A new family home in Würzburg : an alternative to institutionalisation

For many years Sant'Egidio in Würzburg has been taking care for lonely elderly living at home and in nursing homes. It has been supporting them to keep an independent life and overcome loneliness and social isolation, that can have tragic implications. It has clearly emerged in recent months during the Covid-19 crisis - a very large number of elderly died in institutions with no relatives or friends to accompany them. 

Elderly people are particularly at risk in crisis situations, as it is also explained in the appeal "There is no future without the elderly” the Community launched at global level.

Therefore Sant’Egidio has implemented an innovative co-housing project, both a valuable alternative to institutionalisation and a model of inclusiveness. It is a proposal of considering old age appropriate to multiply- not to reduce - contacts, bonds, friendship relations.


The new family home was inaugurated on 1 October, on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, in the district of Zellerau, where the Community has been engaged since the early 1980s. The home is an important milestone in a long and faithful closeness to the elderly.