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Do you know where you will spend your final days?

Well, not yet anyway!

We all grow old. People spend their entire lives growing old, but they do not like thinking about the time when they may end up in a home for the elderly. A grandfather or grandmother living to 100 is quite common nowadays. In the olden days, this was unthinkable. On average, people lived to the age of fifty. Would they have worried about growing old hundreds of years ago?

People live longer

The Bartholomeus Gasthuis has been a home for the elderly since 1817. Thanks to pioneering medical developments in the 19th century, people started to live longer and longer. This also meant that there were more elderly than before.

The modern-day home for the elderly

The home for the elderly as we know it, came to life in the 1960s. In the suburbs surrounding cities, large flats were built for the elderly.

Renovation

The Bartholomeus Gasthuis was at a crossroads – renovate and offer the same facilities as any other modern homes for the elderly, or call it a day? They chose to renovate. In the 1980s, the home was renovated, and the renewed Bartholomeus Gasthuis was opened by Princess Juliana in 1987.

So, what is it like, living here?

Tarq Hoekstra, who was Utrecht's city archaeologist for years, tells us what it is like in an article in Utrecht aan de Singel. "Obviously, I would have preferred to stay at home, but if one must, there is no better place than here. Not as far as location and ambiance are concerned and, of course, the fact that this year the institute will have been here for 650 years. I love living in such a historic building. All my friends say: You belong here."

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Utrecht
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