Written by Alexis Goldberg,
17th October 2017

Relatives of elderly people living in France can opt to pay for the added peace of mind that their loved ones are being watched over, after French postal service, La Poste, launched a scheme whereby its workers pop in and chat to elderly people living alone.

The French are renowned for taking great care of their elderly folk. Now there is a new service being introduced across the county whereby French postal workers will pop in to elderly people’s homes to see if they are okay. They will make sure they are being looked after generally both in the community and by their extended family.

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Called “Veiller sur mes parents” which means “Watching over my parents”, the service is available for anyone who is concerned about their elderly relatives living in France. If you live in the UK but your parents are in France, it is available to you too.

Called “Veiller sur mes parents” which means “watching over my parents”, the service is available for anyone who is concerned about their elderly relatives living in France.

The way it works is that the postman or lady will pop in for a brief chat and ask if the people are well and if they need anything such as shopping, help in their home or need to see a doctor. The elderly folk will then sign a form confirming that they have been asked if all is ok and this is then sent via either email or text to their nearest and dearest via an “app” which will hold a list of names that are happy to be contacted regarding news of the elderly folk.

If you’ve been frustrated by the French protecting their postal services by, for example, limiting where you can buy your stamps, this is the quid pro quo. As in the UK, the amount of mail has lessened over recent years in France due to email, text messages etc. being largely used for quick contact. But instead of just privatising the service and making postal workers redundant, France is using the extra time on posties’ schedules to offer a vital local service.


La Poste’s workers will be offering the new service (ricochet64 / Shutterstock.com)


Other benefits include many more elderly people being able to stay living in their own homes for longer, rather than having to be admitted to a nursing home. Other help on offer to the elderly in their own home includes APA (Allocation Personalisee d’Autonomie) and tax credits to make home adjustments for those with reduced mobility.

All postal workers will receive training to help them give a top service, and relatives can choose between different packages depending on how many visits they require each week. Contracts range from one visit a week costing €19.90 a month, to €139.90 for six visits per month. Further benefits include a simple alarm system which the elderly person can wear around their neck or on their wrist, with a button to press in an emergency of any kind.

All postal workers will receive training to help them give a top service.

The service is available for anyone who lives permanently in France. You can sign up to it by calling 00 33 1 41 85 97 91 or taking a look at “Veiller sur vos proches” on the La Poste website.

With the elderly population having increased substantially over the last few years, as people live longer and so many more illnesses are treatable, this is an excellent service which no doubt will be copied in the future in other countries. France so often leads the way when it comes to care in the community.

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