egidio opens the House of Mercy for the elderly in Blantyre

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA
April 19 2016

Finding love in an unexpected place: the life of Mae and her friendship with Sant'Egidio

all news
October 17 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Quella "cultura dello scarto" simbolo della nostra crisi

October 14 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Sant'Egidio. Giubileo degli anziani al Santo

September 3 2016
La Repubblica - Ed. Genova

In campo anche i liceali volontari a Sant'Egidio

August 4 2016
Corriere di Novara

Emergenza caldo: oltre 3.000 anziani monitorati dalla Comunità di Sant'Egidio

July 19 2016
Il Mattino di Padova

Gli anziani possono morire di solitudine

July 17 2016

Nei Quartieri Spagnoli da nipoti con gli anziani

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October 17 2016 | PADUA, ITALY

Giubileo degli anziani e dei malati con la Comunità di Sant'Egidio

All meetings of prayer for peace

Intervento di Irma, anziana romana, durante la visita di papa Francesco a Sant'Egidio

Programma della Campagna della Cortesia verso gli anziani "Vive les Ainés"

Scheda sintetica del programma "W gli anziani"

Giovani e anziani per un estate di solidarietà 2013

Programma "W gli anziani": attività con gli anziani a Roma nel luglio e agosto 2013

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La fuerza de los años

Ediciones Sígueme
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