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Residence for seniors (Maisons Vill'Âge)



Operational Information


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The "Maisons Vill'Âge" residences were specially designed and purposefully built to facilitate domestic living of older people through teleassistance and domotics.

The initiative, that involves mainly private care organizations, is promoted by the MEDeTIC association. Its main target group are 65-85 years old people who can and want to live more or less autonomously in such a setting; and may or may not want to use certain caring services of the numerous services offered there, between 65 and 85 years old, whose homes have become too big or are no longer suitable, mainly due to their own declining physical capacity.

Each accommodation is equipped with domotics and information technology or teleassistance based on the latest innovations. A videophone is available to contact a call centre, and to call family and friends. A single remote control, with an ergonomic interface, regulates the domotic system through the television. For example, a light can be turned off with the remote control.


The MEDeTIC association, composed of doctors, architects and nursing homes managers, built the lodging through a private developer. Homes will cost 2,350€ per square meter, with rents ranging between 500 and 750€, excluding charges. Depending on the degree of dependence, the older person may benefit from the Personal Autonomy Allowance (APA).

It could positively impact on the quality of life of older people by facilitating secure independent living and by fostering their self-esteem. The family of older people, knowing that their loved ones are constantly supported, could reconcile work and caring more effectively. This also should have a positive effect on companies, since they would not have to substitute/replace workers. Moreover, this system should reduce domestic accidents and decrease the number of hospitalisations, therefore it would have a positive impact on the National Health System (NHS).

refers to the target users, kind of service provided, ICTs typologies and devices used

Residence for seniors (Maisons Vill'Âge)

The aims of these homes are to improve the comfort, independence and security of its inhabitants, who can benefit also from domotic solutions, as the Residence with services are entirely equipped with domotics systems. The idea is to assist alone Senior and handicapped person, without disturbing their current environment, by using artificial intelligence and to remedy to various abnormal situations as quickly as possible.

This kind of home has been created in order to facilitate habitant life by using teleassistance and home automation. The home automation use is easy to be understood by every people. All functions are available by a TV interface and may be controlled by simplified main remote control.


The initiative was based on an idea of a geriatrician and a former director of a nursing home, of using ICT to adapt a home to avoid placing a frail older person in a nursing home. Founded in 2004 by doctors, architects and managers of nursing homes in Alsace, the MEDeTIC association intends to meet a growing demand for special housing for seniors. To enable seniors to continue living at home in a secure environment, thanks to teleassistance and remote medical monitoring.

The project intends to keep people in their homes for as long as possible, thereby reducing the number of hospitalisations.


Yes Care Recipients
Yes Informal carers
No Paid assistants
No Formal carers


-Care recipients: people between 65 to 85 year old, still self sufficient but with physical or cognitive capabilities reduction.-Informal carers (family, friends or neighbours)

- Informal carers


Yes Independent Living
No Information and learning for carers
No Personal Support and Social Integration for carer
Yes Care coordination


The services provided are independent and secure living, social support and comfort of older people, direct access to formal and informal carers, and supplying information on the health status of the older person to formal and informal carers.

The sensors’ use helps seniors in:

1. Heating management (diary schedule, remote control access, doors and windows opening, temperature sensors)

2. Power management (in order to do energy savings).

3. Access control (card granting access to authorized person and to follow up profile activity)

4. Electric Shutter management (automatic opening and closing shutter, enabled lightning).

5. Technical monitoring (smoke, flood and energy detectors).

6. Activity monitoring (movement sensors for action on lightening, alert monitoring, pets are not disturbing the sensors).

7. Physiologic monitoring (alert in case of unusual activities).

8. Medical shared file (edit and access to your personal medical file).

9. Phonic vocal remote control (easy use through a microphone or wireless).

10. Video telephony (the residents may directly and visually keep contact with their families or authorize family members to monitor them.

11. E-learning (access to specific database regarding training and health information).

12. Vocal server (to address to residents recommendations, advises in home/public by means of sms and wireless technologies).

Moreover, MEDETIC cooperates with a nearby retirement home for meals delivery and transports.


The devices used by:

  • older people:
    • television;
    • single remote control;
    • videophone;
    • ergonomic interface.
  • carers:
    • videophone and telephone.

Some examples of domotic solutions are:

  • automatic opening and closing of the shutter in connection with outside brightness
  • alarm systems
  • automatic shut down of energy and water supplies in case of oversight
  • to phone cheaper and share with friends or family (videotelephony)
  • to access to Internet/email or web service (video-on-demand)
  • to monitor abnormal activities by using sensors
  • to alert emergency when the resident falls (tele-monitoring)
  • to use health/memory program and exercices
  • to access to own personal medical file (tele-monitoring)
  • to share medical information with doctor or physician specialist (arterial tension, electrocardiogram , glycemia, …) for a better follow-up and to reduce complications and hospitalization.(tele-monitoring)

All sensors and remote control are focused on a terminal that allows to:

  • manage home installation
  • identify the functions

In order to avoid cost, sensors used are mainly provided in monitoring in particular:

  • pyroelectric movement sensors
  • infrared movement sensors
  • mechanical contactors for doors and windows
  • haptic sensors for bed, chair…

Sensors may be connected by cable or radio.

A single remote control, with an ergonomic interface, regulates the domotic system through the television. For example, a light can be turned off with the remote control. A videophone can be used to contact a call centre or the carer.

Operational Information
refers to the type of funding, budget, sustainability and organisations involved

Both public and private
Public service funding: Government, Regional, Local Authorities, non-profit public entities

The older person, with high level of dependency, can benefit from the Personal Autonomy Allowance (APA).

Private out of pocket: users pay the service by themselves

Not available



The initiative was based on an idea of a geriatrician and a former director of a nursing home, of using ICT to adapt a home to avoid placing a frail older person in a nursing home.


The association built the lodging through a private developer. Homes will cost 2,350€ per square meter, with rents ranging between 500 and 750€, excluding charges, which is clearly less than the 1,500 € minimum required to pay for a retirement home.

A collaboration was planned with a nearby retirement home, for meal delivery and transportation, to optimise the costs.

After Baltzenheim opened in September 2007, MEDeTIC considered building five more homes in Alsace and in Vosges.

Trading practices:

Flats can be either rented or purchased. Depending on the size of the accommodation (F2 (50m²) to F3 (60m²)), the monthly cost, including rent and fees, for a person or a couple, could vary from 800 to 1,000€.

The cost breakdown:

- Rent

- Condominium charges

- Management by MEDeTIC, including staff, some entertainment, domotics and maintenance

- Utilities (electricity, water, heating), local taxes, etc

- (Note: some tenants may qualify for a housing allowance, depending on their financial situation, which could lead to a major reduction in rent.)

Expenses related to business and individual needs are not included, such as:

- Home help (cleaning, ironing, laundry care, etc)

- Home Care

- Meal delivery

- Transportation

- Tele-monitoring (subscription specific)

These benefits will still be offered, without obligation to use them. The cost of these services could be offset if the dependent older people qualifies for APA.

Each unit is equipped with controls and sensors to detect falls and contact carers (if required by users). On average the cost of such equipment per apartment was estimated to be 10,000 €.

Operational processes:
There is only an informal explanation to the older person, given by the staff, how to use the domotics.


Since its creation in 2000, there has been very little support from the government to develop this initiative. Only in the few last years, as the issue of active ageing rose on the policy agenda, has the government increased its interest. This has accelerated the process of developing the initiative from a pilot study to a service, as it is today (


Not available


No Authorities
No Private Care Sector
No Health and Social Care Systems
No Third Sector
Yes Private Companies


Not available

Not involved

No Informal Carers
Yes Health Professionals
Yes Social Care Professionals
No Privately-Hired Care Assistants (inc. Migrant Care Workers)
No Volunteers


Teams consist of doctors, medical professionals, engineers and technical consultants.


Not involved


Not available


The main promotional channel is the initiative’s website.

refers to the impact of the service on end-users, care organisations and authorities


This service could positively affect the quality of life of :

- Informal carers, because the service helps them to reconcile care and work, allowing them to maintain their peace of mind.

- Paid assistants, who speak French by improving their social life and health, because the service provides additional support for older people.

- Older people, because the service helps them to live independently and safely, improving their health, social relationships and self-esteem.

Another benefit is enhancing the acceptability of the ICT among older people and carers.

(Deroussent, 2013)



This service could benefit:

- Private organisations that provide care, because it helps to save costs and optimise resources

- Companies and the labour market, because it helps the informal carer to reconcile work and caring tasks. It also may help to avoid the added costs to substitute/replace the worker who has to stay at home with the care recipient (Deroussent, 2013).




Even if not evidences are available, this service could positively impact on public authorities, the NHS and social care services, because it can help to reduce the number of home visits by professionals and may mitigate the costs of home caring and hospitalisation (Deroussent, 2013).




  1. MEDeTIC has participated in several research projects: PREDICA (2005), NUADU (2006-2009), LIFERING : Project CORDIS (ongoing); DGE/ANSP (National Agency for Services to the Person) : Project DAHLIA (2009)
  2. Since March 2011 MEDeTIC has been recognised by the French government as a 'Centre d'expertise' in the socio-medical field.
  3. KINOPTIM PROJECT since 2012 (
  4. Winner of AAP from CDC in 2013 :
  5. This innovative type of accommodation, thanks to the use of new technologies, supports both residents and their informal carers, and reduces the need of the formal/informal carer to be present. So the initiative is likely to increase its target users. Moreover, the care system should perhaps search for alternative ways to look after older people, as the burden on informal carers is not sustainable if the latter want to work. Initiatives such as Maisons Vill'Âge offers a middle ground between the home and the nursing home.
  6. The installed technologies are easy to be understood, as the functions are available through a TV interface.


  1. The absence of funding due to a lack of interest in the project from the Government and the Public Administration.
  2. The cohabitation of different languages (French and German) in the Alsace region could be an obstacle to the understanding between paid assistants and care recipients.


  1. Receiving public funding.

MEDeTIC participated in several other projects to construct assisted living facilities for older people all over France, as well as in Tunisia and Algeria.

MEDeTIC is a partner of Philips, Alcatel, Nokia, INT, CEA, Streamvision.

It participated in the Eureka European Research Projects and it is a member of the World Academy of Bio-Technologies.

More Information
includes contacts, publications and accompanying documents


Office Address:

10, rue du Rhin 68320 MUNTZENHEIM

Claude Deroussent (President)

Office Address:10 Rue du Rhin

Telephone: 0033 03 89 47 70 93

Mobile: 0033 06 80 32 51 31


10 Rue du Rhin
Telephone/ Fax : 0033 03 89 47 70 93
Mobile : 0033 06 80 32 51 31

TI Colmar
Vol.58 Folio N° 63
Code N.A.F. : 88.10
N° SIRET : 477 840 235 00014