The Housemates : Everything One Young Student Learnt about Love, Care and Dementia from Living in a Nursing Home

Teun Toebes


The international bestseller – an uplifting story of cross-generational living and friendship. Twenty-one-year-old nursing student Teun Toebes (both broke and curious) decided to move into a nursing home and experience the daily life of elderly residents, not as a nurse or a carer – but as a housemate. The experience was to change his life, as well as the lives of his new friends.

He initiated Friday drinks, trips out and camping evenings, and reintroduced pleasure in the small things in life: a laugh, a dance, a cup of good coffee, a chance to sit in the sun. As he became embedded in the community, however, Teun became more and more distressingly aware of how society and the care system diminishes the elderly and particularly people living with dementia – and he resolved to do something about it. A number 1 bestseller in the Netherlands, The Housemates is Teun Toebes’ story of his years of being a housemate, the friends who changed him and a heartfelt cry for change in how we care for the elderly.

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