An interview with the Luiten family, future residents of Woonlandschap de Leyhoeve in Tilburg.
“You sometimes have an immediate feeling of confidence and trust when you stumble upon something new.” The Luiten family, future residents of Woonlandschap de Leyhoeve, experienced this. This couple recently signed the documents that bring them one step closer to their new future home in Tilburg. How did they take the decision at a relatively advanced age to move? What were their experiences of contact with the Woonlandschap de Leyhoeve? We asked them!
How did you hear about De Leyhoeve? “We are members of the Bond van Ouderen (senior citizens association). I happened to see an advertisement in the association’s magazine and showed it to my husband. He was interested straightaway. If you had asked us just one week earlier we would have said that we would never leave our home in Eindhoven. But we arranged a personal meeting and after the meeting in the car on the way back we both felt that we should do it. We took the decision immediately and on gut feeling,” says Mrs Luiten. Mr Luiten, who had worked for the multinational Philips for many years, says that not everything in life should be approached rationally. He adds that the outside world would probably not expect a very rational, scientifically trained man to say this.
What appeals to you most about the residences at De Leyhoeve? “That we can both stay here under one roof,” says Mrs Luiten without doubt. “Especially if I look at the negative experiences that my sisters-in-law have had, we want to be absolutely sure that we can grow old together, whatever happens.”
What do you think about the 85 medical care suites at De Leyhoeve? “We hope that we will never need to use them,” jokes Mr Luiten. “But the fact that they are on the premises is one less worry and puts us at ease. We have the guarantee that we can use them immediately should it be necessary.”
What do you think about the De Leyhoeve Clubs? “Excellent! One of the things that appeals to us is that De Leyhoeve attaches great importance to the social environment of the residents that will move there. The monthly gatherings, activities and events run by the De Leyhoeve clubs will create a community. To our minds it is important to get things going. For people who are not from the Tilburg area, it is important that you can find your feet easily in a new place and this will certainly help.”
If you look ahead to your life at De Leyhoeve, what do you see? “That we are very active, we will not be busy as such, we prefer to say ‘active’. We will try to join the Leyhoeve Clubs’ events as much as we can. For us it would be important if there is a large reading area in the building. I can imagine that if there is an area with reading matter available in a communal space, possibly in a café area, that the residents will get to know each other more quickly, even if it just for a cup of coffee or to read the newspapers,” says Mrs Luiten.
What are your thoughts about quality of life and how do you see this expressed at De Leyhoeve? “That I can keep control of my own life,” says Mrs Luiten. “Being dependent on others would be terrible.”
“The freedom that you have here to stay yourself,” adds Mr Luiten. “At De Leyhoeve, everything is thought through by the residents as well as the organisation. People with or without a disability should be able to enjoy living here. You feel welcome here, you feel that welcome everywhere.”
Do you foresee any limitations in current legislation? “No idea. We hear a lot about various issues, but we do not think that much about bureaucratic affairs,” says Mr Luiten.
What has your experience been so far in terms of contact with De Leyhoeve? “Very good. The words that we think about immediately are pleasant, open, everybody is welcome.”
What five words would you use that best describe De Leyhoeve?
- Open organisation.
- Time and care for the residents. An unbelievable amount of time is being spent on both us and the other residents.