Com­munity fosters open­ness and individuality

Com­mon ground starts with values – and ranges from fun through in­volve­ment to sup­port­ing one an­other in the final hours.

Activ­it­ies and joy

Ex­cur­sions, con­certs, sem­inars or coun­tryside walks: a team-mem­ber or­gan­ises activ­it­ies for fun or for quiet re­flec­tion. Res­id­ents will in­vite you to their reg­u­lar ses­sions, for ex­ample for brain train­ing, draw­ing or yoga. The of­fers are in­ten­ded to keep your mind alert and your body fit. De­pend­ing on their pref­er­ences, the women and men will enjoy singing, bak­ing or garden­ing. Cyc­ling tours, city trips and mu­seum vis­its will add vari­ety. Italian courses fa­cil­it­ate con­nec­tions with the local community.

There is al­ways a reason that calls for cel­eb­ra­tion. A vil­lage fête or in­vit­a­tion unites people of all ages. Meal­times alone present a good op­por­tun­ity to be so­cial and to have a laugh. For spe­cial oc­ca­sions, we add fish or sea­food to an oth­er­wise ve­get­arian or vegan menu, as this is the pre­ferred diet of our com­munity. A glu­ten-free op­tion is also avail­able. We eat healthy, but above all tasty food.

Swim­ming, hik­ing or dan­cing – keep­ing fit is key! Gym mats, table ten­nis bats and hik­ing sticks are wait­ing to be used. Or how about a gentle shoulder rub from a fel­low res­id­ent in a pro­tect­ive en­vir­on­ment? Re­dis­cover long lost skills or try out some­thing new like needle­craft, pho­to­graphy or pot­tery. Spend­ing time in nature and using spir­itual tech­niques all serve to de­clut­ter the mind. Singing or mak­ing music is sat­is­fy­ing for the soul. If res­id­ents want time for quiet re­flec­tion, there are ded­ic­ated spaces for this, too. Or they may re­treat to their private rooms.

Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus News­let­ter


Senioren sitzen lachend an einem Tisch zusammen
Joint de­cision making

At the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus, res­id­ents have much more say than in your usual re­tire­ment home: com­mu­nic­a­tion is key to plan­ning and de­cision mak­ing. They listen to each other in times of joy or sad­ness. Com­munity mem­bers offer a help­ing hand where it’s needed. For in­stance, they read to or run er­rands for per­sons in need of care. Nat­ur­ally, every­one only does as much as they want to, and no-one goes bey­ond what they are cap­able of.

Per­man­ent res­id­ents, as well as guests, carry out some tasks. A know­ledge­able or­ganic farmer in­structs and as­sists with grow­ing fruit and ve­get­ables. Staff and hab­it­ants cook and bake to­gether. Those who are a deft hand at fix­ing things at­tempt small re­pair jobs. The com­munity will im­prove their home, for in­stance by build­ing a Kneipp walk­ing pool or es­tab­lish­ing a library.

In ad­di­tion, ten­ants or­gan­ise reg­u­lar hobby groups that pro­mote everybody’s in­di­vidual de­vel­op­ment. All com­munity mem­bers can make good use of their skills. Whether we have a gardener, ac­count­ant, artist or law­yer in our midst, every­one can en­rich our ex­per­i­ence. And when there is a lack of ex­pert­ise, team­work coupled with an open heart will achieve sur­pris­ing results.

Health and fitness

Mann im weißen T-Shirt schwitzt bei Liegestütze
Ex­er­cise and mobility

Those who can, may ex­er­cise out­doors or on-site. While those who are less able to do so can join gentle stretch­ing classes. But what hap­pens if someone gets in­jured or sick? In such an event, EU cit­izens will be able to draw on the med­ical ex­pert­ise of an Italian phys­i­cian or the Italian na­tional health ser­vice, Ser­vizio San­it­ario Nazionale (SSN).

A lot of jog­gers, moun­tain bikers or swim­mers tend to enjoy their sport bet­ter in a group. Whilst for bad­min­ton, bowl­ing or dan­cing you al­ways need at least one other per­son to take part. Kneipp ther­apy, vol­ley­ball, gym­nastics and many other ex­er­cise types form a staple part of the activ­ity pro­gramme. When mo­bil­ity be­comes a prob­lem, gentle walks, mas­sages and chair-yoga strengthen the muscles and ease ten­sion. As a res­ult of these, and not least thanks to med­it­a­tion and vari­ous forms of yoga, mind, body and soul will find the de­served rest.

Thanks to the European Health In­sur­ance Card (EHIC), EU cit­izens vis­it­ing Italy can see an SSN doc­tor or seek ad­mis­sion at a re­gistered clinic, with sup­port from an in­ter­preter if needed. After tak­ing up per­man­ent res­id­ency in Italy, it is ne­ces­sary to re­gister of­fi­cially, which per­mits ac­cess to all health­care ser­vices. How­ever, dental treat­ment is al­ways paid privately. After a start-up period, Ger­man-speak­ing nurses, care as­sist­ants and ther­ap­ists will be work­ing at the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus. For any po­ten­tial long-term or com­plex treat­ment, pa­tients will eas­ily be able to ac­cess fa­cil­it­ies in their coun­try of origin.

Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus News­let­ter

Twi­light years and care

Herz aus Gänseblümchen auf Baumscheibe arrangiert

Our com­munal liv­ing makes it easier to cope with the aches and pains of ad­van­cing years. Mu­tual re­spect even eases the chal­lenges of de­men­tia. Your own strength of char­ac­ter is what en­riches the ex­per­i­ence of later life at the Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus. Be­sides, pro­fes­sional Ger­man-speak­ing care per­son­nel will gradu­ally take on all age-ap­pro­pri­ate health­care – right down to palliative care. And last but not least, we will be ap­ply­ing to es­tab­lish a nearby cemetery, so that no one has to leave us even in death.

The Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus ought to be your final home – no more mov­ing, if at all pos­sible. Our goal is that none of our res­id­ents should need an­other care home or hos­pice. To achieve this, we are in­vest­ing in care per­son­nel and med­ical equip­ment. To­gether we shall over­come the chal­lenges of re­ceiv­ing nurs­ing care in a for­eign coun­try. Thanks to their stat­utory na­tional in­sur­ance con­tri­bu­tions, Ger­man na­tion­als are en­titled to a care al­low­ance. But the Ger­man care in­surers do not cover hos­pital treat­ment. EU cit­izens who are per­man­ently res­id­ent in Italy are sub­ject to na­tional law, under which, sadly, no stat­utory nurs­ing care in­sur­ance ex­ists. But you have the op­tion of tak­ing out a private nurs­ing care in­sur­ance to cover all eventualities.

In good time we will talk about how we wish to be cared for, in­clud­ing how we would like to de­part from this earth. With hu­mil­ity and dig­nity, we will face death: ac­cept­ing it as part of life. Friends and re­l­at­ives will have the chance to say their good-byes in a des­ig­nated room of mourn­ing. They will then ac­com­pany the fu­neral pro­ces­sion to the cemetery. Or, if pre­vi­ously re­ques­ted by the de­ceased, trans­port­a­tion to Ger­many will take place. At the fu­neral we will cel­eb­rate each person’s life in the way they would have wanted us to.


Bunte Fahnen mit einzelnen Begriffen für ausgewählte Werte
Love, cour­age, trust and so much more

We love the di­versity of dif­fer­ent her­it­ages, life stor­ies and tra­di­tions. Des­pite dif­fer­ing opin­ions and ways of think­ing, there are values such as in­teg­rity, open­ness and trust which will bind us to­gether. Ig­nor­ance and nar­row-minded­ness are where we draw the line. Yet tol­er­ance alone is not enough for us, as it some­times har­bours re­jec­tion deep-down or simply re­flects in­dif­fer­ence: We be­lieve in mu­tual ac­cept­ance of one another’s world views and way of life.

We gladly ques­tion and renew our values – after all, we’ve been around long enough not to ac­cept our word as set in stone. ‘By their deeds you shall know them’ – this wise sen­tence from the Gos­pel of John is equally apt for the be­liev­ing and non-be­liev­ing amongst our res­id­ents. We are hon­est with one an­other and show our feel­ings. We re­frain from secrecy since it goes counter to our prin­ciple of open­ness. At the same time, we re­spect each other’s privacy.

Many res­id­ents be­lieve in the act of provid­ence and guid­ance – whether by God, nature or through cos­mic en­ergy. If spir­itual or meta­phys­ical ideas don’t float your boat, try at least to trust in your­self and oth­ers. Hold on to the hope that every­one of us can do good. Bey­ond all this, we want to act sens­ibly, re­li­ably, self­lessly and with empathy.

Hedwig-Schenkel-Haus News­let­ter