Mr Brochard, Director of the Jean Liausu Association in Vaylats, France, explains what the « Convent Hospitality » is and how it came about.
Since 2014, the convent of the Daughters of Jesus in Vaylats has undergone extensive renovation and upgrading to welcome the public. The interior work has been completed and all that remains is to make the exterior walkways safe.
In 2017, for tax reasons, the Jean Liausu Association created a company, “L’hôtellerie du couvent”. This company has two main vocations, to welcome groups and to offer accommodation to isolated elderly people. Thus, was born, « The Residence with Services for the Elderly” of the Convent of Vaylats.
Newly equipped accommodation
The establishment now has around thirty new studio apartments. They are all furnished and equipped to disabled standards and have a remote assistance system, a kitchenette, television, Wi-Fi, a walk-in shower, etc. They are therefore perfectly adapted to the needs of the elderly. These flats are intended for able-bodied or semi-able-bodied seniors.
The rental of the accommodation comes with the offer of services that are subcontracted or provided by us. The most frequently used are catering, laundry, housekeeping and entertainment.
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The challenges for the future
We are now facing three main challenges.
Firstly, to ensure a sufficiently high occupancy rate to guarantee our sustainability in the future. To this end, we have called on a communication agency with whom we have reworked our logo, our website and our paper supports.
Secondly, to be able to offer personal services to our elderly residents to help them more in their daily lives.
Thirdly, to find ways of opening the doors of our residence to low-income elderly people with no assets.
The last is particularly important to us because it comes directly from and embodies the charism of the Daughters of Jesus. Even if we are one of the least expensive places for senior citizens in the area, accommodation and catering are expensive. Many of our isolated seniors with a small pension do not have access to decent accommodation in an establishment like ours. It is by pooling our resources, providing assistance and profitable commercial actions that we will be able to achieve this ambitious objective of offering food and lodging to some of our most modest seniors.
Ultimately, our Residence Services project is based on a simple idea:
“to develop a commercial project for the benefit of a social project. “
Continuing the work
For two centuries, the Daughters of Jesus of Vaylats have been characterised by their sense of welcome. Today, the management of the convent is entrusted to lay people who continue the work of the Sisters in a more modern form. A small community of retired Sisters still lives discreetly on the site.
The diversity of activities and audiences makes the convent a rich and atypical place. For pilgrims, walking to Santiago de Compostela on the Way of Saint James, it is a place not to be missed. Between 1,000 and 2,000 pilgrims spend a night at the convent every year. Groups from all over the world stay here from one day to several weeks.
Diversity and dynamism
Offering the same type of services as most service residences, the originality of senior living at the convent lies in the diversity of the public who frequent the place. The days pass but they are never the same. The residents live in a dynamic environment that allows them to break with boredom and solitude and we work every day to encourage meetings and exchanges. A dozen enthusiastic people work for the well-being of all. The atmosphere here is friendly, caring and family oriented.
If you would like to find out more about our project, why not visit our new web site : Couvent de Vaylats
or follow us on Facebook at Couvent de Vaylats
Mr Brochard, Director Association Jean Liausu, Vaylats, France