Glance towards the past.
Fragment Simone De Beauvoir
‘Let’s not kid ourselves any longer: it concerns the meaning of our lives in the future which awaits us. We do not know who we are, if we do not know who we will be. Let’s recognise ourselves in that elderly man, that old woman. This is necessary if we want to accept our complete human-being. Then at once we will let go our indifference facing the discomforts of old age, we will feel involved in it - it concerns ourselves.’
From:’ The old age, Simone De Beauvoir, 1987 (own translation La Vieillesse)
In 1986 Huis Perrekes was founded through the initiative of a group of young idealists, the confrontation with the illness ‘dementia’ and the at the time non-appropriate accommodations. A determined search for a suitable living environment for people suffering from dementia was began. Several hospices at home and abroad were visited. Exchange with the facilities provided for the disabled –where living projects based on the principle of normalization already were integrated- and a literature survey concerning the concepts of normalization and sociotherapy prepared the beginning of Huis Perrekes in what we call today ‘Zonne-Huis’ on the 16th of June 1986. A concise philosophy was developed in which the main concepts, still valid and referred to today, were outlined.
Huis Perrekes was inaugurated by Rika Steyaert, former Minister of Health, who promptly proclaimed the House as an innovative project. In this sense Huis Perrekes has been the subject of study and discussion from the start.
The experiences gained in the ‘Zonne-Huis’ were continuously checked and assessed with reference to a continuous dialogue with the official authorities.
From the conversations with all parties concerned the ‘Holle-Huis’ and the ‘Blomme-Huis’ were devised and built.
The first residents arrived there in 1997 and 1998.