2,000 Euro Prize 2016

Country: Austria

Region: Lower Austria

Sector: Public administration

Fields of action: Health

Project owner: Landespflegeheim Retz

Responsible person: Winkler Horst

What is it about?

The mission statement defines Nursing Home Retz as a centre of communication for the young and old. Its green space was made accessible to all and has been designed and arranged by all. Raised beds, an herb spiral, flowers, fruit trees, vegetables, animals, play equipment for all generations, a touch wall, benches for resting and loop paths for strolling, a stone garden, a wayside shrine - the garden that came into being attracts everyone: residents, their relatives, nursing home employees, volunteers, families, children, grown-ups. They talk and they celebrate together, play and potter about, help each other, rest, move around in fresh air, come together and sleep better. And they keep on developing it …

Appreciation of the Jury

Elsewhere, nursing homes are not attractive places. In Retz, a well thought out process implicating all relevant actors has managed to make the nursing home the local meeting point for the most diverse social groups; a garden without a fence or any barriers to encounters for those who live there or elsewhere. That is healthy for the individual and also for the entire social fabric, it improves the overall quality of life in the town, it creates interest in each other and thus reduces isolation – not only for the elderly living there. A nursing home has been turned into a communal meeting place for all. Simply innovative – simply wonderful.